Gov. Justice, Department of Tourism announce nine larger-than-life Almost Heaven swings at scenic locations across West Virginia


West Virginians asked to celebrate the state’s 159th Birthday by posting photos of their favorite places on social media
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Tourism are inviting West Virginians – and all those who love West Virginia – to celebrate the Mountain State’s birthday today by posting photos to social media of their favorite places around the state. This year, the Department of Tourism has picked nine of the most Instagramable spots across West Virginia to debut handcrafted, larger-than-life Almost Heaven swings located in some of the state’s most scenic locations.

For the past five years, the Department of Tourism has asked West Virginians to celebrate the state’s birthday by sharing their favorite Almost Heaven places and moments on social media. The response has been unbelievable: tens of thousands of posts that have reached tens of millions of people around the world, showcasing West Virginia’s unmatched beauty.

“We’ve got a lot to celebrate this year, so I’m calling on all West Virginians to help us make this birthday even more special,” Gov. Justice said. “The research shows just how important this is – now, more than ever, people are planning their vacations based on what they see on social media. Help us show the world just how great it is here in Almost Heaven, West Virginia!”

To make this year’s celebration even bigger, the Department of Tourism teamed up with students at Nicholas County Career and Technical Center to build the nine supersized wooden swing sets where you can take in the stunning views at some of the most scenic spots in the state.
Babydog, posing with her birthday hat, on the newly-installed swing across from the State Capitol in Charleston
“The Nicholas County students did an amazing job with this project – we couldn’t have imagined a more perfect backdrop to add to these scenic spots,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “So much hard work and skill went into each one, and we are excited to share them with the world, starting today.”

Students from the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy, who were installing one of the swings in Charleston last week, got a special surprise when Gov. Justice and Babydog stopped by.
Visitors to the University of Charleston’s campus seeking out a gorgeous view of the Capitol can even find a special note from the state’s First Dog.
Babydog left her pawprint at the newly installed swing at the University of Charleston
As a pilot project, one swing was placed in a scenic location or overlook in each of the state’s nine travel regions. The swing sites were strategically positioned after analyzing over 100,000 social media posts from across the state to find some of West Virginia’s most beloved vistas.

The first nine swings can be found in the following spots:
  • Eastern Panhandle: Cacapon Resort State Park
    • Drive or hike to the Cacapon Mountain Overlook. This swing, located just steps from the parking area and beside the observation deck, has mountains as far as the eye can see as its backdrop.
  • Hatfield-McCoy Mountains: Buffalo Mountain Trail - Death Rock 
    • Take the Buffalo Mountain Trail System to get to the Death Rock Overlook. The swing is positioned high above the mountain town of Williamson, with one of the best views the region has to offer.
  • Metro Valley: Charleston
    • Once on the lawn of the University of Charleston, turn left to walk toward the boathouse. The swing is located adjacent to the fire pit with a direct view of the State Capitol. 
  • Mid-Ohio Valley: Fort Boreman Scenic Overlook
    • Overlooking the scenic valley formed by the confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers at Parkersburg, this swing offers a bird’s-eye view of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
  • Mountain Lakes: Stonewall Resort State Park
    • Nestled on the lake side of the main lodge directly behind the Hickory building, this swing has stunning, tranquil views. Getting there is simple, follow the Bright Star Park Trail to the back of the lodge.
  • Mountaineer Country: Coopers Rock State Forest
    • From the parking lot closest to the main overlook and the gift shop, walk on the cobblestone path farthest to the left. Pass the pavilion and the swing will be to your left, with a lush forest backdrop.
  • New River-Greenbrier Valley: Babcock State Park
    • Perfectly positioned in front of the Glade Creek Grist Mill, this swing can be found near the park office, just steps from one of the state’s most photographed spots.
  • Northern Panhandle: Wheeling Heritage Port
    • Overlooking the iconic Wheeling Suspension Bridge and the Ohio River, the swing at Wheeling Heritage Port is located on a grassy patch just off the walkway to the river.
  • Potomac Highlands: Blackwater Falls State Park
    • Located just off the trail to the main overlook, snap a picture on the swing with a backdrop of the spectacular falls in the distance.
For more information about West Virginia and to plan your trip, visit

To view high-resolution images of more swings, click here.

Contact Information

Jordan Damron,


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

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