Ranked #1 of 8 attractions in Hillsboro
Category: State Parks
Beartown State Park is a natural area of 107 acres located on the eastern summit of Droop Mountain, seven miles southwest of...
Beartown State Park is a natural area of 107 acres located on the eastern summit of Droop Mountain, seven miles southwest of Hillsboro, West Virginia. The name Beartown was chosen because local residents claimed that the many cave-like openings in the rocks made ideal winter dens for the black bears of the area. Also, the many deep, narrow crevasses were formed in a somewhat regular criss-cross pattern and appear from above like the streets of a small town. Beartown is noted for its unusual rock formations, which are comprised of Droop, or Pottsville, Sandstone formed during the Pennsylvanian age. Massive boulders, overhanging cliffs, and deep crevasses stir the imagination of most visitors. Pocketing the face of the cliffs are hundreds of eroded pits, ranging from the size of marbles to others large enough to hold two grown men. Ice and snow commonly remain in the deeper crevasses until mid to late summer. Vegetation clings tenaciously to life, sending roots into mere cracks in the rocks.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, who lost his life in the Vietnam War. Development of the park has been minimal in order to preserve the natural attractions of the area. However, basic facilities are provided, and a boardwalk permits easy access. Interpretive signs along the boardwalk guide visitors and provide insights concerning the ecology of the area. The park is open daily from April to October. During the closed winter season foot travel to the boardwalk area is welcome, with parking available at the closed entrance gate. Group tours may be arranged by contacting the Superintendent at nearby Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. No fee is charged to visit Beartown.