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.
This small campground is just a couple of miles from busy Hwy 68, but amazingly quiet. Sites are average to large, with a few that can accommodate larger RV’s. All have electricity, a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern pole.
There is almost no privacy between sites, but sites are spacious. The campground is kept very clean. Bathrooms are older, but kept clean and have nice HOT showers. There is also a small laundry room with dishwashing sink behind the bathhouse. Both ice and firewood are sold onsite.
There are many hiking trails in the area, including the very popular Raven Rock trail that leads to an incredible overlook of the Cheat River Valley and Canyon. Also very popular are both the Big Sandy and Cheat Rivers, both within 10 miles to the put ins. Lots of options nearby for just a few hours and/or a full day of whitewater fun.
Morgantown, about 10 miles away, is the closest town and is filled with everything you need. We enjoyed a great cycling day on the Mon River Trail which runs along the Monongahela River, accessible from downtown Morgantown or Star City.
Was an excellent place to take my son and our dog. We plan to go again when the weather gets warmer.
Beautiful place to visit.
We have NOT stayed in or photographed the campground at Coopers Rock state forest, but I wanted to provide some photos of the park and a brief review of the area as we’ve been there several times. I have visited Coopers Rock both in winter (note: not all parking areas are open in winter, especially after it starts snowing) and summer. It's a popular hiking destination that's relatively close to Morgantown, so it gets pretty crowded in the summer and I would suggest arriving early if you're going to do one of the main trails like Raven Rock. The views of Cheat River from both Coopers Rock and Raven Rock are pretty awesome, and it really just depends on whether or not you feel like working a little bit for the view - the Coopers Rock view is essentially right next to the top parking lot (which is also where those cool rock animals are), whereas the Raven Rock view is at the end of the 1.2 mile (2.4 out and back) trail. I would suggest heading to the Coopers Rock viewpoint if you have young kids, as there is a fence built around the viewing rocks - there is nothing between you and the cliffside at Raven Rock.
If you're in the Coopers Rock area and want a great place to eat and grab a beer after a hike, I highly suggest swinging into Morgantown and heading to Mountain State Brewing Co (not to be confused with Morgantown Brewing, which I've also eaten at but prefer Mountain State) which is situated along the Monongahela. If the weather is nice, sit outside on the patio - they have pretty good beer, awesome pizzas, and relaxing view of the (muddy) river.
Love the views over the mountains here. Completely captures the beauty and peace of WV.
Coopers Rock State Forest is located in the northeast area of WV, just east of Morgantown…home of WVU. Easy to access, feels remote, yet close to a great college town.
We camped in McCollum campground within Coopers Rock State Forest. A small campground, but during the week it was quiet while being full. Surprisingly, you had wifi service, which is a modern day miracle, seeing most of WV has "no service" emblazoned across your phone. You have one shower house/flush toilet…but its sufficient. Downside: campsites enjoy no privacy or seclustion…
Trails inside the park are excellent and varied. There are plenty of trails to keep you occupied for a week or more, and the scenary will keep you coming back.
The Raven Rock Trail culminated with an incredible long view of the Cheat River Gorge. You could easily spend an entire morning reveling in the beauty of the gorge and the bluffs offer fantastic photo opportunities…as does Coopers Rock, especially at sunset. A memorable visit.
Much history surrounds this state forest. The Henry Clay Furnace Trail revealed some of the interesting history of the area, prompting you to dig deeper.
At some point during your stay at Coopers Rock, find your way down to Morgantown. Its really a cool town. Take a lunch break at Black Bear Burrito…you will thank me later. For all your outdoor enthusiast needs alot an hour or two for Pathfinder outdoor retailer. The staff were fantastic, knowledgeable of all the surrounding outdoor pursuits and experts of all adventure gear that they sell. If you desire the burger, choose Tailpipes.
We used Coopers Rock as a jump-off point for three weeks of nearby camping and hiking…Lovin' West Virginia!
This has a very sweet overlook of the mountains. It has a lot of hiking trails and if you like to boulder or do a little rock climbing this is a great place. It's worth visiting this park for sure.
I have been going her for years and I always love to climb this area. The pitches arent too high (50ft) but great just to get out there an enjoy life!