West Virginia i is a state in the Appalachian, Southern, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, and Pennsylvania and Maryland to the northeast. The capital and largest city is Charleston.
West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions, breaking away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state, and was one of only two states formed during the American Civil War (the other one being Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory).
The Census Bureau considers West Virginia part of the South, as most of the state is south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton being just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles (110 km) from North Carolina and Harper's Ferry is considered to be a part of the Washington metropolitan area. The unique position of West Virginia means that it is often included in a wide variety of geographical regions, including the Upland South, the Southeastern United States and often the Northeastern United States. Notably, it is the only state which entirely lies within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is a common definition of "Appalachia". For these reasons, West Virginia is often considered simultaneously the northernmost Southeastern state, the southernmost Northeastern state, the westernmost Mid-Atlantic state and the easternmost Midwestern state. The state is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research. The karst lands contribute to much of the state's cool trout waters. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and hunting.
) in the U.S. state of West Virginia
crosses the Northern Panhandle
region, through Ohio County
and the city of Wheeling
. The shortest segment of I-70 in any state it crosses is the segment in West Virginia, spanning 14.45 miles (23.26 km) across the panhandle. The portion of the route in West Virginia begins on a bridge between the eastern border of Ohio
, over the western channel of the Ohio River
, crossing onto Wheeling Island
. The Fort Henry Bridge
carries I-70 across the main channel of the Ohio River and onto mainland West Virginia. The city of Wheeling sits on the eastern banks of the Ohio River, and I-70 passes over the town on an elevated structure before entering the Wheeling Tunnel
. On the other side of the tunnel, the highway meets the eastern terminus of I-470
, a bypass
of Wheeling. Before the highway crosses into Pennsylvania, I-70 passes The Highlands
, a major shopping center in the panhandle. The first portions of the freeway were opened in 1963, and construction was completed in 1971. On average, between 32,000 and 60,000 vehicles use the freeway every day.
The Glade Creek Grist Mill is a replica of the original Cooper's Mill that was located nearby. The current grist mill, completed in 1976, was assembled from parts of three other West Virginia mills. The park's web site describes the Glade Creek Grist Mill as a living, working monument to the more than 500 mills that used to set throughout the state.