McColloch’s Leap

Wheeling, West Virginia

In September 1777, during a Native American siege on the fort, Major Samuel McColloch arrived at the fort with 40 mounted men from Short Creek. The gates of the fort were thrown open to allow the men entrance. Major McColloch lingered behind to guide and protect the men. The Indians attacked, and all of the men except McColloch made it inside before they were forced to close the gates. McColloch found himself alone and surrounded by Native Americans, and he rode immediately towards the nearby hill in an attempt to escape. McColloch had earned a reputation as a very successful "borderer" (one who protected the frontier borders from the Native Americans) and was well known to both the frontiersmen and the Indians. The Indians eagerly pursued McColloch, and drove him to the summit of the hill.

As he rode along the top of the hill, he encountered another large body of Indians. He now found himself surrounded, with no path of escape. He knew, because of his reputation and history against the Indians, he would be tortured and killed with great cruelty if he were to be captured alive. With all avenues of escape cut off, he turned and faced the precipice, and with the bridle in his left hand and his rifle in his right, he spurred his horse over the edge to an almost certain death. The hill at that location is about 300 feet in height, and in many places is almost perpendicular.

The Indians rushed to the edge, expecting to see the major lying dead in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the hill. To their great surprise, they instead saw McColloch, still mounted on his white horse, galloping away from them.

As legend of this famous "leap" became known, the place where it occurred became known as McColloch's Leap. A historical marker now memorializes the site of his daring feat.

Trip Inspiration

Small Towns, Big History

Deep within the Appalachian Mountains lives a rich history that echoes into the present. Luckily, West Virginia natives have long-preserve...

Read More

Must-Try Mountain Expeditions with ACE Adventure

Known for their action-packed waterpark and white water rafting tours, ACE Adventure is a fan favorite of adventurers in #AlmostHeaven. Whi...

Read More

Fall Foliage Road Trip: W.Va. 20

If you're in the southern part of the state this week, W.Va. Route 20 from Pipestem Resort State Park to Meadow Bridge is the perfect...

Read More

Socially Distanced Pumpkin Picking

As we enter the peak weeks of autumn, everyone is daydreaming about festive and safe ways to keep busy. Although pumpkin picking may be a l...

Read More

The Mountain Biking Hub of #AlmostHeaven

Nestled within the rugged hills of Pocahontas County lies a mountain bikers paradise. The Snowshoe Highlands Ride Center is a world-class b...

Read More

Fall Foliage Road Trip: W.Va. 310

This week, the foliage in Marion County is bursting with stunning hues of yellow and red. If you've been longing to go leaf peeing, W...

Read More

6 Must-Try Fall Feasts

Cooler weather and indulgent meals seem to go hand in hand in #AlmostHeaven. Don't get in a food rut this season, check out these regional ...

Read More

Accessible Adventure in Almost Heaven

Written by: Bryant Baker, River Operations Manager & Guide - ACE Adventure Resort It's the trip that takes a little extra effort, ...

Read More

Fall Foliage Road Trip: W.Va. 26 to W.Va. 24

Watch in wonder as West Virginia's mountains come alive before your eyes. A great area to view fall colors this week is along W.Va...

Read More
More Inspiration