About This Park

It’s all about the views at Coopers Rock State Forest. Located 13 miles from Morgantown, a few minutes off Interstate 68, the forest has many overlooks of the canyon section of the Cheat River that offer breathtaking views in any season. The forest is an ideal getaway, and has numerous historical sites, hiking trails and recreational opportunities amongst the forest’s enormous boulders and cliffs.

Coopers Rock State Forest

Things to Do


859 attraction is located outside of the park.
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • 859
    Golf
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • 859
    Museums & Historical Sites
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • 859
    Rafting
Groups, Meetings and Weddings Rules & Regulations Download Park Pack & Map

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 campground has 25 sites, all with electrical hookups, a central bathhouse with showers, and water available at an outside faucet. Wireless Internet is available for registered campsites and pets are permitted as long as your furry friends are kept on a leash. West Virginia State Park campground reservations are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. Campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-serve basis through the end of the November 2017 season.

Trails

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

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
Download Park Pack & Map

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.

Nearby Attractions

Whitewater rafting

Are you ready for an adventure? Area outfitters provide guided trips and shuttle services on the Cheat River for whitewater rafting. The Cheat at its peak runs up to Class IV+ rapids. Float trips can also be arranged on the flatwater sections of the river.

Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa

Enjoy one of the state’s top family and golf resorts! Relax in 187 guestrooms, a full-service spa, two restaurants, an indoor swimming pool and fitness center, and two championship golf courses. Talk about rest and relaxation!

Cheat Lake

This 13-mile reservoir on the Cheat River is a popular area for boating and fishing. Three marinas provide rentals including ski boats, pontoons, paddleboards and kayaks. Your day on the water awaits!

Photos

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