Monroe County, W.V. (WVDN) – Group hike and community service event happening Saturday, October 14th, 9 am, beginning at the Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory Parking Lot, Limestone Hill Road, which connects Zenith Road in Gap Mills to Waiteville Road in Waiteville. Lend a hand by carrying a few cedar shakes to the tower. Once to the top, enjoy the views and the raptors soaring by. The shakes will be used to replace weathered siding on the main structure. Two hundred square feet of siding needs to make its way to the top, so just packing a few along would make a huge impact on preserving this treasured structure. Brian Hirt, a Hanging Rock enthusiast and volunteer visited with WVU Extension Agent, Allison Tomlinson, in August about needs for the observation tower. “Replacing siding is one of the biggest needs right now, but the cost of cedar shakes has been a limiting factor,” says Hirt. Tomlinson went to work securing funds for this project.
Here is where Volunteer WV and Friends of Monroe, Inc. come into play. Both organizations have committed funds to support the purchase enough cedar shakes and supplies to replace the most weathered face of the tower. The October 14th service project will be completed with guidance from the faithful volunteers of Hanging Rock.
Here are a few things to consider before coming on the 14th. Comfortable hiking shoes, hat, sunglasses, binoculars and an extra layer of clothing are great things to have. Bringing a backpack to slip some of the cedar shakes in will allow you to keep your hands free for the trek. The hike from the parking lot is a little less than a mile with a rise of 350 feet. It will take anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes depending on your enthusiasm and aptitude. If you are unable to hike, assistance could be used in the parking area.
Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory is located on Peters Mountain in Monroe County’s portion of the Jefferson National Forest. It is positioned on an outcrop of rocks on the mountain’s peak, roughly 3800 feet above sea level. The original tower was the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps with its first use being for spotting fires. It now is known as a hot spot for visitors to witness migratory raptors following the ridge each fall.
Enjoy the splendor of fall while making this the most successful service project of 2023! Call the Monroe County WVU Extension Office with questions, 304-772-3003.
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