Hanging Rock Lookout
US 581, WV 7
Hanging Rock Lookout in November 2012

Hanging Rock Lookout in November 2012 - courtesy of Brian Powell

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 581, WV 7 (view other lookouts in United States, West Virginia)
Date Registered June 1, 2004
Location Jefferson National Forest
Monroe County, West Virginia
Coordinates N 37° 30.269' W 080° 27.181' (view using Google Maps)
N 37° 30' 16" W 080° 27' 11"
N 37.504488° W 080.453017°
Elevation 3,681 ft (1,122 m)
Built 1997
Administered by U.S. Forest Service
Cooperators New River Valley Ranger District


The Hanging Rock Fire Tower has an unusual history. It was built in 1934 by the West Virginia Division of Forestry atop a sloping “hanging rock” outcrop. In 1956 the state rebuilt the lookout with plans supplied by the U.S. Forest Service and it became one of only two lookouts in the state system with a live-in cab. The site was staffed until 1972 and was discontinued in 1981. In 1983 the land was acquired by the Jefferson National Forest. The Forest Service and a volunteer group of hawk watchers completely restored the tower in 1995. Vandals burned the structure in 1996, but once again community spirit rallied and the tower was reconstructed in 1999.


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Looking north in November 2012

Looking north in November 2012 - courtesy of Brian Powell

Photo courtesy of Victoria Oliver