Remarkable rock faces, or mimetoliths, are found throughout West Virginia, and their presence in the forested landscape is usually met with awe. The tendency for human beings to perceive faces inanimate objects or images is known as pareidolia, by the way, and rocks that seem to mimic human forms are known as mimetoliths.
Named for President William McKinley, McKinley’s Rock was blasted into the flank of the New River Gorge near Thurmond, West Virginia, during construction of a railroad. According to legend, workers engaged in construction saw the profile when the dust settled and immediately recognized it as an ill omen. It was soon revealed that McKinley had been shot and killed at or near the time of the blast. The rock is located along the Rend Trail in the New River Gorge National River.
Old Stone Face
Old Stone Face was discovered by rangers at North Bend State Park, near Cairo, West Virginia, during construction of the park’s swimming pool. The stone column is part of a series of rock shelves, cliffs, and boulders that outcrop in the pool area and elsewhere in the park, which is known as a popular destination for rock climbing. The stone face overlooks the park’s campground and is a popular destination for park visitors. The rock is an easy walk from the swimming pool parking lot.
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