The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

Discover the History and Mystery of WV State Parks


West Virginia state parks and forests are best known for their natural beauty, but there’s also a great deal of history and mystery associated with these places. Are you familiar with the colorful background of these parks?
Coopers Rock State Forest is named for Coopers Rock, a series of sandstone cliffs high above the beautiful Cheat River Gorge. Legend has it that a fugitive once hid out here. A cooper by trade, he continued to make and sell barrels from his mountain hideout. While no evidence remains of this mysterious cooper, the forest is home to one fascinating historical attraction dating back to the 1800s. The Henry Clay Furnace—the first steam-powered blast furnace in western Virginia—can be accessed via the Clay Run Trail.
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