Beckley, West Virginia

City of Beckley, West Virginia, Raleigh County, New River Gorge Region
Main Street at Fayette in downtown Beckley, W.Va.

Beckley, West Virginia (WV), in Raleigh County, ranked eighth among the largest cities in West Virginia in 2010 with a population of more than 17,000 residents. Named for Alfred Beckley, who settled near the site in 1838, Beckley has traditionally been a lodging and overland transportation hub. Hotels in the Beckley area fill to capacity during skiing and whitewater rafting seasons when tourists visit the nearby New River Gorge and Winterplace ski area.

The National Boy Scout Jamboree attracts thousands of visitors to the Beckley area every fourth August. Tamarack, a commercial center for West Virginia arts, is located on I-77 and I-64 expressways in west Beckley. Many hotels and motels are located in and around the city. Morgantown-based West Virginia University is building a principal southern campus in the city.

Lodging in Beckley, West Virginia

History

Near the center of an area of relatively level land, Beckley was established by Alfred Beckley along natural routes through the otherwise mountainous region. Today, interstate expressways 77 and 64 converge near the city with highways US-19 and WV-16. When coal mining developed in southern West Virginia in the early 1900s, the city became a center for commerce and related industries, and, as mining employment declined in the mid- and late 1900s, residents of the more mountainous coalfields migrated to the city. The Beckley Courthouse Square Historic District was established to protect the historic character of the commercial center of the city, though its status has been threatened by demolitions and destruction carried out since.

Parks & Recreation Areas

Wildwood, the home of Alfred Beckley, and the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, a former mine and tourist attraction, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  New River Park and four other municipal parks serve the city of Beckley. The New River Gorge National River approaches the town to the north and east. The Beckley Courthouse Square Historic District was established to protect the historic character of the commercial center of the city, though its status has been threatened by demolitions and destruction carried out since.

Beckley is a favorite haunt of ghost hunters and is numbered among the most haunted locales in West Virginia. According to West Virginia Ghosts, a handful of Beckley hauntings have become legendary.

Photo Gallery of Beckley

Location

The city is approximately 50 miles southeast of Charleston, WV, 40 miles west of Lewisburg, WV, 40 miles north of Princeton, WV, and 65 miles south of Sutton, WV. The name “Beckley” is sometimes confused with that of Berkeley Springs, WV, located in the eastern panhandle of the state.

Map of Beckley, West Virginia

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Regional Information

Beckley is located in the New River Gorge Region of southern West Virginia.

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