Cooper’s Rock


The view of Cheat River from Cooper’s Rock.

Now that the snow is beginning to melt, it may be the last chance to enjoy the winter weather. The fifth annual WinterFest will be held at Coopers Rock.

The festival has 12 events staggered throughout the day, and throughout the day there will be a fire for people to warm up around. There will also be hot chocolate, coffee and baked goods for sale during the day.

Plastic sleds will be provided for sledding in the designated zone. There will also be a 300-ft.-long snow obstacle course and one-of-a-kind targets for snowball throwing practice.

From 10 a.m.-3 p.m., the slingshot paintball biathlon will be open to everyone. This event is inspired by the Olympic Biathlon where participants must cross-country ski and shoot with rifles throughout. Rather than rifles, participants will do a 1500-foot loop and shoot at five targets with paintballs and slingshots. Targets must be hit before continuing.

From 10 a.m.-3 p.m., the five basket disc golf course will be open for anyone to come play. People can also try out cross-country skis on easy terrain.

From 1–2 p.m., Skiers can be timed in a downhill XC skiing time trial, which only takes about a minute. The course is only 450-feet long and can be done many times within the hour. The best-recorded time receives a handmade WinterFest tree trophy and a cake.

Starting at 2:15 p.m., skiers are invited to join the Mass-Start Downhill Dash. Skiers compete in a 600-foot-long downhill sprint. The first one to cross the finish line wins a handmade WinterFest tree trophy and a cake as well.

From 3-4 p.m., women can compete in the Women’s Frying Pan Toss. A festival in Saranac Lake, New York that is more than 100 years old inspires this competition. Women throw a frying pan as far as they can, and the woman with the farthest throw wins a unique hand-painted frying pan trophy.

Guided snowshoe hikes will begin at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m.

Winter Tree I.D. Hikes will start at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. For all the tree lovers, this guided hike teaches people how to identify trees when they don’t have any leaves.

WinterFest is hosted by The Coopers Rock Foundation, a nonprofit corporation which works to promote wildlife preservation and outdoor recreation. The foundation is run by volunteers.

There are other fundraising events throughout the year, including a 50K race and a half marathon.

The Coopers Rock Foundation is supported by local businesses such as Pathfinder, Black Bear Burritos, Terra Cafe, Wamsley Cycles, Coopers Rock Climbing Guides, Morgantown Running and Greer Industries. West Virginia University also supports through the Adventure WV program and Fairmont State University through their Outdoor Recreation Leadership Program.

For more information on Coopers Rock, visit

Winterfest will be 10 a.m. -4 p.m. this Saturday at the Day Use Parking Lot and Front Gate, which is just a quarter mile from the Coopers Rock I-68 exit.