Ridge Trail Hike at Coopers

It has been quite a while since I had been out hiking, and wanted to get at least one more in before winter had set in. Sam and I decided to go to Coopers Rock for a hike, as the leaves were just starting to change to their fall colors. We looked over the maps the night before, and found a trail called Ridge Trail, that had not been on before. The name was very fitting, as it basically followed the ridge line north-west, till it gradually slopped down to the river, and a joining valley. This map is hard to read, I marked Ridge Trial with the arrow.

     We took a few minutes to take a look from the overlook, with my 60x spotting scope. It was a clear day, and you could see for miles. We could pick out a few buildings that we knew in Morgantown, and could even see the airport runway.
     The first part of our hike was all trail, so we made pretty good time the first mile or so. But we all know, its no fun sticking to the trail, and we soon found ourselves weaving our way through rhododendron bushes and thorns. We were not sure if this area was going to have many rock structures, as had not been this far west of Coopers. Sure enough, like most of Coopers, there were plenty of rocks to see. We didn’t really find anything spectacular, but it was fun nevertheless.

     One of the things I like the most about the rocks, especially in Coopers, is the moss that covers them. There are literally several inch thick rugs of moss on alot of the rocks.

     Once we reached the edge of the ridge, where it started to drop down to the river, we stopped to get a bite to eat. We were sitting here for quite a while, taking in the view. I stood up to stretch a bit, and when I turned around I got quite a surprise. Standing behind us, no more than 100 feet, was what I believe to be, a full grown wolf! It was walking toward us, and stopped just as I saw it, paused for a second, then ran off. My detailed description to Sam as this was happening, was saying “Whoa” and pointing at the wolf with one hand, and my other hand on my gun. Sam didn’t get a chance to see it before it ran off, and didn’t believe me. He proceeded to poke fun at me the rest of the day, saying I saw a dog.
That was the first time we have seen any large animal while hiking, besides a deer. It made us think of how there were probably many times they were mere feet away from us, and we just never noticed.