At and near the center of West Virginia, the Heartland Region includes some of the Mountain State’s most archetypal landscapes of hill and valley. Here at the heart of West Virginia you’ll encounter the most West Virginian of West Virginias, as the saying goes. Fields have been farmed, coal has been mined, forests have been timbered, and oil and gas have been drilled in the heartland, but none of these industries have dominated. The majority of residents continue to operate small farms, though camps and vacation properties are being developed throughout the region, particularly near its lakes and rivers. The Elk, Hughes, Little Kanawha, and Pocatalico rivers course sleepily through the heartland.
The West Virginia Heartland Region includes Wirt, Roane, Ritchie, Gilmer, Calhoune, and Braxton counties and parts of Clay, Lewis, Upshur, Webster, and Nicholas counties. The region roughly corresponds to the Mountain Lakes travel region of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
Interstate 79 travels through the southern reaches of the West Virginia Heartland between Charleston, in the southwest, and Clarksburg, in the northeast. The US-50 expressway courses east to west across the northern region between Parkersburg, in the west, and Clarksburg, in the east. Highways US-33 and US-119 travel through the southern areas of the region through Spencer and Glenville.