The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Interstate 64 (I-64) passes from east to west through Southern West Virginia. Its route is concurrent with Interstate 77 (I-77) between Beckley, WV, and Charleston, WV. I-64 also passes through or near the following communities along its route, from west to east:
Huntington, WV; Pea Ridge, WV; Barboursville, WV; Milton, WV; Hurricane, WV; Nitro, WV; Cross Lanes, WV; Institute, WV; Dunbar, WV; South Charleston, WV; Charleston, WV. Pax, WV; Beckley, WV; Mabscott, WV; Beaver, WV; Shady Spring, WV; Lewisburg, WV; White Sulphur Springs, WV
Interstate 64 also passes through the following West Virginia counties from west to east: Wayne County, Cabell County, Putnam County, Kanawha County, Fayette County, Raleigh County, Summers County, Greenbrier County.
Scenic I-64 in West Virginia
The route of I-64 may be among the most scenic expressway drives in West Virginia. From west to east, it crosses several unique provinces of the Appalachian Mountains:
From the Ohio River at Huntington, WV, Interstate 64 follows the broad Teays Valley westward through village and farmland. The ancient Teays River carved this picturesque valley among low hills, but the stream was rerouted to the north and disappeared during the last Ice Age. The valley today is largely a growing suburban corridor, linked by I-64 to commerce and employment in cities to the east and west.
Following the Kanawha Valley west, Interstate 64 plunges through West Virginia's largest metropolitan area, which includes the state capitol, Charleston, and the cities of Nitro, Dunbar, Institute, Saint Albans, and South Charleston. The I-77 and I-79 expressways converge with I-64 in Charleston. The gilded dome of the West Virginia state capitol rises distinctively above the southeastern end of the city where the valley of the valley begins to narrow between ever-more-lofty mountains.
West of Charleston, WV, the Kanawha Valley grows increasingly narrow, and the route of Interstate 64 is forced to turn southward through a rugged territory of steep-walled mountains, the northern extension of the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky. Many small coal-mining communities can be seen among the deep hollows along the route. The expressway follows the twisting valley of Paint Creek along much of the corridor. The route ascends through the range in mounting curves to the open highlands to the south near Beckley.
At Beckley, WV, Interstate 64 turns eastward again into the open, lofty landscapes of the Allegheny Mountains region. Southwest of Beckley, I-77 ends its concurrency with I-64 and continues southward. This final stretch of I-64 passes several of the best known attractions in West Virginia. Grandview, off exit 129, and Sandstone Falls, accessible off exit 138, are two of the most-visited natural landmarks in the New River Gorge within the territory of the New River Gorge National River. The expressway descends the flank of the gorge to cross the New River, then ascends into a region of historic farms and "healing" springs known as "The Levels." Historical Lewisburg, WV, at exit 169, is filled with historic sites, varied shops and galleries, and plenty of performance venues. It was featured in the National Geographic Society's "National Geographic's Guide to Small Town Escapes." Off exit 145, The Greenbrier, at White Sulphur Springs, WV, is one of the best known resorts in the world.