Descendants of the 7th West Virginia Cavalry (formerly the 8th West Virginia Mounted Infantry) are invited to participate in a memorial hike to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1863 Battle of Droop Mountain. The hike will be held on Saturday, August 31st, as part of reenactment activities taking place that weekend.
The hikes will be led by park superintendent Michael Smith along the routes used by troops gathering for West Virginia’s last significant Civil War battle. For safety and logistical reasons participation will be limited and registration is required. Registrants should be in good physical condition. This unique excursion is intended as a memorial hike, not a race, and all participants are expected to remain in a single group throughout the hike. At various points along the way, short readings of official reports, letters, and diaries pertinent to the battle will help relate the modern view with its historical context.
For those unable to make the hike, you are still encouraged to attend the afternoon reenactment activities. A small social tent will be set up during the afternoon to allow descendants of the 7th West Virginia Cavalry to gather and fellowship.
Here is a description of the hike: Start point is near Hillsboro. This is a three mile hike through some fields, but mostly private owned woodland, partly on old log roads. Some sections are extremely steep, possibly requiring use of hands or trekking pole. The route is all uphill and fairly steep overall, with 800 feet elevation change. No support vehicle will be provided; snacks, drinks, and personal items will have to be carried by hikers. Restrooms available at park at end of hike, otherwise relief relies on 1800s protocol. This will be a moderately to difficult hike and is expected to take 3 to 4 hours. Assemble at park office at 7:00 am; early start necessary so participants can be back to park for other reenactment activities in the afternoon.
The required registration/waiver form is located at this web site:
For more information on the Droop Mountain weekend activities, you can call the park at 304-653-4254.
I look forward to seeing many of my fellow 7th West Virginia Cavalry descendants at Droop Mountain on August 31st. Drop me a note and let me know if you plan to attend.