The National Coal Heritage Area includes 13 counties in southern West Virginia where “Smokeless Coal,” so named for its comparatively low smoke output, was a sought after commodity in industrializing cities across the country. West Virginia coal became the fuel for America for nearly a century.
A diverse population of miners and their families created a unique culture here with a history of mining strife and triumphs. Much of this history is accessible on the Coal Heritage Trail. On 146 miles of scenic highway visitors can see homes, town sites, mine sites, and the incredible scenery of Southern West Virginia’s coal country. The heritage area was created to preserve and protect this area’s unique coal mining heritage.
The National Coal Heritage Area is one of 40 heritage areas in the United States. It is a partnership project of the National Park Service and West Virginia’s Division of Tourism and the Division of Culture and History. The 13 West Virginia counties included in the area are: Cabell, Fayette, Logan, Lincoln, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Raleigh, Summers, Wayne, Wyoming and Paint Creek, and Cabin Creek located in southern Kanawha County.
If You Go
Visit the National Coal Heritage Area website before you go to learn more about things to do in area.