Mineral County High Point Trip Report

Black Rock on Allegheny Front (3,160+ ft)

Date: April 29, 2001
Author: Michael Schwartz

I first checked out the dirt road shown on the topo that leaves US 50 about 1 1/4 miles east of the US 50/WV 42 junction. This looks as if it would provide a shorter, albeit steeper, approach to Black Rock. The road looked more like a driveway than a road to me, so I proceeded on to the junction at Skyline and parked at the marked scenic overlook. This is about 1 1/2 straight line miles SW of Black Rock.

I hiked the ridge line, staying mostly off the crest to the SE side. The bushwhacking is pretty easy until the last 1/4 mile, and a collection of game trails, old woods roads, and a fence line all make the hike easier. As you approach the first knob on the ridge, look for a chain-link fenced cemetery on the right, past which a fluorescent green blazed path leads NE almost to the saddle between the first knob and Black Rock. Head toward the SE edge of the ridge again and follow a property fence line NE to a corner where the fence turns NW to cross the ridge. This is easily crossed, and from there game trails continue further NE until petering out in a thicket. From here, it gets increasingly rocky, with intermittent thickets. The crest will now get very rocky, and the trick is not to gain the crest too soon, which accomplishes nothing except forcing a tough bushwhack over rocky, brushy terrain. Keeping to the SE side of the ridge, eventually reach a very large, open expanse of whitish rocks that ramp up the SE edge of the ridge to a great view and possible high point. Bushwhack about 300 feet further NE to a cluster of large rocks that are the other possible highest point. From there, the ground clearly slopes downhill to the north. Slow going the last 1/4 mile. The hike took 1hour 20minutes going and about ten minutes less on the return.

Looking down toward the possible approach from the dirt road off US 50, the terrain looked very steep, and private property concerns would probably come into play.