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Happy Birthday, Mountain Mama! To the place we call home, to the place we all belong. On June 20, 1863, West Virginia officially became a state. West Virginia is one of the most scenic states in the nation. It is a place filled with rich history, unique heritage, an abundance of outdoor recreation, diverse arts and culture, and charming communities, towns, and cities. To celebrate West Virginia Day, we wanted to share fun facts about our state:

— Did you know that West Virginia is one of two states, along with Nevada, formed during the American Civil War? It is the only state to form seceding from a Confederate state. West Virginia was originally part of Virginia, but separated as a new state in 1863 by a proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. West Virginia’s history was profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain, spectacular river valleys, and rich natural resources. Today, these factors also play a role in attracting visitors to the “Mountain State”. Learn more about #RandolphWV history.

— It’s not always easy to tell up from down in West Virginia. Probably because West Virginia is considered the southernmost northern state and the northernmost southern state.

— Nearly 75% of the state is covered by forests, making it the third most forested state. In fact, the Monongahela National Forest covers nearly a million acres of land and spans across 10 counties. West Virginia is home to 1500 miles of hiking trails, 10 national parks, forests, rivers or trails, and has 45 state parks or forests. Spruce Knob, in the Monongahela National Forest, is the states highest peak, reaching 4,863 feet. West Virginia has an average altitude of 1,500 feet, the highest average altitude east of the Mississippi.

— West Virginia is surprisingly global for such a small state and holds the record for “most towns named after cities in other countries.” So when you decided to visit us, you can also say you have visited Athens, Berlin, Cairo, Geneva, Shanghai and more.

— West Virginians are completely fearless. The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville is the longest spanning a length of 1700 feet and second highest steel arch bridge in the United States. Every October, on Bridge Day, people parachute and bungee jump 876 feet off the bridge. This events attracts 100,000 people each year, some as spectators, but most are there for the thrill themselves. Contrary to its name, the New River is actually one of the oldest in the world and unusually flows south to north because it was formed before the mountains.

— Every state has traditional foods that often find their way to the dinner table. West Virginians are creative when it comes to food. Pepperoni rolls were created in West Virginia and are a staple that you have to try when visiting. They are made up of rolls stuffed with cheese and pepperoni and are a signature food item to almost any household.

We invite you to celebrate our beautiful state on June 20th. Go on a hike or bike through the West Virginia mountains, take a drive on our scenic byways, support local restaurants and shops, and most importantly share your celebration with us by using #RandolphWV.