Beards Fork Petroglyphs

Chalk highlights the Beards Fork Petroglyphs in Fayette County, West Virginia. (Photo courtesy David Sibray Collection)

The Beards Fork Petroglyphs, at Beards Fork, West Virginia, in mountainous western Fayette County, includes inscriptions believed to represent wild animals. The petroglyphs are located in a shelf of sandstone beneath an overhang along the lefthand fork of Beards Fork of Loop Creek, a tributary of the Kanawha River. Most likely this rock art was inscribed by Native Americans. The site is also sometimes called the "Chisled Rocks" or "Lettered Rocks."

It is located only a few miles from the Ancient Walls, at Mount Carbon, West Virginia. This proximity has led some writers to speculate about a connection between the two sites. Some have suggested the lettered rocks acted as a "signpost" to indicate directions to the Mount Carbon site or provide information about the walls found there. Such theories are based on guesswork rather than scientific evidence.

In the early 1900s, the Dempsey Indian Mound was discovered at a location only about three air-miles distant. The Robson Mound is located on in a loop of level land on Loop Creek below the mouth of Beard's Fork.

NOTE: If you choose to visit this or any other petroglyph in West Virginia, officials at the W.Va. Division of Culture & History request that you please refrain from touching the rock. Oils in human skin can cause the rock to more quickly erode.