Geography of Barbour County, West Virginia

Barbour County, nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, offers a diverse and picturesque landscape characterized by its rolling hills, lush forests, and meandering rivers. In this comprehensive overview, we’ll explore the geography, climate, rivers, lakes, and other notable features of Barbour County.

Geography: According to ejinhua, Barbour County is located in the north-central part of West Virginia, bordered by Taylor County to the north, Randolph County to the south, Upshur County to the west, and Tucker County to the east. It covers an area of approximately 342 square miles, making it one of the smaller counties in the state by land area. The county seat and largest city is Philippi, which serves as a cultural, educational, and economic center for the region.

The landscape of Barbour County is characterized by its rolling hills, narrow valleys, and dense forests, with elevations ranging from around 1,000 feet to over 3,000 feet above sea level. The county is part of the Appalachian Mountain range, which runs through the eastern United States from Maine to Georgia. The terrain is ideal for outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.

Climate: Barbour County experiences a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons characterized by warm summers and cold winters. Summers are typically warm and humid, with average high temperatures in the 80s°F (around 27-32°C) and occasional thunderstorms bringing heavy rainfall. Winters are cold and snowy, with average low temperatures in the 20s°F (around -6 to -1°C) and snowfall occurring from November through March.

Spring and fall offer mild temperatures and colorful foliage, making them ideal seasons for outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and scenic drives. The climate of Barbour County is influenced by its elevation and proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, with cooler temperatures and higher precipitation amounts in the higher elevations.

Rivers and Lakes: Barbour County is crisscrossed by several rivers and streams that flow through its picturesque countryside, providing habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. The Tygart Valley River, one of the major rivers in West Virginia, flows from south to north through the western part of the county, offering opportunities for fishing, boating, and water-based recreation.

In addition to the Tygart Valley River, Barbour County is also home to several smaller rivers and streams, including the Buckhannon River, the Middle Fork River, and the Laurel Fork River, which flow through the countryside and empty into the Tygart Valley River. These waterways provide habitat for a variety of fish, wildlife, and bird species, as well as opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and tubing.

While Barbour County does not have any natural lakes within its borders, several reservoirs and impoundments provide water storage for agriculture, recreation, and wildlife habitat. Audra State Park, located in the southern part of the county, is home to the scenic Audra Lake, which offers opportunities for fishing, picnicking, and hiking in a tranquil natural setting.

Forests and Wildlife: Much of Barbour County is covered by dense forests of hardwood trees, including oak, maple, hickory, and cherry, as well as coniferous trees such as pine and spruce. The forests provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species, including deer, turkey, squirrels, and songbirds, as well as more elusive species such as black bear and bobcat.

The county is known for its excellent hunting opportunities, particularly for deer and turkey, which attract hunters from across the region during the fall hunting season. Several wildlife management areas and public hunting grounds are located throughout the county, providing access to prime hunting grounds and habitat for game species.

In addition to hunting, Barbour County offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and nature photography in its scenic natural areas. The county is home to several state parks, wildlife refuges, and nature preserves that protect important habitats and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and environmental education.

Historical and Cultural Attractions: Barbour County is rich in history and cultural heritage, with a legacy that reflects its role in the settlement and development of West Virginia. The county is home to several historic landmarks and cultural attractions, including the Philippi Covered Bridge, a historic covered bridge that spans the Tygart Valley River in downtown Philippi.

One of the most famous historical events associated with Barbour County is the Battle of Philippi, which took place during the American Civil War. The Philippi Battlefield Historic District, located near downtown Philippi, preserves the site of the first land battle of the Civil War and offers interpretive programs, exhibits, and guided tours that tell the story of the battle and its impact on the region.

In addition to its historical landmarks, Barbour County is also known for its vibrant arts scene, with galleries, theaters, and cultural events that showcase the talents of local artists and performers. The Blue and Gray Reunion, an annual event held in Philippi, celebrates the region’s Civil War heritage with reenactments, parades, and living history demonstrations.

In conclusion, Barbour County, West Virginia, offers a diverse and scenic landscape characterized by its rolling hills, lush forests, and meandering rivers. From the banks of the Tygart Valley River to the trails of Audra State Park, the county’s geography provides a wealth of opportunities for outdoor recreation, cultural exploration, and historical interpretation. Whether exploring historic sites, hiking in the mountains, or enjoying the natural beauty of the countryside, Barbour County has something to offer everyone who appreciates the rich heritage and scenic beauty of West Virginia.

About the author