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Despite an infinite horizon of rolling mountains and 27 types of trees dotting the fifth most forested state in the U.S., West Virginia was falling short. Instead of visiting the Mountain State to see fall foliage, travelers headed north to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont—despite the fact that West Virginia was closer to mid-Atlantic cities like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
“For years we’ve been underfunded. … We haven’t been able to keep up with the advertising in our surrounding states, and I think West Virginia is a bit of an unknown,” said Chelsea Ruby, West Virginia’s tourism commissioner.