Hike to Raven’s Rock Overlook

Ravens Rock Trail

Take in the Cheat River Canyon from this spectacular rock overlook.

The Raven’s Rock Trail leading to the Raven’s Rock Overlook is easily the second most photographed area of the Coopers Rock State Forest!

There are two ways to access the trail which doubles as an access road. The first trail access can be found along the WV County Road 73/16 also known as Coopers Rock Road. The parking lot will be on the right side of Coopers Rock Road and the trailhead/access road will be on the left side of the road behind a green metal gate. Once you go behind the gate, make sure to take the first right and follow the red blazes. Continuing straight is the access road for the State Forest.  The second trail access can be found from McCollum Trail & Campground as it intersects Raven Rock Trail. There are signs at the intersection showing the direction of Raven Rock Trail.

The trail itself is very rocky but is also extremely wide and level. The first section of Raven Rock Trail follows a small tributary to Scotts Run that can often be heard from the trail. There are at least two hiker-made and unmarked trails off Ravens Rock Trail that lead to the creek. There are two sections of the trail that are always muddy and/or flooded. Hikers have made trails into the woods on the right-hand side up and above these mud holes.

The second section of the trail begins as the trail makes a sharp right hand turn upward. There will be a sign for Raven Rock Trail pointing right, but if you follow the trail to the left you will reach the creek again. This section of Raven Rock Trail becomes narrower and much steeper for about 100 yards. The trail will then plateau before opening up to the rocky overlook.

The overlook does not have hand rails so children should be watched and stand at least 3 feet away from the edge of the overlook at all times.

Ravens Rock Overlook in a very popular place for photographers of all kinds: wedding/engagement, nature and amateur. The overlook is usually above the canyon fog which makes for wonderfully dramatic photos. You can also see the light of Morgantown in the distance while still capturing the stars at night. When looking to take night photos, be sure to check in with park rangers the day before. Also, note that the State Forest closes at night so you will need to hike from the front gate to the overlook. Bring proper lighting such as headlamps.

Ravens Rock is not only popular with photographers but also with climbers and mountain bikers. The Coopers Rock Foundation, a non-profit supporting conservation in Coopers Rock State Forest, provides a great article describing various rock climbing routes in the state forest. Also, if you have a hammock, make sure to pack it for this hike! Hammocks can be strung from the high-wire power line posts. It is incredibly relaxing as there is almost always a breeze over the rocks.

Unfortunately, Coopers Rock State Forest does close in the winter time but it doesn’t mean the Ravens Rock Overlook is inaccessible! There is a parking lot that sits outside of the entrance gate on the right. From that parking lot, you can take the out and back Roadside Trail, so named because it parallels the road in and out of the forest.

Hunting is allowed in Coopers Rock State Forest so it is highly recommended to wear blaze orange during hunting seasons.

The Ravens Rock Trail and Overlook are notorious for rattlesnakes. Learn how to distinguish a Timber Rattlesnake, one of two of West Virginia’s venomous snakes, by reading this guide from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Dogs are happily welcomed but must be leashed at all times.

The weather within Coopers Rock State Forest and at the Ravens Rock Overlook is about 10 degrees cooler than the temperature recorded in Morgantown, WV. Dress appropriately for the season.

Directions to Coopers Rock State Forest are as follows. Take exit 15 off of I-68. From I-68S turn right, from I-68N turn left onto WV County Road 73/12. County Road 73/12 is managed by Monongalia County. Continue straight. County Road 73/12 will change names to County Road 73/16 but it is the same roadway. The name change is due to the change in county from Monongalia to Preston County. 

Pack List

  • Trail/forest map
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Hat 
  • Sunscreen
  • Jacket (light or heavy depending on the season)
  • Hammock
  • Walking sticks
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RT Distance 1.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 587 Feet
Activities Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Yoga, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

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Overall rating: 

Amazing!!!

Views almost 360! everywhere you turn is a new sight to see! highly recommended


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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