Description - **Information provivded by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources**
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 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, and may be seen during the closed season by contacting the Superintendent of nearby Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. No fee is charged.
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.
At Beartown, one may see that the forces of nature are constantly at work, slowly breaking down even the largest rocks, only to deposit them elsewhere and build new ones. Witnessing the evidence of this process often allows visitors an opportunity to forget for a while the hectic pace of modern life.
- 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, and may be seen during the closed season by contacting the Superintendent of nearby Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. No fee is charged.
Recreation - Interpretive walk
Climate - West Virginia experiences four distinct seasons, none of which are extreme. Temperatures in the highlands of the Allegheny Mountains are somewhat more severe than the rest of the state. Generally temperatures during the winter months range from 15 to 40 degrees F. Ample snow accumulation provides for cross-country and downhill skiing opportunities. Spring brings blooming trees and shrubs to the forested regions of the state, as well as warmer temperatures. During this season, March through May, expect mild temperatures between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers are normally hot with high humidity, especially at lower elevations. Expect temperatures to range from 70 at night to 95 during the dog days of August. Fall brings cool, crisp air to West Virginia and spectacular foliage color changes. Bring a light jacket for this season, which brings temperatures between 35, at night, to 70 degrees F, during the day.
Located in the southeastern part of the state, Beartown State Park is located 7 miles southwest of Hillsboro, West Virginia off Rt. 219.
NOTE: Access to the park is via Pocahontas county route 219/11 (Beartown Road), which is not shown on the state highway map. Avoid Brownstown Road at Renick and continue onwards up the mountain to 219/11, especially when travelling north on US 219 after leaving Interstate 64 at Lewisburg.