The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Pipestem Knob Observation Tower

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Observation tower atop Pipestem Knob
WV-20 and Pipestem community from the knob

One of the highlights of a visit to Pipestem Resort State Park, the 360 degree view from the observation deck atop the tower on Pipestem Knob provides guests an unparalleled view of the Bluestone Valley and the high mountain ranges to the north and south.

The View from the Pipestem Knob Observation Tower

The view from the observation tower at Pipestem State Park is one of tableland farms and broad woodland vistas. An observer atop the tower's viewing platform may note the following landmarks, listed clockwise from the north:

1:00 -- Freezeland Mountain, on the horizon, and the long crest of Tallery Mountain extending northwest into the distance. Davy Knob (elev. 2722 ft.), in the near distance, is the highest knob along Tallery Mountain northwest of Pipestem Knob.

2:00 -- Wolf Creek Mountain, on the horizon, with an approaching bend in the New River, in the near distance.

3:00 -- Clark Knob (elev. 2490 ft.) on Anderson Ridge, in the near distance, with valley of the New River, in the distance, and the hills of Monroe County beyond. Peters Mountain rises from the west on the horizon.

4:00 -- The long crest of Peters Mountain, on the horizon, forms the mountain wall between Virginia and West Virginia. The Appalachian Trail follows much of the crest observable from the tower.

4:30 -- The New River enters West Virginia through "The Narrows," the single gap that divides the long walls of Peters Mountain, to the east, and East River Mountain, to the west.

5:00 -- East River Mountain, on the horizon, begins its southwestward course along the southern border of West Virginia. The hills and valleys drained by Lick Creek and Island Creek extend into the nearer distance.

6:00 -- Bent Mountain rises prominently in the near distance. On the horizon, Buckhorn Knob, a summit on East River Mountain, crests at an elevation of 4,069 feet above sea level.

6:30 -- Athens, WV, location of Concord University, crests along a ridge in the near distance.

7:00 -- Princeton, WV, extends along the valley of Brush Creek in the mid-distance. The wall of East River Mountain extends along the horizon.

8:00 -- The distant southwest peaks of Flat Top Mountain rise along the horizon from the southwest. The upper valley of the Bluestone River approaches the knob, winding through a circuitous valley.

9:00 -- The Bluestone River, now narrowed into a deep gorge, approaches in the near distance. The ridge on the opposite wall of the gorge is "Piney Flat." The forests of Camp Creek State Park rise to the summits of Flat Top Mountain on the horizon. It's highest westeward summit, "Bluff Mountain" (elev. 3,480 ft.), is the southernmost point in Raleigh County.

10:00 -- Huff Knob (elev. 2,570 ft.) is the highest summit on Flat Top Mountain. The slopes of Winterplace Ski Resort descend along the summit's north slope, though its lights can be seen on winter nights.

11:00 -- Ellison Ridge, a paralleling outlier of Flat Top Mountain, extends from southwest to northeast beyond the now-obvious gorge of the Bluestone. The northeastern end of the ridge is surmounted by "Panther Knob" (elev. 3,120 ft.).

12:00 -- The gorge of the Bluestone River wanders into the northwest. The valley of the Little Bluestone River approaches from the north. The village of Jumping Branch, WV, clusters amid the tableland farms in the distant north.