Beartown State Park
|Beartown State Park|
The walkway at Beartown State Park.
|Location||West Virginia, United States|
|Area||110 acres (45 ha)|
|Elevation||3,425 ft (1,044 m)|
|Named for||American black bear|
|Governing body||West Virginia Division of Natural Resources|
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 open daily from April to October. Access during the off-season is available by appointment. No fee is charged for admission to the park.
- West Virginia State Parks Facilities Grid, accessed March 29, 2008 Archived March 14, 2009, at WebCite
- Where People and Nature Meet: A History of the West Virginia State Parks. Charleston, West Virginia: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company. April 1988. ISBN 0-933126-91-3.
- Beartown State Park web site, accessed July 20, 2006.
- Guide to Accessible Recreation and Travel in WV, WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities web site, accessed July 31, 2006 Archived July 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine