Ship Rock is the name of several geologic formations in West Virginia created by the weathering of rock. Invariably named as a result of the ship shape of such rocks, formations known as ship rock are somewhat common and may be found in every West Virginia county. It’s likely several such formations may be found in many counties. The following such rocks are well-known landmarks.
Ship Rock at Beckley
Ship Rock near the Beckley YMCA Soccer Complex at Beckley, West Virginia, is a boulder calved off a cliff of the Raleigh Sandstone on the rim of the Piney Creek Gorge in Raleigh County. The boulder has been a popular local picnic spot since he early 1900s. A one-mile loop hiking and mountain-biking trail was built from the soccer complex to the rock and back in 2014. The Ship Rock Trail is one of several recreational trails opened in the Grey Flats trail network along the gorge east of Beckley.
Ship Rock near Nuttall Cemetery
Ship Rock near the Nuttall Cemetery near Fayetteville, West Virginia, is a boulder calved off a cliff of the Nuttall Sandstone above Nuttallburg, West Virginia, in Fayette County in the New River Gorge National River. The prow of the rock famously hangs over the National Park Service’s Nuttallburg Headhouse Trail.
This ship rock is located near a well-known rock climbing area adjacent the the Beauty Mountain and Endless Wall climbing access areas though it is not known whether the rock is regularly climbed or if climbing or bouldering routes have been established.