Hanging Rock Observatory Hike; WV Fire Lookout Tower

Mileage: 2.1 up and back                                              Directions 37.509960,-80.438075

Total rise:  450 ft                                                                           Facebook

Hike Time: 1 hr with 3 kids                                                          My Pintrest

Weather                                                                                      Hikes by region

Significance: Observation tower, views, birds?                    FIRE TOWER PAGE

Printable Map

Here is some of what you need to know:The tower is open year round.


1. Scroll the mouse over the altitude line to see where it lines up on the map

2. Click on the flags for more information

3. Click on the pictures to make them large




The trail to the Hanging Rock observatory is only one mile, and the 225 ft of elevation gain is spread out enough that the kids barely complained. For 8/10 of a mile you will follow the yellow blazes of the Allegheny Trail; At the “raptor tower” sign hang a left and follow the blue blazes.





Head up hill and follow the blue blazes













img_6085The fire tower turned bird observatory looks like a small cabin and it sits on the crest of the mountain; It places you in position where you can view almost all directions. This is a hot spot to see the bird migrations but no hawks were seen on this day. What stood out to me as I looked out into the distance were the rows of mountains that I have seen on the map so many times; they start in Pennsylvania and run almost parallel as they travel down through West Virginia, Virginia and into NC.

The doors to the hut were unlocked and their was reading materials and sign in sheet were inside.



























Click to enlarge. Some of the mountains in the distance.









West Virginia is an awesome state to visit and I would recommend it to anyone.  Check out other fire towers in this state from North to south: Olson Tower, Bickle Knob, High Knob, Thorny Mountain, Hanging Rock Observatory. It took some time to drive from location to location but their was a beautiful view around every turn. It is worth your time and energy to make your way out here.

Enjoy your trip and send some photos to everywherehiker@gmail.com