Beartown State Park, Marlinton

4.8
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State Park · Nature / Park
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Beartown State Park is a 110-acre (45 ha) state park located on the eastern summit of Droop Mountain, 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Hillsboro, West Virginia, in northern Greenbrier County, West Virginia (with a small portion of the park also located in Pocahontas County). The land was purchased in 1970 with funds from the Nature Conservancy and a donation from Mrs. Edwin G. Polan, in memory of her son, Ronald Keith Neal, a local soldier who was killed in the Vietnam War.

Development of the park has been minimal in order to preserve the natural attractions of the area. Recreation in the park consists of hiking along improved trails and boardwalks. Markers explain the natural processes at work in the area.

The name "Beartown State Park" was chosen because local residents claimed that many cave-like openings in the rocks made ideal winter dens for the native black bears, the state animal of West Virginia. Also because the many deep, narrow crevasses were formed in a regular criss-cross pattern which appear from above like the streets of a small town.

Beartown is noted for its unusual rock formations, which consist of Droop, or Pottsville, Sandstone formed during the Pennsylvanian age. Massive boulders, overhanging cliffs and deep crevasses make up the beauty of the park. On the face of the cliffs are hundreds of eroded pits. These pits range from the size of a marble to others large enough to hold two grown men. It is not unusual to see ice and snow remaining in the deeper crevasses until midsummer.

The park is accessible via U.S. Highway 219, 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Hillsboro, West Virginia and is close to Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park and Watoga State Park.

The park is open daily from April to October. Access during the off-season is available by appointment. No fee is charged for admission to the park.

By using our Marlinton travel route builder tool, you can arrange your visit to Beartown State Park and other attractions in Marlinton.
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Beartown State Park reviews

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115 reviews
Google
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TripAdvisor
  • Lovely spot for a picnic and a hike. The park is free, but has limited parking. The hike takes you on a boardwalk (with lots and lots of steps) through the rocks of Beartown. For those with... 
    Lovely spot for a picnic and a hike. The park is free, but has limited parking. The hike takes you on a boardwalk (with lots and lots of steps) through the rocks of Beartown. For those with...  more »
  • It felt great walking and breathing the fresh smell of trees. WV Parks engineered a boardwalk loop trail to make it easy to view the rock formations. It shows a landscape is carved into fortress of....  more
    It felt great walking and breathing the fresh smell of trees. WV Parks engineered a boardwalk loop trail to make it easy to view the rock formations. It shows a landscape is carved into fortress of....  more »
Google
  • Words and pictures don't do it justice, you really have to experience it firsthand. Note that it is partially wheelchair/stroller accessible, but the accessible portion of the boardwalk is pretty short. The gate to the park was closed and there were some confused people standing outside the gate unsure of whether to go in. Luckily we had read other reviews that instructed us just to walk through the gated section. From the gate to the park it is about .3 miles. Even though the park was technically closed because of the time of year, the bathroom was unlocked. Keep in mind if you do visit when it's closed there's only room for 2, maybe 3 cars to park by the gate.
  • This is a magical place! Take the time to go there. The gate was locked for winter, but you can still walk 1500 ft to the start of the walk.

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