Mountain State Monday: Kaymoor Top

Nestled deep within the New River Gorge near Fayetteville are the ruins of the former bustling mining town of Kaymoor.  Built by the Low Moor Iron Company in 1899, Kaymoor operated until 1962 and once employed over 1,500 men.  Once it closed its doors, the property was left to deteriorate until the National Park Service acquired the property.  Many of the structures are still in a deteriorated state however the NPS does keep up with regular maintenance and tries its best to keep the foliage from swallowing the structures.

Since the main Kaymoor site sits at the base of the gorge, the only real way to get there is DOWN.  Down 823 steps to be exact.  However, if you are not up to the trip to the base of Kaymoor where most of the structures and coke ovens are, then you can always venture halfway down the side of the gorge to Kaymoor Top.  At Kaymoor Top, you will find the sealed mine opening, abandoned buildings, and the old posts to the rail car system that used to take miners down the mountain.  At Kaymoor Top, you will also find the stairs that will take you down to Kaymoor Bottom.

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Kaymoor Top is accessible two ways: from the Kaymoor Trail/Wolf Creek Trailhead off of CR-82/Fayette Station Road and from the Kaymoor Miner’s Trail at the tip top of the gorge.  The Kaymoor Trail from CR-82 is two miles with a moderate incline; it’s a fairly long but leisurely trek.  The second way to access Kaymoor Top is from the Kaymoor Miner’s Trail off Gatewood Road, just outside of Fayetteville.  The Miners Trail is only 1/2 mile however it is extremely steep and has rocky switchbacks down the mountain.  I do not recommend the Miner’s Trail unless you are in excellent physical shape, have proper hiking shoes on, and bring with you a good amount of water (a hiking stick may be useful also).  It’s the quicker route but it’s one of the steeper trails in the gorge so please use caution if you attempt.

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For more information on Kaymoor Top, please visit:
Pictoral History of the town of Kaymoor
Kaymoor Miners Trail information
Kaymoor Trail information

Until next time,
Sara (WV Travel Queen)

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Bridge Day 2013 Recap

After a LONG day, I’m finally at home in my office uploading pictures from BRIDGE DAY and I can’t wait to share  them with you!  This was probably the 15th Bridge Day that I’ve attended; I’m now 26 and every third Saturday in October for most of my life, I have ventured to Fayetteville, walked across the New River Gorge Bridge, and watched the BASE jumpers.  My parents started taking me when I was a kid and since then, I’ve experienced the event with friends, significant others, and today I went with my Dad.  I even got my first bee sting at Bridge Day when I was 8 and spent an hour crying in the back of the Jan-Care ambulance.  As many times as I’ve been, you’d think I’d be over it by now but I never will be — it’s a tradition!

If you’re reading this and wondering, “what the hell is Bridge Day?” then I apologize.  Let me back up.  Bridge Day is arguably the largest BASE jumping event in the world and it is held in the small town of Fayetteville, West Virginia atop the infamous 876-foot tall New River Gorge Bridge.  Every third Saturday in October, hundreds of base jumpers line up for the chance to jump off one of the longest steel arch bridges in the world.  The event brings in 80,000+ visitors who have the opportunity to watch the jumpers, chow down on some amazing food, and shop the craft tables from local crafters and artisans.  The best part?  IT’S FREE.

Over the years, I find myself taking less and less pictures, as they look more or less the same as last year’s.  However, there were a couple of neat things that happened while we were walking across the bridge that are worth sharing.  First up was the catapult!  Now, I may be able to do the Bridge Walk or ride a rollercoaster without any problem but I am actually scared of heights.  There is NO WAY I would ever jump off the bridge.  Ever.  Let alone sit in a chair and let it catapult me off the edge… which is exactly what some people did.

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Another neat thing I saw today was a handful of sky divers make their way to the New River below.  One of the sky divers had an American flag attached to him and it was amazing to see it wave in the wind.  The guy actually came really close to hitting the BASE jump platform!

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2013 was another great year for Bridge Day and I’m already looking forward to 2014.  If you were there today, did you enjoy it?  Let me know!

Until next time,
Sara (WV Travel Queen)