Monongalia County (Morgantown)
Monongalia County, West Virginia, is a unique place to visit and live. It is made up of several smaller cities with Morgantown being the largest. Morgantown is home to West Virginia University (WVU), the state’s largest higher education institution. With the University at its heart, the greater Morgantown area is a unique blend of people and cultures. It’s a lively place, with an urban downtown and rural surroundings. Nine months out of the year, the area is bustling with college students, and the summer months are peaceful.
Whether you’re looking for a life full of thrill or a peaceful escape, Monongalia County can offer you both.
Make Your Life an Adventure of Its Own
Monongalia County is no stranger to outdoor recreation. It’s your choice — land or water? On land, you have all the trails you could wish for, including the Mon River Rail Trail, which is inducted into the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy (RTC) Hall of Fame in 2020. The Rail-Trail system stretches 48 miles throughout Mountaineer Country, connecting Fairmont, WV, to Point Marion, PA. Along with the Rail-Trail, there are several other iconic outdoor destinations to explore. With places like the West Virginia Botanic Garden, the WVU Core Arboretum, Snakehill Wildlife Management Area, and Coopers Rock State Forest, the area is known for its great quality of life amenities. You can enjoy a leisurely walk in nature, birding or leaf-peeping, or you can challenge yourself with a hiking, rock-climbing, or bouldering feat. If water is more your style, there is a world of flatwater waiting for you. Float in a kayak on the Monongahela River or set sail on a boat on Cheat Lake.
There are plenty of ways to blaze your own trail in Monongalia County.
Immerse Yourself in Flavorful Foods and a Fun Culture
Monongalia County, AKA “Mon County,” is known for its variety of flavors. Its farm-to-table dining scene puts a tasteful touch on meals and lets you know the area’s chefs prioritize where the food you’re being served is sourced. There is also a blend of cultural dishes from around the world, ensuring you’ll never strike out when looking for something new to try. With an eclectic menu of specialty pizzas and craft beers, you will quickly find a new favorite local spot. If you’re interested in dining with a view, this is the place for you. Enjoy a bite to eat along the Monongahela River or pack a picnic at one of the area’s iconic scenic spots. If you have favorite, go-to national chains, Mon County has those, too.
It’s the place to be for old reliable staples and exciting new flavors.
Find Your Perfect Place to Call Home
Finding the perfect home in Monongalia County is a thrilling experience. The closer you get to Morgantown city limits, the more challenging it becomes to find a home for sale within a comfortable price range. With a large college-student population, there is a vast supply of apartments, ranging from studios above downtown businesses to more rural complexes farther from campus. If you’re making the move by yourself or with a partner, an apartment or townhouse might be the fit for you, as rental homes are hard to come by. Plus, apartment complexes in greater Morgantown often come with amenities like fitness centers and pools. If you’re interested in buying a home, it’s best to look outside of Morgantown for a great home in a comfortable price range. There are housing options for families of all sizes, with different styles and spaces to choose from.
There is a great chance you’ll find the perfect place to call home here.
Pave a Pathway for your Child’s Future
If you have school-aged children, Monongalia County schools offer educational opportunities for students at every pace. In total, the area has three private schools, 10 pre-k and elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, one career and technical education center, and three alternate offerings. The school system offers before-and-after-school daycare, world languages, STEM programming, Advanced Placement (AP), college courses through WVU, extracurriculars, and more. Monongalia County schools were ranked in the top 3% for best school districts for athletes in the nation; top 8% for best public middle schools in the nation; top 10% for best public high schools in the nation; and top 25% for best school districts in the nation. Plus, West Virginia students who are eligible for the PROMISE Scholarship can earn up to $4,750 per year for college. WVU, the University in town is an accredited R-1 institution, maintaining its rank among the nation’s elite research institutions as reported by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. So, if you have college-aged students, they can earn an honest education while saving you money by living at home.
There are plenty of opportunities to learn in Monongalia County.
Find your Happy Place to feed your Social Life
The Greater Morgantown area has a strong community feel. When you walk into shops and restaurants, you’re likely to receive a warm greeting from the staff and other customers. While moving to a new area can be tough on your social life, Monongalia County is full of community organizations to help you get settled and rebuild your network. With three different rotaries, a handful of BNI groups, and several interest-based organizations, you can get your feet wet in the community and network alongside vetted locals.
