87 N. Main Street
Suite 1
Keyser, WV 26726

Fax: (304) 788-2998
Phone: (304) 788-2233
Email: info@wv-mcda.com

Outdoor Recreation

 

Mountains


The northern terminus of the Allegheny Front in West Virginia lies in Mineral County, and contains the highest point in the county. Known as the Pinnacle it is 3,104 feet (946 m) above sea level. From the abandoned fire tower you can see four states on a clear day, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. The Allegheny Front is the largest mountain in the county; on the north end it is also known as Green Mountain.

 

On top of the Allegheny Plateau is located the town of Elk Garden, West Virginia in the southwestern portion of the county.

 

The Potomac River Valley lies to west and north of the mountain, and the New Creek Valley lies to the east.

 

Knobly Mountain lies between the New Creek and Patterson Creek valleys. It is the longest mountain in Mineral County stretching from the Grant County line in the south to the Potomac River in the north at Ridgeley, West Virginia.

 

To the east of the Pattersons Creek Valley lie a series of low hills which form the eastern border of the county with Hampshire County.

 

Rivers

  • North Branch of the Potomac River is the largest river, though not actually in the county. It forms the northern border of the county and the state border with actual border being the low water mark on the south side. Jennings Randolph Lake is located on this section of the Potomac River.  It offers some of the best trout fishing on the east coast.

  • New Creek enters the Potomac River at Keyser, West Virginia with the headwaters starting at Dam Site 14 in Grant County, West Virginia. It is the water supply for the city of Keyser.

  • Pattersons Creek enters the Potomac River east of Cumberland, Maryland with the headwaters being in Grant County, West Virginia. Pattersons Creek is the watershed for two-thirds of the county.

 

Hunting and fishing licenses are required throughout the state. Non-resident licenses, including short-term licenses for state recreational areas, may be obtained from nearly 800 license agents in the state. Hunting and fishing regulations are available from the Division of Natural Resources 304-558-2771. License application forms may be obtained on-line or by calling 304-558-2758. A special stamp is required to hunt or fish on national forest lands.

 

Golf Courses

  • Polish Pines - Privately owned, nine holes, club house,  

                 Route 220, South Keyser, WV 26726, (304) 788-6322

  • Mill Creek – Privately owned, nine holes, club house,

                 County Route 50/4,  Medley, WV 26710, (304) 289-3160

  • Fore Sisters - 18 Holes, Par 72,

                 16302 Conda Way, Rawlings, MD 21557, (301) 729-4000

                 100 Maplehurst Road, Frostburg, MD 21532-2415, (301) 689-6681

 

 

Swimming Pools  

City of Keyser – One pool open to the public

City of Piedmont – One pool open to public

 


State Parks

 

County:


Jennings Randolph Lake named for Senator Jennings Randolph near Elk Garden offers extensive recreational opportunity with its 952 acres (3.85 sq.km) and more than 13 miles (21 km) of shoreline. Howell Run Picnic Area overlooks the lake and contains 40 picnic sites, two pavilions, a playground and vault toilets. The Howell Run Boat Launch consists of a two lane concrete ramp. the Robert W. Craig Campground is situated on a high ridge overlooking the dam site and features 87 campsites, potable water, hot showers, vault toilets and a playground. A 3/4 mile long interpretive trail has been developed in the area. The West Virginia Overlook area contains a two tier Visitor Center. Waffle Rock, a unique natural rock formation, can also be viewed from the Overlook. Directions: South on US 220 to US 50, West to WV 42, North to WV 46 East. Follow project signs.


The North Branch of the Potomac is near the lake and site for some of the best trout fishing on the East Coast. Primitive cabins are available to rent from Mineral County Parks and Recreation and several guide businesses work the region. Check www.reserveamerica.com/campground for more information. Search for Robert W. Craig Campground.


