By far, Coopers Rock State Forest was was the most crowded of the West Virginia State Parks I visited on my recent trip. The parking lots were all packed and the log cabin-like pavilions that sit just off the main parking lots were teaming with Independence Day Weekend celebrations. Of course, the overlook to the Cheat River itself also had its share of visitors, though I’ve seen more visitors here many times.
But when I left the main attractions and headed off onto the hiking paths, starting with Rattlesnake Trail, it was a different story. There were times during the few hours I spent there that I felt completely alone, able to soak in the beauty of the forest without distraction. And that’s they way it usually works. The rewards are almost always on the paths less taken.
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