Trek the sunken cave-like streets of this “town of rocks”

When you walk through Beartown, you’re literally trekking the sunken crevices of a massive rock formation that covers more than 100 acres.

The rocky canyons rise up around you as you explore this “Town of Rocks.”

Cave rock formation at Beartown State ParkBeartown State Park gets its name because the locals say the huge crevices would be the perfect hiding place for black bears (West Virginia’s official state animal). After all, it is basically like a cave, with a wide-open top. So, it would be a pretty upscale home for a bear, complete with a skylight.

In the fall, go to see the bright red, orange and yellow hues that take over the leaves, and in the spring look for wildflowers and grazing sheep. It never gets incredibly cold, so winter is still a great time for a visit. And when it comes to summer, hey, everything is great in the summer.

Here are some things to do while you explore:

Scale some epic rock formations and overhangs

Bring your climbing shoes and chalk (and maybe even a rope) to climb up some massive boulders and challenging overhangs. The moss can make them a bit slippery, so be mindful of your hand and foot placement, but Beartown State Park is a climber’s dream.

The best part about this crag is that it’s a local favorite, so strike up a conversation for beta or insider secrets about hidden places that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Hike through unfettered beauty on the boardwalks

Boardwalk squeezed between rock formations at Beartown State Park, WVHiking through Beartown is a different experience than you can get almost anywhere else. The boardwalks work around the natural formations of the rocks, so you’re weaving right into nature. Those boardwalks are covered in moss, so the green hue of the rest of the park envelops the wood, too.

You might run across some stairs, but there are also wheelchair-accessible ramp routes so that everyone can enjoy the trails.

Take Your Pup For a Stroll

Like all West Virginia state parks and forests, Beartown is pet friendly— just keep your dog on his leash. Because the rock formations can be slippery when they’re wet, make sure to keep your pup close, especially if he is particularly curious.

Do Absolutely Nothing At All

Beartown is small, and you can spend a whole day here without seeing more than a couple people. It’s a great place to find some solitude because it’s a relaxed, calming space. Bring some food, have a picnic, take a nap, read a book, snuggle with a loved one, or simply lay down and stare at the sky.

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This post was last updated on March 1, 2022