Wild & Wonderful West Virginia: Coopers Rock State Forest

Monongalia

Many likely travel to state forests like Coopers Rock for the scenic views.

State Forest superintendent, Jan Dzierzak, said Coopers Rock State Forest has the best overlook in the state.  

“Most forests and parks aren’t sitting on top of a mountain that overlooks you know such a great valley and the Morgantown area and everything,” said Dzierzak.

But what some may not know is the world of outdoor adventure offered beyond the main overlook.

“We have you know unique features like rock city that has a trail that goes in-between the rock walls and you know not a lot of trails you can find elsewhere in the state you have here,” said Dzierzak.

West Virginia University Climbing Manager, Kevin Shon, said this forest offers a wide range of activities for all outdoor enthusiasts.

“If you are an adventure recreationalist we have everything from mountain biking, trail running, um we’ve got fishing here, we’ve got you know so many trails to explore,” said Shon.

While this state forest offers horizontal activities such as biking and hiking, if you’re looking for an activity that brings you off the ground, there’s also vertical activities like rock climbing, that are very popular throughout the forest.

“This is the best climbing near Morgantown, and I also think that the bouldering in this state forest is just incredible,” said Shon.

Employees say people travel from across the globe to experience these pockets of rock, unique trails and of course the famous overlook.

“There’s all sorts of age groups, that there you know there’s no one group of particular type of people that come here it’s just everything, and seeing that aw and wonder as people walk toward the overlook because it’s kind of hidden and you don’t really see it until you get right up on it and then you see that wow and wonder of everyone seeing the view,” said Dzierzak.

According to employees, this is one of the more popular forests throughout the state not only for the views and adventures but also because of the convenient location.  

“Most state forests are in the middle of nowhere, we’re I68 splits our forest, so we get a lot of people that come in that normally would not experience you know like an outdoor thing, like just standing here you wouldn’t know that you’re 15 minutes from Morgantown,” explained Dzierzak.  

“If you’re interested in getting some fresh air and you know interacting with West Virginia’s wild and wonderful, this is the place to be,” said Shon.

Coopers Rock State Forest is free for the public and is now offering all summer activities from now until October.

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