West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia 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.


West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.


West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.


West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.


West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.


Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.


Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 The ‘Beast of the East’ – Gauley fall whitewater season begins Friday, Sept. 6

South Charleston, W.Va. –West Virginia Division of Tourism Commissioner Betty Carver announces the Gauley River rafting season begins Sept. 6 with the first Summersville Dam water release of the season.

Beginning Sept. 6 and throughout the next seven weekends, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will unleash thousands of gallons of water from the Summersville Dam in Nicholas County. These events create the most intense whitewater rafting east of the Mississippi, transforming the Gauley River into the “Beast of the East.” A legendary whitewater experience and ranked among the best in the world, the Gauley is a combination of non-stop exhilaration and stunning scenery with more Class IV and V rapids than any other river in the Eastern United States.

“Rafters both locally and around the country look forward to this time of year, and I am especially excited about the midweek releases,” said Bobby Bower, Executive Director of West Virginia Professional River Outfitters. “The Upper Gauley will still run the normal 2,800 CFS on Tuesdays, offering all the excitement without the crowds. Wednesday and Thursday midweek releases will bump up to 5,300 CFS, making the underrated Lower Gauley an epic big-wave adventure.”

The water release dates are scheduled as follows:
Sept. 6-9, 13-30, Oct. 1-6, 12-13 and 19-20 (Note: Oct. 19 is Bridge Day, but there is still rafting that day.)

As a result of a normal, routine inspection conducted every 10 years of the Summersville Dam by the Army Corps of Engineers, this year’s release will be 32 days instead of the traditional 23, including a streak of 24 uninterrupted days of rafting opportunities. This was made possible by adding weekday releases, giving additional chances to soak in the fun.

Throughout West Virginia, there are a number of other outstanding whitewater rafting opportunities. The New River will thrill with its 240-foot drop over a 14-mile stretch as it cuts its way through a 1,000-foot-deep sandstone gorge. The Class I to V rapids make it a perennial favorite with rafters from around the country. The Upper New is perfect for float and fishing trips, while the Middle New turns up the excitement with Class II and III rapids. The Lower New runs through the heart of the gorge, passing beneath the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

Heading north, adventure enthusiasts will find the boulder-strewn canyon of the Cheat River which contains more than 30 technical rapids in the Class III to IV range. The Tygart also ranks among the mightiest rivers in the nation while also offering mostly uncrowded runs due to its location. This 10-mile-long river boasts rapids ranging from Class I to V and is home to Wells Falls, considered the most powerful, runnable drop in the Monongahela River basin.

The Shenandoah and Potomac rivers, in the Eastern Panhandle, offer rapids that are great for families and group outings. The river route, through scenic Harpers Ferry, also provides opportunity to enjoy our history from a different perspective.

There are many outstanding outfitters that know these rivers like the back of their hands and look forward to helping you have a fantastic rafting experience. Visit www.wvtourism.com or contact 1 800 CALL WVA for more information on the challenge you choose. Come enjoy wild and wonderful West Virginia like never before.

Contact Information

Jacqueline Proctor