Spotlight: Needleseye ParkAugust 17, 2020
A hidden paradise for hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking, Needleseye Park has helped sculpt Oak Hill, West Virginia, into a top spot for outdoor adventure in Southern West Virginia.
In 2017, the West Virginia Land Trust partnered with the City of Oak Hill and West Virginia Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund to purchase nearly 300 acres of land for public recreational use. The Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund was established to “invest in the conservation of unique and important wildlife habitat, natural areas, forest lands, farmland and lands for hunting, fishing and recreation.”
Needleseye Park was created to provide an additional option for recreational tourism in the Southern West Virginia area. And there are plenty of outdoor activities that visitors can enjoy in the park!
Needleseye Park has astounding natural rock features, including a 2-mile rock wall, tunnels and sandstone cliffs that are ideal for bouldering. Bouldering is a style of rock climbing that is performed on small rock formations. Climbers are able to scale routes without ropes and harnesses because boulders are typically smaller and shorter to the ground than regular rock climbing routes. While bouldering can be done without any equipment, most climbers use climbing shoes to help secure footing, chalk to provide a firmer grip and bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. For people looking to get into rock climbing, bouldering is an excellent way to start! You can pick up climbing equipment and ask questions at one of our local outdoor shops.
Southern West Virginia has an abundance of challenging hiking and mountain biking trails, but the lightly-traveled paths at Needleseye Park are perfect for social distancing in nature. Although fairly close to civilization, outdoor enthusiasts will still be able to enjoy secluded hikes and rides in the park. Meandering through forest landscape, these routes are great for spying wildflowers, native plants and West Virginia wildlife. And the natural rock formations provide unique scenery that you can explore while on your adventure! In addition to hiking and biking, this expansive network of trails are perfect for bird watching.
Ready to take a trip to Needleseye Park? While it is open for visitors, signage has not been installed yet. The best way to locate the park is by using Google Maps coordinates. Guided hikes are available. To make arrangements, contact the West Virginia Land Trust staff.
Have fun exploring this relatively new piece of protected land in Southern West Virginia!