Mountain State Monday: Diamond Point Overlook

West Virginia’s mountainous terrain makes it the perfect place for hikers, both advanced and novice.  I find myself on the novice end of the spectrum but still enjoy a moderate-to-hard hike, especially when the view is breathtaking.  I have a lot of harder trails on my to-do list but one of my favorites is the moderately easy 1-mile (approximately) hike to the “Grand Canyon of the East”… also known as Diamond Point Overlook.

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Located in the Fayetteville area of the New River Gorge, Diamond Point Overlook is accessible by the Endless Wall Trail, a mostly level trek from Lansing Edmond-Road to a spectacular view of the cliffs that line the gorge.  The cliffs can be seen from various vantage points in the area but the best is to get up close and personal — literally standing on the edge of a cliff.  The area is a favorite of rock climbers but it’s also a nice stroll for any adventurers, including families or those who like to take their dogs on mountain walks.  Bonus?  If you’re a geocacher, check out this great Earth Cache (GC2J57E) while you’re hiking along the Endless Wall Trail.

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Jon overlooking the cliffs.  Use caution when approaching the cliffs.

Jon overlooking the cliffs. Use caution when approaching the edges.

For a map of the Endless Wall Trail and for parking information, visit the following website:
http://www.newriverwv.com/Recreation_Hiking_Trails_Endles_Wall_Trail.php

Until next time,
Sara (WV Travel Queen)

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)