From paddling groups to food pantries, you’ll find your niche and be welcomed with open arms.
Put Your Health in Good Hands Here
Residents of Monongalia County seek comfort in knowing there is always a hospital or emergency clinic within a short driving distance. Ruby Memorial Hospital, commonly referred to as “Ruby,” is a premier medical location and the flagship hospital of the West Virginia University Health System, WVU Medicine. It is home to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital which provides the largest range of pediatric specialty and high-risk maternal care in the state of West Virginia. It is also home to several institutes with specialties in cancer, eyes, heart and vascular, neuroscience, and critical care and trauma. Another hospital, Mon Health Medical Center, is also in town. It is a 189-bed, acute-care community hospital and Level IV trauma center. There are also several urgent care locations for minor illnesses and injuries.
Wherever you go and whatever you do in Monongalia County, you will be in good hands.
Local Deals and Offers
Moving to a new area can be challenging, especially financially. Consider using our Mountaineer Deals to save when you eat, shop, and play in and around Monongalia County.
Preston County (Kingwood)
Preston County, West Virginia, is an outdoor lover’s paradise. With an unlimited amount of scenic views and rolling hills that stretch for miles, you can relax on your porch knowing you’ve found the right place to call home. If you’re looking to make the move or are new to the area, take a look at our events calendar for opportunities to get out and meet people. The community will take you in with open arms.
There are 10 incorporated cities and towns in Preston County, and each one has something unique to offer.
Trail Towns Full of Endless Outdoor Recreation
Preston County is a trail town. Whether it be water, hiking, or biking, there are hundreds of miles to be explored. Home of the Cheat River, Preston County has some of the best white water rapids on the east coast for nine months of the year. There are also fun flatwater options like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing. The Cheat is stocked with fish more than eight times a year, so be prepared to cast a line!
Are you bringing a family? There are fun kid-friendly experiences waiting for you. See their faces light up when you take them to geocache, stargaze, or feed more than 30 species at Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo. West Virginia’s only zoo is now in your backyard!
Looking for a serene escape? Cranesville Swamp, Cathedral State Park, and Big Bear Lake and Camplands provide endless opportunities to explore. Coopers Rock State Forest, an iconic Instagram destination is also native to Preston County, bordering Monongalia County. There, you can birdwatch, hunt, hike, bike, rock climb, and boulder. Want to walk the longest footpath located primarily in West Virginia? The Allegheny Trail is right here in Bruceton Mills. It is 330 miles long and stretched the entire length of Preston County to the Tucker County border. It even goes through the Allegheny Mountains and connects to the Appalachian Trail, the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. Hidden deep in the Preston County mountains is Alpine Lake Resort, a serene lakeside escape. With amenities like boating, fishing, a lake beach, golfing, and hiking and biking trails, Alpine Lake makes for the perfect staycation.
Find your favorite spot. Climb to the top of the mountain and take in the view. Take a deep breath and enjoy your new home.
A Blend of Local Food and Culture Favorites
Local beer is on tap in Preston County. The two breweries in Preston County serve as community hangouts. Come here to celebrate your new home, or any special occasion. Enjoy music, local food, and special events while you work your way through samples to find your new favorite flavor.
Fresh, homegrown ingredients are at every corner. You can prepare a local-inspired meal with products from the berry farm, bison farm, and local honey producers. Stop by a farmers’ market for specialty items and Preston County favorites. Don’t forget your ramps and maple syrup!
Preston County’s culture is a mixture of unique history and rich community. It is home to Arthurdale Heritage, the nation’s first New Deal Homestead Community. It was created through President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation and provided a new chance at life for residents who were suffering from the Great Depression. With Eleanor Roosevelt as the empathetic force behind the community, it became known as “Eleanor’s Little Village.”
Preston County is also home to the Annual Buckwheat Festival. Every fall in Kingwood, and the Buckwheat Festival is the talk of the town. Make sure you join in the fun for a parade, craft show, carnival rides, and the famous Buckwheat cake dinners.
Private Housing with a Great View
There’s no place like home, right? Preston County is known for its low crime rate and high privacy. So, you can sleep peacefully at night and wake up to some of the best views. Here, houses are affordable, and land is available for those looking to build the home of their dreams. Ninety percent of residents own their own homes, making it an ideal location to settle down. Towns in Preston County are walkable with some suitable for commuting by bike or foot. Many areas of the county, including Reedsville and Masontown, offer historic housing options. With a strong hometown feel, building a life here will come naturally. Welcome home!
