About This Park

Located in the Greenbrier River Valley north of Lewisburg, Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park is part of the Civil War Discovery Trail, which links more than 300 historical sites in 16 states. The park is famous for reenactments of the Battle of Droop Mountain, which was the last major American Civil War conflict in West Virginia. Reenactments occur in October of even-numbered years. The park also provides hiking trails, picnic shelters and play areas for use any time of the year.

This park does not offer overnight accommodations within the park.

Activities

Select an activity below to learn more
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Museums & Historical Sites
  • Scenic Train Rides
  • Snow Sports
Attraction is located outside of the park.
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History

Located in the Greenbrier River Valley north of Lewisburg, Droop Mountain Battlefield is the site of West Virginia’s last significant Civil War battle.

On November 6, 1863, the federal army of Brigadier General William W. Averell attempted for the second time to disrupt the Virginia-Tennessee Railroad at Salem, Virginia. Averell and his troops faced the Confederate troops of Brigadier General John Echols. Throughout the morning, Echols’ smaller confederate army held the high ground and blocked the highway with artillery, but was later overwhelmed by the crushing advance of federal infantry on his left flank. Following the collapse of his lines, General Echols retreated south into Virginia with the remnants of his command.

Federal Troops occupied Lewisburg on November 7, 1863, but being burdened with prisoners and captured livestock, General Averell elected to return to his headquarters in Beverly, West Virginia, waiting until early December to lead a third and ultimately successful attack on the vital railroad. Operations in the Shenandoah Valley in the spring of 1864 drew remaining confederate troops out of West Virginia, thus leaving the new state securely under the control of the federal government for the remainder of the war.

Today, Droop Mountain Battlefield is recognized as part of The Civil War Discovery Trail, which links more than 300 sites in 16 states to inspire and to teach the story of the Civil War and its haunting impact on America. The Trail, an initiative of the Civil War Trust, allows visitors to explore battlefields, historic homes, railroad stations, cemeteries, parks and other destinations that bring history to life.

Trails

Big Spring Trail

The trail begins at the west overlook and dead-ends at a mountain spring. This trail is a strenuous climb back.

Distance: 0.75 miles

Difficulty: Difficult

Cranberry Bogs Trail

Hikers can start at the park office and end at the south picnic area. This is the most popular trail in the park, winding through a mountain bog where interesting plants, tall pines and wildlife can be seen. This trail is suitable for cross-country skiing in the winter.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Horse Heaven Trail

This trail starts at the pump house near the cannon and ends at the south picnic area. The trail follows a series of small cliffs and gives access to Horse Heaven Rock, where horses killed in the battle of Droop Mountain were disposed of.

Distance: 0.25 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Minie Ball Trail

This is the most rigorous park trail, located in a ravine where Union soldiers climbed the mountain to attack the Confederates waiting above. The trail begins at the first sharp curve in the road near the office and ends at the tower.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Difficult

Musket Trail

This trail starts near the park office and follows a steep hillside. Stumps of American Chestnut trees that were alive during the time of the battle remain. The trail ends at the lookout tower.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Old Soldier Trail

This easy trail follows an old road grade which passes near the spot where Major Robert Augustus Bailey was shot while trying to rally his men around the Confederate Flag. The trail begins near the battlefield monuments and ends at the stone shed near the tower. It is an excellent cross-country ski trail in the winter.

Distance: 0.75 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Overlook Trail

The trail begins at the pump house near the cannon and ends at the park office. The trail follows a series of rock cliffs. Following the cliffs, visitors can observe several small caves, an old bear den, a scenic overlook and Civil War trenches.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Tower Trail

This trail begins at the park office and ends at the stone shed near the lookout tower. This is the shortest route from the park office to the lookout tower.

Distance: 0.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Additional Information

Picnicking

The park has two picnic shelters that can be reserved and two play areas for children. A lookout tower offers scenic mountain vistas of this natural area for you to enjoy while you picnic!

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