Hyundai West Virginia, WV. Information Page
West Virginia, WV.
West Virginia, known as The Mountain State, is a state of the United States. West Virginia broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and was admitted to the Union as a separate state on June 20, 1863.
The Census Bureau considers West Virginia part of the South because of its location below the Mason-Dixon Line, while the USGS designates it as a Mid-Atlantic state. Many in the state's Northern Panhandle, with the nothernmost point of the state about the same latitude as central New Jersey, feel a greater affinity for Pittsburgh, while those in the Eastern Panhandle feel a greater connection with the Washington, D.C. suburbs in western Maryland and Virginia. Lastly, southern West Virginia, in which many West Virginians consider themselves southern, is less than 100 miles north of Tennessee and North Carolina. The state is noted for its coal mining heritage, and union organizing mine wars in particular.
The state has a rich, stark beauty reflecting its topography. Tourist sites include the New River Gorge Bridge (where on Bridge Day the federal government, which controls the landing site, allows BASE jumping  from the bridge), as well as many national and state parks. It is also home to the Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
The U.S. Navy has named a series of ships USS West Virginia in honor of this state.
It is bordered by Pennsylvania and Maryland to the north, by Ohio to the north and west, by Kentucky to the west, and by Virginia to the east and south. The Ohio River and the Potomac River form parts of the boundaries.
Shaded relief map of Cumberland Plateau and Ridge and Valley Appalachians on the Virginia/West Virginia borderThe state is referred to as The Mountain State, and it is the only state in the nation in which all areas are mountainous. About 3/4 of the state is within the Cumberland/Allegheny Plateaus region which is not true mountains but rather a dissected plateau. Though the relief is not high, the plateau region is extremely rugged in most areas. (The two plateaus are essentially the same, the difference being only the naming convention of north and south, with West Virginia happening to be in the middle.)
On the southeastern state line with Virginia, high peaks in the Monongahela National Forest region give rise to an island of colder climate and ecosystems similar to those of New England and eastern Canada.
The native vegetation for most of the state was originally mixed hardwood forest of oak, chestnut, maple, beech, and white pine, with willow along the waterways. Many of the coves are rich in biodiversity and scenic beauty, a fact that is appreciated by native West Virginians, who refer to their home as almost Heaven.
The underlying rock strata are sandstones, shales, bituminous coal beds, and limestones laid down in a near shore environment from sediments derived from mountains to the east, in a shallow inland sea on the west. Some beds illustrate a coastal swamp environment, some river delta, some shallow water. Sea level rose and fell many times during the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian eras, giving a variety of rock strata.
On a map West Virginia's complex shape and irregular outline make it look more like a European country in configuration than an American state. This is because the processes that created West Virginia's eastern boundaries are more like the processes that created the boundaries of European countries. In the USA most state boundaries were established close to the time of settlement and include long straight lines and simplfying features that aid in forming property subdivision for new settlers. In West Virginia the boundaries were formed after settlement for the purpose of rounding up people with a similar socio-cultural outlook (in this case pro-Union, anti-plantation, highlanders) who were already there, just as the European boundaries round up people with similar nationalities who had been there for a long time. This process of rounding up people already spread around here and there results in the typical zig-zag, curving, and extending shape of the resulting political unit.