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Backus Mountain

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Backus P.O. on Backus Mountain
New River Gorge rim eclipses foot of Backus Mountain

In southeastern Fayette County, Backus Mountain forms part of the northern wall of the New River Gorge. Its flanks rise steeply more than 1,500 feet from the banks of the New River and Laurel Creek to 2,825 feet above sea level on a knob near the former Backus U.S. Post Office. The mountain is levelly topped in many places has been improved as pasture. Much of the mountain remains wooded and is a popular destination for hunters in fall and spring. It may be most-popularly known as the dominant feature in the scenic panorama afforded at the Main Overlook at Grandview State Park. At Grandview, the western end of the mountain forms a great bend in the New River known as "Horseshoe Bend."

Backus Mountain takes its name for the Backus family, who settled and farmed its highland in the late 1800s. It was once also known as War Ridge. According to local legend, it was named so because many arrowheads had been found there, leading settlers to believe a prehistoric battle had been engaged on the mountain. The reason for the increased number of arrowheads, however, was the result of its situation along a Native American Trail. The National Park Service has recently installed a primitive public campground in woodlands one half mile east of the former Backus post office. The War Ridge/Backus Mountain includes eight vehicle sites, campfire rings, and a portable toilet.