Take Me Home, Country Roads...To Coopers Rock, West Virginia?

Located in the rugged mountains of West Virginia, Coopers Rock is a breathtaking getaway for climbers and hikers alike. Whether you're an expert climber, first time adventurer, or just looking for a scenic day, Coopers Rock is a lesser known site for adrenaline-seekers that deserves better recognition.

For climbers, Coopers is a goldmine. It has eighty-three total climbing routes ranging from bouldering and top roping, to sport climbing and lead climbing. Its season usually peaks in April and tapers off into late September and early October. Sunset Wall is their most famous top roping wall. It’s perfect for a first-stop, or if you are new to the area. It has an easy access trail from the main lot, and many routes on that one face, including a chimney climb. In the same area, there is an excellent lead-climb area.

With climbing, rappelling comes hand and hand. Following Rattlesnake Trail will lead to some awesome climbing and rappelling sites (be careful though, it got it’s name for a reason!). This trail is marked with blue diamond blazes. Rattlesnake Trail comes out at the edge of Cheat Canyon. Here, the biggest rock face of fifty feet holds many climbing and rappelling opportunities. There is a chimney climb that extends from base all the way up to the highest point of the rock, plus there’s many overhangs.

If you aren’t feeling too adventurous on your trip, hiking is another popular activity at Coopers Rock. There are various trails ranging from one mile, up to eight miles in length. Raven’s Rock trail is a lesser known beauty. The trail comes out at a scenic valley overlook, showcasing the Cheat River. It is a two and a half mile, out and back trail with an elevation change of five-hundred-eighty-seven feet. However, be cautious among arrival, there isn’t a railing here like there is at the main overlook. This place is a perfect trail to hike out and have a picnic on the rocks, just be careful to follow Leave No Trace rules and pick up after yourself. After all, this is the only Earth we have.

Lastly, there’s the cover photo of Coopers Rock, the main overlook located two-tenths of a mile of the the left of the main picnic pavilion area. Here you will see the breathtaking overlook of Cheat River, and occasionally a bald eagle. This the the most frequently traversed trail.

Coopers Rock definitely should be on everyone’s adventure bucket list. Interestingly, the rocks were named after a fugitive that sought shelter within them while hiding from law enforcement. He lived and worked in the forest for many years before being discovered.  Risk takers, hippies, newcomers, and seasoned adventurers all find  “almost heaven” in Coopers Rock, West Virginia.

Veronica Sheriff is a senior at Shanksville-Stonycreek High School. She has attended Shanksville since the first day of pre-k. Veronica participates in many school-wide organizations such as Student Council, National Honor Society,  Forensics, and Multimedia and Journalism. She is an editor, writer , and producer for the Viklet and WVIK. Veronica is also a part of the  Berlin-Shanksville soccer co-op. She has played since seventh grade. For the past four years she has been the starting goalkeeper.

Outside of school, Veronica is a competitive dancer at Laurel Arts. She participates in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical and Pointe. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking and hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, snowboarding, running, and playing guitar. She has recently completed her first half marathon.

Veronica’s future plans include moving to Arizona to attend either Northern Arizona University or Prescott University. She is going to study Outdoor Education and Wilderness Leadership.

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