Educational Opportunities for Future Success
Preston County schools are known for their career and technical education. School children can participate in agriculture where they’ll learn to prepare farm-to-table foods through their full butchery, ProStart culinary program, and retail storefront. For those wishing to pursue higher education, Preston County schools offer early college programs through Pierpont Community and Technical College and Fairmont State University. A variety of honors classes are available to take leading up to high school graduation. There are also specialized services and individualized care available for children with special needs. There is plenty of space and opportunity for your child to grow here. They will be in good hands.
Close-Knit Community Involvement
If you’re looking for a way to be involved locally outside of work, consider one of these community organizations. With special groups for community service, special interests, and religious affiliations, you are sure to find the perfect fit. Preston County has rotary clubs, church groups, and veterans’ organizations. They also have groups for outdoor enthusiasts like Friends of the Cheat, Preston Trail Towns, and Preston County Parks and Recreation. If you have a passion to give back to the community, consider volunteering at a local food bank or United Way. 4-H is also heavily attended due to the vast farmlands and local agriculture focus. In a close-knit community, you can find your happy place, find your people, or find a new hobby to enjoy — either way, your social life is sure to flourish as a Prestonian.
Various Employment Opportunities in and around Preston County
If you’re moving to the area or have just relocated, you might be looking for a new career opportunity. Preston County’s major employers include the FCC Hazelton, the Board of Education, Mon Health, CW Wright Construction, Camp Dawson, Preston County Commission, Superior Reedsville Filtration, Pine Ridge, and Walmart. The unemployment rate from May 2021 was just under five percent. Prestonians often commute to Morgantown and surrounding areas for work, as well. So, whatever employment experience you’re seeking, if it’s not offered in Preston County, you have options a short drive away.
Quick, Convenient, and Quality Healthcare Options
Prestonians find comfort knowing they have world-class healthcare right next door. Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood is a modern facility with a 24/7 emergency room and 24/7 orthopedic surgery services. The hospital is stroke accredited and is the only acute stroke-ready hospital in the state of West Virginia. It houses a level-four trauma center and is known for its short wait times and density of primary care physicians. Preston County has two urgent care facilities, one in Kingwood and one in Reedsville. If needed, Mon Health Preston Memorial can quickly transfer patients to nearby facilities. Your well-being is important, and Preston County is equipped with the tools to keep you healthy.
Local Deals & Offers
Moving to a new area can be challenging, especially financially. Consider using our Mountaineer Deals to save when you eat, shop, and play in and around Preston County.
Taylor County (Grafton)
Being the birthplace of Anna Jarvis, Mother’s Day, and the home of West Virginia’s National Cemeteries, Taylor County is a history lover’s paradise. The county is characterized by 175.6 square miles of steep hillsides, V-shaped valleys, and narrow floodplains. With numerous scenic views and rolling hills, you can find comfort in knowing that you’ve found the right place to call home.
There are two incorporated cities and 32 unincorporated towns in Taylor County each with its own unique charm. Grafton is the largest city in Taylor County with a unique downtown area full of quaint, historic charm. If you’re looking to make the move or are new to the area, check out our events calendar for opportunities to explore and meet people.
Created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly in 1844, Taylor County was formed from parts of Barbour, Harrison, and Marion counties. The county was named in honor of U.S. Sen. John Taylor (1753–1824), a soldier-statesman from Caroline County, Virginia.
Taylor County’s early economy depended on agriculture, timbering, and transportation. Pruntytown is the oldest settlement, dating back to the early 1770s. The town was located at the junction of the Northwestern Turnpike and the Booths Ferry Pike. Fetterman, the second oldest town, also laid at a commercial junction, where the turnpike crossed the Tygart Valley River.
Pruntytown served as the county seat from 1844 to 1878. Grafton was then made the county seat, which reflected the nation’s historic move from turnpikes to railroads for commerce and transportation.
The histories of the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad, Grafton, and Taylor County interweave. In 1850, the Virginia legislature granted a charter to the Northwestern Virginia Railroad Company to build a railroad from the mainline of the B&O to Parkersburg. A clause in the charter stipulated that the railroad should reach or cross the Tygart Valley River within three miles of Three Fork Creek, then an uninhabited area in Taylor County.
