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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. During the Depression, between 1936 and 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built numerous structures in the forest, often using durable American chestnut wood from trees that succumbed to a blight that nearly wiped out the species. Eleven of these structures, including the rustic picnic shelters near the overlook, have been included on the National Register of Historic Places. Coopers Rock State Forest is 13 miles east of Morgantown and 8 miles west of Bruceton Mills. 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. The side north of Interstate 68, known as the WVU Forest, makes up the forest management area leased by the West Virginia University Division of Forestry for forestry research, teaching, and demonstration. To the south of I-68 is the main recreation area. OverlookBands 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.

Nice leisurely trail!

hiking
2 months ago

This was a fun, short trail! Was the only person on the trail today! Clearly marked, well-maintained!

I enjoyed a stupendous mountain bike ride on this trail. I rode the loop counterclockwise and enjoyed just enough rocks, roots and climb for a 66 year old on a dual suspension trail bike.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great hike! The trail begins at a parking area across from the campground entrance. You follow the trail around a pond and then begin a long descent into the valley. You come to a large, incredible clay furnace at the end of the trail. There are several trails you can choose from to make your way out of the valley. The Mont Chateau Trail, Rhododendron Trail, Clay Furnace Trail, and Clay Run Trail are all accessible and well-marked from the clay furnace. We decided to take Rhododendron Trail and jump over to Rock City Trail before taking the roadside trail back to our vehicle.

Easy trail that runs along the road. Was useful for getting through the park quickly and to get to other trails. Very easy to walk and lots of people.

hiking
3 months ago

Fun, easy walk through the rocks. Would like to go back and take my time to enjoy the formations. It was pretty busy when I was there, so I would like to go back during a weekday to enjoy the trail in solitude.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice wide trail and the furnace is really cool.

The recommended route is good - except the final stretch on the clay trail is open to the sun and is a flat fire road - probably could have taken a different course. Highly recommend deviating at the beginning and starting on rattlesnake trail and then cutting over along the giant boulders. Very beautiful.

trail running
6 months ago

If you like tons of rocks, natural Waterways on trail and it's really not a loop it connects with the roadside Trail after 2.5 Mi then this Trail is for you.

Good hike on a beautiful day. The rock city trail will test your feet but still a good loop. Be sure to check out Ravens Rock.

Beautiful! Peaceful and enjoyable for the entire family!

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful! Peaceful and enjoyable for the entire family!

hiking
7 months ago

One of my favorite trails in Cooper's Rock --- I very rarely see anyone else using it.

hiking
7 months ago

Really had a good time on this trail when we went. The furnace was really cool and we even found some geocaches!

I took my 5 year old and 2 year old. They did great and my 5 year old says he "liked the clay furnace." Will do this one more.

Nice but I generally prefer a bit more distance from roads.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked with my wife a few years ago ... nice trail ... and pleasant scenery as so many of the Cooper's Rock trails are.

This is a well marked great trail that will give a hiker lots of varying terrain and plenty of large fissures to explore within the boulders. The snow gave us a layer of difficulty that was not expected but added beauty to one's senses.

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