About This Park

Established in 1936, Coopers Rock State Forest boasts some of the most iconic views in Almost Heaven. Located just off I-68, about 13 miles from Morgantown, the park features canyon overlooks, historical sites, picnic shelters, 50 miles of hiking and biking trails, sandstone cliffs for climbing and bouldering, cross-country ski terrain, a lake perfect for reeling in trout and a nearby river for rafting.

Accommodations

Select an option below to learn more about the accommodations at this park.

Activities

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  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • DeerViewing
    Hunting
  • Museums & Historical Sites
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Rafting
Attraction is located outside of the park.

History

Coopers Rock State Forest is named for Coopers Rock, a series of sandstone cliffs above the Cheat River Gorge. Legend has it that a fugitive hid near what is now the overlook. A cooper by trade, he continued to make and sell barrels from his mountain hideout. During the 1800s the iron industry flourished in the area that is now Coopers Rock. Today the remains of the Henry Clay Furnace – the first steam-powered blast furnace in western Virginia – is a popular hiking and biking destination in the forest. The forest proper was established in 1936. Many of its structures, including the main overlook, picnic shelters and superintendent’s house, were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Eleven of these structures have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Camping

Coopers Rock has two campgrounds and 50 total campsites. Each site can be reserved a year in advance. Both campgrounds close during the winter but open by the first weekend in April, depending on weather. To confirm opening dates, call the forest office at 304-594-1561.

McCollum Campground
This RV campground has electrical hookups at each site, a central bathhouse with showers, water available at multiple outside faucets and a centralized dump station. WiFi is available at the McCollum Campground for registered campsites and pets are permitted if they remain on a leash.  Note: McCollum Campground closes for the season at the end of November. 

Rhododendron Campground
Trailers are not permitted in this primitive campground. There is no electricity available and potable water is available at the restrooms. There are no showers at Rhododendron Campground, but registered guests may use the showers located in McCollum Campground restroom. Note: Rhododendron Campground closes for the season after the first weekend of November.

Trails

Download Park Trail Map

Clay Furnace Trail

This trail is mostly level grade with a few steep sections. It runs from the furnace parking area to the Henry Clay iron furnace.

Distance: 0.8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Clay Run Trail

View the historic Henry Clay Iron Furnace at the end of this moderate hiking trail. The trail begins across the road from the McCollum camping area entrance.

Distance: 1.8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Darnell Hollow Trail

This moderate to steep road/trail begins near the Calvary Church on Fairchance Road and ends at Chestnut Ridge Campground.

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate/steep

Eagle Trail

This very easy trail starts to the right of the gift shop and takes you to shelter #3 and the trailhead of Rock City Trail.

Distance: 0.3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Glade Run Trail

This trail begins on the left of Sand Springs Road and ends at Messinger Lake.

Distance: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Goodspeed Highway Trail

This road/trail begins at the Quarry Run Road and leads to Chestnut Ridge Camp.

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Johnson Hollow Trail

This moderate to steep hiking trail connects the Goodspeed Highway Trail with Quarry Run Road.

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Ken's Run Trail

This moderate hiking trail runs from the old Sand Springs homestead to the archery range parking lot.

Distance: 4.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Lick Run Trail

This moderately steep trail begins at Sand Springs Road and ends at W.Va. 73.

Distance: 1.8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

McCollum Trail

This trail starts at McCollum Campground, crosses Ravens Rock Trail and connects with the main forest road. It is a great connector trail from the campground to Ravens Rock Trail or Coopers Rock Overlook via Roadside Trail.

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: Easy

Mont Chateau Trail

This trail that begins at the Henry Clay iron furnace and ends at Cheat Lake near the old Mont Chateau Lodge.

Distance: 2.6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Rattlesnake Trail

This trail winds along the rocky cliffs that parallel the rim of the Cheat River canyon, and connects the concession stand and Rock City.

Distance:  0.7 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Ravens Rock Trail

This dual duty access road/trail begins at the gated road on the left, approximately 0.7 miles past the campground entrance. It leads to Ravens Rock overlook, which offers a spectacular view of the Cheat River Canyon.

Distance: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Reservoir Loop Trail

This is a nice trail for those looking for an easy loop hike. It starts from the Clay Run Trail near the reservoir and loops back to Clay Run Trail.

Distance:  0.7 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Rhododendron Trail

This trail starts at the lower picnic area near shelter 3 and ends at the Henry Clay iron furnace. It is the perfect place to see our state flower, the rhododendron.

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: Moderate

Ridge Trail

The ridge trail starts at the Rock City shelter, follows a moderate grade and connects with the Mont Chateau Trail.

Distance:  1.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Rock City Trail

This easy to moderate trail runs from picnic shelter 3 through the area known as Rock City.

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: Easy

Roadside Trail

This trail leads from the parking lot near the forest entrance to the overlook. It’s a great trail to hike to the overlook while staying off the road.

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Scott Run Trail

The trail begins near the forest entrance parking area and ends at the McCollum camping area.

Distance: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Underlook Trail

This trail gives a unique view from the underside of the geological formation that is Coopers Rock overlook.

Distance: 0.2 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Virgin Hemlock Trail

Visit a large hemlock grove which is over 300 years old at the end of this trail which starts at W.Va.73.

Distance: 1.2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Ski Trails

Download Park Trail Map

Intermediate Ski Trail

This trail is a connector trail between the Advanced Ski Trail and the Reservoir Ski Trail.

Distance: 0.6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Advanced Ski Trail

This trail begins at the forest entrance parking area. For a short distance this trail shares Roadside Trail. When Roadside Trail forks off to the left, continue straight. The trail will lead you to the historic Henry Clay iron furnace.

Distance:  2.3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Reservoir Ski Trail

Branching off the Advanced Ski Trail, this trail connects to the Reservoir Loop Trail.

Distance: 0.8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Additional Information

Picnicking

Pack a picnic for a trail side lunch break! Numerous picnic sites and three shelters are provided for the enjoyment of forest visitors. These sites offer tables, grills, drinking water and restroom facilities. Reserve by calling the forest office at 304-594-1561.

The Trading Post

Visit the Trading Post at the scenic overlook area for souvenirs, snacks, toys, apparel, state forest merchandise and other items made in West Virginia.

The Trading Post is open daily, April 1 through mid-November. Normal open hours are from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Contact the Trading Post at 304-594-3786 to check hours or to ask questions.

Upcoming Events

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