Larenim Park Owned by the Mineral County Commission and operated by Parks and Recreation, the park size is 365 acres (1.48 sq.km.). Includes two pavilions with 10 tables, an amphitheatre with seating capacity of 600. One Little League field and one softball field. Fishing Areas; two flood control dams stocked by WVDNR (5 acres and 2.5 acres). All 365 acres (1.48 sq.km.) are open to public hunting by permit. Approximately five miles of trails. An arboretum is under construction at Larenim to include a Shale Barrens Conservancy. Larenim Park is also home to the local theatre group, The Apple Valley Players. Directions: Larenim Park Lakes are located on Larenim Park in Mineral County, 3.2 miles north of Burlington and 1.8 miles south of Headsville, 0.7 of a mile off County Route 11.

 

Barnum Whitewater Area Owned by Mineral County with size of approximately 40 acres (160,000sq.m.). Includes four miles (6 km) of rail/trail. This area has approximately one mile of river frontage on the North Branch of the Potomac River below Jennings Randolph Lake, along the old CSX railway. It is one of the best trout streams in West Virginia and also provides seven miles (11 km) of whitewater rafting and canoeing for the entire family to enjoy. Public hunting permitted on surrounding state lands.   


MINCO Park Owned by the Mineral County Board of Education, Minco Park's size is 13.5 acres (55,000 sq.m.). Its facilities include two pavilions with 50 picnic tables, nine cabins, a dining field, a chapel, meeting room, and bath/shower facilities. Mineral County Schools hold Outdoor School for fifth graders at the camp. This is a 5 day educational program. Sixth Grade Outdoor School is a 5 day residential program for all sixth graders in the County. 4-H clubs hold their camps at MINCO and a summer science camp (5 day residential camp) attracts students from all over West Virginia.

 

Van Myra Campground Owned by the State of West Virginia and leased by Mineral County, the campground area is 10 acres (40,000sq.m.). Three picnic tables, four mini-pavilions, and picnic area only comprise this facility.

 

Dam Site #21 Owned by Mineral County, 178 acres (0.72sq.km.), with no facilities. Fishing 10 acres (40,000sq.m.) flood control dam


Regional:


Blackwater Falls State Park near Davis, WV: (44 miles from Keyser) is named for the falls of the Blackwater River whose amber-colored waters plunge five stories then twist and tumble through an eight-mile long gorge. The "black" water is a result of tannic acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. The falls are one of the most photographed sites in West Virginia. 

 

The Park offers lodging in cabins, camping areas and a main lodge. Nature trails and a nature center provide educational programs about wildlife – flora and fauna. Hiking trails connect Blackwater Falls Park with Canaan Valley State Park and other points of interest in the area. Guides are available for spring wild flower viewing, migrating birds watch and hikes for amateur and experienced hikers.”

 

Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge (47 miles from Keyser)  This state park offers lodging in rooms, cabins, and camping areas for individuals and families seeking to explore wilderness and partake in outdoor sports. Summer activities include hiking, nature lessons, swimming and golf. Winter sports include hiking, skiing (downhill and cross-country), as well as indoor swimming and training/exercise programs. People who stroll around the park can see abundant wildlife, birds and water fowl. The park sponsors events throughout the year and hosts conferences for private and public organizations.


Cathedral State Park near Aurora, WV on Route 50 West (47 miles from Keyser) is an ancient hemlock forest of majestic proportions, and one of the last living commemorations of the vast virgin hemlock forest which once flourished in the Appalachian highlands. Trees up to 90 feet in height and 21 feet in circumference form cloisters in the park. 

 

Dolly Sods Wilderness Area (48 miles from Keyser) Located in the Monongahela National Forest, this 10,215-acre area is one of the few wilderness areas on the East Coast. Approximately 2,000 acres along Forest Road 75 are managed by the U.S. Forest Service as the Dolly Sods Scenic Area. The area is the most accessible and most visited part of the Sods.

 

Mineral County Public Lands and Recreation Map