Get Outside in Mountaineer Country
Whether you thrive hiking hilly terrains, kayaking on a calm, winding river, or soaking up the scenic beauty around you, Mountaineer Country should be a destination at the top of your list for your next outdoor adventure.
With 21 different trails weaving nearly 50 miles through the beautiful woodlands of North Central West Virginia, Coopers Rock State Forest is one of Mountaineer Country’s most popular outdoor spots. Coopers Rock offers easy to moderate hiking trails for hikers of all styles and experience levels. If mountain biking is more your speed, take a spin on more than 50 miles of single and doubletrack biking trails the forest has to offer. Whether you take an easy ride between campgrounds or climb the steep slopes to the top of the Cheat River Canyon, your experience will be both memorable and rewarding.
Another spot for a serene escape is the WVU Core Arboretum. Filled with planted trees and shrubs, old growth forest, floodplain sites, and trailside benches, the WVU Core Arboretum is tucked away between Monongahela Boulevard and the Monongahela River. Find a variety of natural habitats in its 91 acres of hillside and bottomland and more than 3 miles of foot trails. Free parking for visitors is available at the Arboretum parking lot or the WVU Coliseum parking lot.
Rock climbing is a favorite pastime for Mountaineer Country’s outdoor enthusiasts. With climbs at Coopers Rock State Forest and the Snake Hill Wildlife Management Area, climbers can embark on more than 100 bouldering problems. At Coopers Rock, climbers of all levels can participate in guided rock climbing and rappelling activities.
Hidden away just outside of Morgantown, West Virginia, Snake Hill Wildlife Management Area features some of the region’s lesser-explored sandstone climbing. Visitors can find a mix of top rope, trad, and sport climbing routes. Climbers can explore routes year-round, but fall is the best time.
If water activities are in your plans, you can discover all 13 miles of the beautiful Cheat Lake on a jet ski or motorboat. Boaters can launch from two lake marinas: Edgewater and Sunset, as well as the Port of Star City that accesses the Monongahela River.
Fishing is a favored activity in Mountaineer Country, too. The backwaters of Cheat Lake and Little Sandy Creek are prime spots for anglers. Fishermen enjoy the fish cleaning station available at the Cheat Lake Swimming Area at Millstone Point Beach.
Located just south of Grafton, Tygart Lake State Park features a 10-mile, 1,750-acre lake that’s open to the public for fishing, boating, jet skis, and more.
Set sail from one of two public launch ramps around the perimeter of the lake and reserve your spot at the Tygart Lake Marina to refuel. Tygart Lake is stocked with a wide variety of bass, walleye, catfish, and more.
Visitors with a valid West Virginia Fishing License are invited to sail out to the backwaters for deep-boat fishing or cast out from the shore. The Tygart Lake Dam is stocked with trout by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.
Plus, during the West Virginia Gold Rush in March, rivers throughout the state are stocked with golden rainbow trout, local fisherman’s favorite treasure.
There is a large supply of kayaking and rafting adventures in Mountaineer Country. Paddlers can drop in for flatwater kayaking and canoeing from almost anywhere along the Monongahela River. Between each lock and dam, the waters are calm and clean, with slow-moving currents and lots of room to paddle.
The Cheat River is a 78-mile free-flowing river that produces everything from flatwater paddling to Class III, IV, and V white water rapids.
Drop into the headwaters of the Upper Cheat River Water Trail for the first 38 miles of the Cheat River. Located just north of Morgantown, these calm, flat waters are perfect for a relaxing day on the water.
The intensity ramps up as you head into the Cheat Narrows, rushing just outside of Rowlesburg. From here, paddlers will enter the Cheat River Water Trail to complete the final 40 miles of the Cheat River, reaching the terminus at Parsons.
The Tygart Valley River flows through Valley Falls State Park in Fairmont. Four sets of cascading waterfalls are a natural draw for kayakers and paddlers alike. Known as the “Last Waters in West Virginia,” the water levels and current stay strong throughout most of the year.
Take on 1.5 miles of Class II to Class IV rapids before taking on the falls. Some expertise and technical skill are recommended for these rapids.
No matter what adventure you choose, we can’t wait to welcome you to Mountaineer Country. Begin building your perfect itinerary now by going to VisitMountaineerCountry.com/Planner and downloading our free trip planner app.
Mountaineer Country in the Spring