Grafton, one of America’s first railroad towns, emerged beside the tracks in 1852. Located at the junction of the B&O main line and the branch line to Parkersburg, Grafton became an important freight and passenger hub. Today, Grafton remains an active railroad town.
Like much of West Virginia during the Civil War, Taylor County was divided in loyalty. Though most residents sided with the Grafton Guards, the local Union militia, others supported and joined the Confederate Letcher’s Guard. On May 22, 1861, Thornsberry Bailey Brown became the first Union soldier killed by a Confederate soldier in the Civil War.
Although little military action occurred in Taylor County, there were frequent raids along the rail line, and towns in the county became hospital sites and way stations for troops. Grafton acquired a national cemetery, a federal military hospital, and a morgue. Brown is among those buried at Grafton National Cemetery.
Outdoor Recreation and Scenic Beauty
Taylor County benefits from its rugged beauty. Recreation and tourism are well established here. The Tygart Valley River flows through Taylor County, linking Tygart Lake State Park and Valley Falls State Park.
Tygart Lake State Park is located just south of Grafton. The lake itself stretches across 10 miles, covering a total area of 1,750 acres. Tygart lake is open to swimming, fishing, and boating in its crystal-clear waters, with open season taking place between May and September.
Cool off at the new adventure lake by ACE Adventures at Tygart Lake State Park. The adventure lake features 25 giant inflatables and a sandy beach area with lounge chairs. Whether you want to catch some rays or jump right in the water, this is the place for families to have easy summer fun.
There are no horsepower limits for boats looking to set out on Tygart Lake, and there are no restricted hours for jet skis. The forest surrounding the lake is filled with trails perfect for walking, hiking, and exploring nature.
Tygart Lake was created in 1938 by the US Army Corps of Engineers as an overflow reservoir for Tygart River, the Monongahela River, and the Ohio River. Many other notable waterways that flow through North Central West Virginia and into Taylor County find their way to Tygart Lake. In 1945, the lake and surrounding area were officially named and established as the Tygart Lake State Park by the United States Government.
Located just 30 minutes north of Tygart Lake in Fairmont, WV is Valley Falls State Park. It was originally the site of a lumber and grist mill community that used the river’s current to power their machinery and support their infrastructure. Valley Falls State Park gets its name from the four cascading waterfalls that follow along the natural bend of the Tygart River.
You can admire each set of falls from the riverside or by cautiously climbing atop one of the shoreline boulders and rock faces. Today, Valley Falls State Park is open to the public, offering scenic views across 1,145-acres.
Taylor County offers casual, locally-owned restaurants with family-friendly menus and welcoming atmospheres. Make moving to your new home a little easier by checking out these family dining options:
Manufacturing, government, health care facilities, and public utilities are Taylor County’s biggest employers today.
Once they’re of school age, your little ones can go to Anna Jarvis Elementary School, Flemington Elementary School, or West Taylor Elementary School. The elementary schools feed into Taylor County Middle School, and the middle school feeds into Grafton High School.
Taylor County has a low crime rate, so you can sleep peacefully at night knowing you’ve picked a safe space to settle.
Close-knit Community Involvement
Chartered January 13, 1999, Tygart Lake State Park Foundation’s (TLSPF) purpose is to aid, strengthen, enhance, and support the services of Tygart Lake State Park. The Foundation’s goals are to promote and improve facilities, augment current offerings, provide additional attractions, and assist park personnel and visitors in the future development of the park.
The TLSPF is a 501(c) (3) non-profit. If you are interested in becoming a member, the Tygart Lake State Park Foundation meets the third week of every month. The meetings take place at Tygart Lake Lodge, Conference Room #1 at 6 p.m.
Gallery 62 West by the Taylor County Arts Council (TCAC) is a direct vein that helps to enhance the quality of life in Taylor County and surrounding areas. It promotes a sense of community and fosters economic development. The Taylor County Arts Council works to bring the arts in all its varied forms to residents and visitors alike, with particular emphasis on introducing the arts to the youth. The TCAC also hosts events, galleries, and workshops year-round.
Local Deals & Offers
Moving to a new area can be challenging, especially financially. Consider using our Mountaineer Deals to save when you eat, shop, and play in and around Taylor County.