Less than 15 miles from Morgantown, West Virginia, you will find a stunning 12,747-acre protected forest. Coopers Rock State Forest is home to a vibrant stretch of trails and forest that share a border with the canyons of the Cheat River, which is notorious with white water rafters. Besides being a scenic area to pitch a tent, Coopers Rock actually offers a multitude of options for recreation. This includes picnicking, fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, and rock climbing. Visitors who want to use the park for hunting or fishing are asked to obtain the proper licensing prior to arriving. The extra step is worth it though, as the park features a glistening six-acre pond that’s brimming with fresh trout that’s located on the northern side of the forest.
Coopers Rock State Forest has been, and continues to be a hugely popular destination with rock climbing enthusiasts. It’s considered one of the best areas for bouldering in the eastern U.S., and there are at least 5 popular climbing sites that are easy to find within the park. Those destinations are Roof Rocks, Upper Rock City, Sunset Wall, Roadside Rocks, and Tilted Tree.
If you enjoy winter sports, you’ll be pleased to find that Coopers Rock is also known for its ski terrain in the winter. Be careful, however, as the trails here are known to be best suited for intermediate to experienced skiiers. For those considering trying them out, frequent visitors suggest waiting until the snow is densely packed on, at least half a foot, to avoid injury on the many rocks, branches and roots on the trails below the snow.
Breathtaking views atop sky-high cliffs make camping at the park almost a given for visitors. The park offers two different campgrounds, each offering the options of comforts like water and electricity hook-ups, or more traditional tent camping. All accommodations here are first come first serve. McCollum Campground serves as the main camping area and accommodates a total of 25 campsites, each equipped with electrical and water hook-ups, a bathhouse and even wireless internet. Pets are welcome visitors as long as they remain on a leash or crate at all times.