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

Adventure just below the surface: 3 West Virginia Caves and Caverns

If you thought West Virginia was awe-inspiring above ground, just wait until you see what lies right below the surface. Explore new depths...

Read More

Waterside Views in West Virginia

Lined with colorful trees and adorned in sparkles from the sun, age-old rivers truly come to life at the sign of spring. Soak in the splen...

Read More

Fun in the Snow & Sun: Spring Ski Resort Destinations

In Almost Heaven, we lavish in winter adventure, but we also fully embrace fun in the sun. When the cold of winter passes and reveals a blo...

Read More

Take the long way home: Springtime Scenic Drives

Springtime gifts West Virginia with lush-green forests, brightly-colored wildflowers and the sweet-smelling aroma of new beginnings. Immer...

Read More

A Day of Wildflower Searching in West Virginia

As spring brings forth the fragrance of new beginnings, eye-catching wildflowers are making their appearance in Almost Heaven. The beauty ...

Read More

These 3 WV Towns are officially the South's Best

Awarded each year by Southern Living, the South's Best Awards are an annual tradition. Coming off of a challenging year, the 2021 awards re...

Read More

Tee It Up in Almost Heaven

With fresh-cut grass, warm weather and world-renown courses, it's time to gather up your clubs for a golf adventure in Almost Heaven. West...

Read More

Mountain State, Spring Break: Plan the perfect WV getaway

With unmatched beauty, exquisite dining and one-of-a-kind people, Almost Heaven is certainly the place to spend your spring break. To enjoy...

Read More

Things To Do at the New River Gorge

Whether you are into outdoor activities such as climbing, biking, hiking, whitewater rafting, or just like to enjoy...

Read More
More Inspiration