Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, in Pocahontas County, south of Hillsboro, West Virginia, protects 58 acres on the summit of Droop Mountain. On Nov. 6, 1863, Union troops under the leadership of Brigadier General William W. Averell defeated Confederate forces here, forcing Brigadier General John Echols and the remnants of his command to retreat south into Virginia. The battle, which concerned control of the Virginia-Tennessee Railroad, is considered the most extensive Civil War engagement in West Virginia.
Visitors to this park, an official Civil War Discovery Trail site, may picnic where troops once fought; hike, bike or cross-country ski where they once walked; or learn from battlefield markers, a seasonally open park museum, and the sites visible from Droop Mountain Lookout Tower.
“Park Focus” author Audrey Stanton Smith is a West Virginia writer and journalist.