Photo by R. Davis

Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory

Tower: 37° 30' 16.1388" north (37.504483)     080° 27' 10.5618" west (-80.452934)
Parking Lot: 37
° 30' 35.5572" north (37.509877)     080° 26' 16.9404" west (-80.438039)
Monroe County, West Virginia
Elevation 3812 feet

Since 1952, Hanging Rock has been a monitoring point for hawk, eagle, falcon, and osprey migration along the birds' eastern route.



Look for us on Facebook
 Monroe County Video
  2015 Fall Count

Data posted through 11-27

The dates have been set for the eagle surveys conducted by Jim Phillips on the New, Greenbrier and Bluestone Rivers. They are January 9 and March 5. It is a point count survey. Contact Jim Phillips if you wish to participate. We finished 300 birds below our 25 year average this season despite 300+ count hours. We did set the single day record for red-tails (112)  and season record for golden eagles (62). 15 red-shouldered hawks was our third highest count.


The book is off the hill but there are count sheets there if anyone goes up to record data.
The visitors log for 2013 showed we had over 2000 people make the trip up the hill during the mid-August through December count season. 36 states and DC were listed. We also had visitors from 16 foreign countries. West Virginia led with 111 place names, next came Virginia with 69, then Ohio (18) and Florida (14). Check to see if your town is represented. 2013 Log


The LocalsPhoto by Brian Hirt
With information gathered by volunteers on Jim Phillips' annual eagle surveys, and numerous other reported sightings, it is evident we have a thriving eagle population in southern West Virginia. Photo submissions by Brian Hirt, Shawn & Bobbi McClung, Nancy Ford, and Jeff Hajenga.
Updated 3/18/2012

Panoramic photo taken by Sharyn Ogden

Raptor photos taken at Hanging Rock.   Photo by David Hypes

The results of the 2014 eagle survey for southern West Virginia are posted. 98 volunteers located 29 bald and 6 golden eagles.


  Planning your first trip to the tower? Here are some things you need to know.

Welcome Welcome to Hanging Rock

History ... Brief history of Hanging Rock with articles written by George Hurley and Doug Wood


Learning Section / Raptor Identification ... This section now contains over 400 photos of the 17 species listed. Now with calls for 14 species.

Main Photo Page   
Photo by Brian Hirt  Sunrise at Hanging Rock taken by Brian Hirt

Photos of the original tower structure as it was in 1952 submitted by Jack Flouer have been added to the Main Photo Page

Photo by Sharyn Ogden

 Photos from 2015
 Updated 11 / 27 / 2015





Count season photos from:

2000  2001 2002




2006   2007 2008




2012 2013 2014      
Photo by Wilson Rankin Latest submission by Wilson Rankin and Brian Hirt

Counts ... Migration count data from 1959 to present.

2014 Migration count

Record counts ... Daily and yearly record totals

Complete yearly totals

Count data comparison ... Gives peak of migration dates, earliest and latest sightings for each species and compares count data from 1974 through 2003

Results from the 2006 through 2014 local eagle surveys, conducted by Jim Phillips, in an attempt to determine the population in southeastern West Virginia.

Track the New River Gorge peregrines

What is a raptor?

Peters Mountain Roar
by George Flouer

What is a kettle?

Learn how hawks use
air currents when they migrate


Comments ... Read comments left by visitors, or, submit your own Updated 11-09-2014
Latest comment by
Charity Richmond

e-mail ... Questions, suggestions, submissions

Links ... Links to sites of interest. Most recent link added:

Directions to  the Tower ... How to find us. Directions from Gap Mills, Waiteville and Rock Camp, West Virginia and from Paintbank and Blacksburg, Virginia

Note: Due to 911 name changes, Waiteville Road is now Limestone Hill Road andPhoto by Rodney Davis Zenith Road at Rock Camp has been changed to Willow Bend Road. Also, the forest service has erected new signs marking the trail parking for the tower.


Miscellaneous Looking for something that used to be on the home page? It may have been moved here.     


  For Wind Conditions:
 use the weather link below and click on "hourly" for the desired day



Memorial Page


Local information on lodging, restaurants and other interesting things to do when visiting Monroe County, West Virginia.


Created by:


Last date modified:


November 30, 2015