4 Most Remote Adventures in West Virginia

A view of the Trough from the train that is just barely able to fit alongside it.
A view of the Trough from the train that is just barely able to fit alongside it. brownpau
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The following article is a paid collaboration with Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

If you want to take solitude-seeking to the next level, the Mountain State has some of the most remote lands in the country.

Check out these remote escapes that are the definition of secluded:

1. The Trough

Because of its rough terrain, the only way you can reach the Trough, a 6-mile stretch of remote canyon off of the south branch of the Potomac River, is by foot, kayak, or canoe.

Head to this spot for some of the best bass fishing around , and keep an eye on the sky as well— you’re likely to spot bald eagles soaring overhead thanks to the protection they find in the remoteness of the Trough.

If you consider yourself a history buff, this little slice of land got its name from America’s first president, George Washington himself, when he was surveying the area in 1748. The Trough was also the site of the 1756 Battle of the Trough during the French and Indian War.

To get here, the closest you can get is South Branch Valley road, then it’s all up to you.

2. Laurel Fork Wilderness

Secluded falls like these are just one of the rewards of the Laurel Fork Wilderness.
Secluded falls like these are just one of the rewards of the Laurel Fork Wilderness. Adam Caudill

Laurel Fork North and Laurel Fork South combine for just more than 12,000 acres of one of the top dogs when it comes to solitude. The Laurel Forks were declared a designated wilderness area in 1983. Tackle the 18.5 miles of trails for a real challenge— much of it remains unmarked, which means you have to be careful not to lose the trail. Bring your best directional equipment with you. There are 16 designated campsites, so you can take your time and spend the weekend scouting the secluded paths.

3. Spice Run Wilderness

If you’re looking to test your self-reliance, Spice Run Wilderness is the ultimate exam. The roughly 6,000-acre area has zero constructed, maintained or marked trails of any kind , so you’re 100% on your own when it comes to navigating the wilderness.

Beyond that, even just accessing Spice Run requires forging your way across the Greenbrier River, so getting there is a feat in and of itself. Leave your mountain bike at home, though— they’re prohibited here.

4. Green Bank

This giant satellite is the reason why Green Bank is a dead zone when it comes to cellphones and WiFi.
This giant satellite is the reason why Green Bank is a dead zone when it comes to cellphones and WiFi. ricky montalvo

Unplug without having to cross rivers and traverse unmarked paths. While the other recommendations on this list are secluded and remote in terms of population and development, Green Bank, WV, is remote in a different kind of way— technologically. Thanks to the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (or GBT for short), wireless signals are actually illegal in Green Bank and most of the surrounding areas.

The telescope was devised to explore the universe through radio waves, and because it operates on wavelengths as small as 1 millimeter, there can’t be any interruption from other sources— so don’t even bother with your cell phone or wifi. While Green Bank offers all of the amenities of city living, there’s still an inescapable solitude that comes with turning your cell phone and computer off. While you’re there, sign up for a tour of the telescope.

Discover more WV wilderness.

Originally written for West Virginia .

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