Hike to the Henry Clay Furnace

Clay Run Trail

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

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RT Distance 1.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 70 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.


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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