Coopers Rock State Forest
Just 13 miles east of Morgantown sits the largest state forest in West Virginia. Photojournalist Larry Clark takes you to Coopers Rock State Forest for some breathtaking views.
Coopers Rock State Forest gets its name from a legend about a fugitive who hid from the law near what is now the overlook. A cooper by trade, he resumed making barrels at his new mountain hideout, selling them to people in nearby communities. He lived and worked in the forest for many years.
Its 12,713 acres are bisected by Interstate 68. Although the forest serves as a recreation and preservation area, it has a wider range of uses. West Virginia's state forests also serve as areas of publicly owned land for forestry research, timber management, and watershed and wildlife protection.
Bands of rockcliffs line the Cheat River Gorge and provide numerous overlooks. The centerpiece among these is the main overlook, which furnishes a panorama of the gorge and distant horizons. A maze of enormous boulders and cliffs fascinates hikers, and the trails are especially lovely in June when the rhododendron and mountain laurel are in bloom. Several trails wind through forest valleys and over ridges, and a number of creeks beckon the explorer. Glade Run is dammed to form a 6-acre pond that is regularly stocked with trout. The observant hiker can hear and sometimes see squirrels, chipmunks, hawks, owls, turkeys, turkey vulture, songbirds, fox and deer throughout the forest.
FOR MORE INFORMATIONCoopers Rock State Forest
Person Interviewed: Alfred Kerns
Date: Open all year
Location: 13 miles east of Morgantown, West Virginia
Address: Rt. 1 Box 270, Bruceton Mills, WV 26525
Phone: 304-594-1561, 1-800-CALL WVA
Rates: Park is free. Camping and picnic sheters are available.
Reservations: 50% of the camping sites are available by reservation
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