Hike to the Henry Clay Furnace

West Virginia Clay Run Trail

Added by Ryan Hreczkosiej

Deep in the forest of the rolling hills of West Virginia stands a historical furnace, the iconic landmark joining multiple trails in Coopers Rock State Forest.

Across the road from the McCollum camping area entrance of Coopers Rock sits the entry point of the Clay Run Trail. With a hiking distance of 1.8 miles (1 hour and 10 minute walking time), this adventure will lead you to a jaw-dropping landmark, the Henry Clay Furnace.

Built between 1834 and 1836, the Henry Clay Furnace sits at 30 feet high, much larger than most anticipate it to be. This unique structure is the joining point of five different trails:

  • Clay Furnace Trail (0.8 miles)
  • Rhododendron Trail (1 mile)
  • Clay Run Trail (1.8 miles)
  • Advanced Ski Trail (2.3 miles)
  • Mont Chateau Trail (2.6 miles)

Welcoming to beginners, the Clay Run Trail is fairly easy with light elevation gain. The route has vast tree cover and scenery of a small stream the majority of the hike.

Going inside the furnace is a must. Although you may have to get a little dirty due to the tight squeeze of the lone entrance, it is well worth it. The sunlight beams down inside from a hole at the top of the pyramid, making the experience that much more exciting.

To learn more about Coopers Rock State Forest, visit www.coopersrockstateforest.com.

Pack List

Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

1.8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

70 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

8 months ago

Cool Little Adventure

There are a lot of rocks to bolder on and a lot of space to just explore around the area. Tons of cool history to learn about; definitely worth the stop for an hour or two if you're in Coopers.

8 months ago

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Kaymoor Miners Trail

West Virginia / Kaymoor Miners Trail

Kaymoor was on old West Virginia coal mining town that thrived in the early 1900's until it was abandoned in the 1950's.

Elyse Clark
3 Saves

Take in the View at Coopers Rock Overlook

West Virginia / Coopers Rock Overlook

The Coopers Rock Overlook is the crown jewel of Coopers Rock State Forest. The name is derived from a legend about a fugitive who hid near the overlook to elude capture.

Samantha Wood
12 Saves

Hike the Hawks Nest Rail Trail

West Virginia / Hawks Nest Rail Trail

You can start walking on this well-graded rail trail either from Ansted or down by the New River at the Hawk's Nest Nature Center.

Elyse Clark
15 Saves