Eagle Rock is a natural landmark in the Smoke Hole canyon of the South Branch of the Potomac River, located near County Route 2 in Pendleton County, a few miles north of Upper Tract. The nearly vertical geologic formation stands at the mouth of Cave Mountain Gap, where the South Branch sweeps into the isolated Smoke Hole region.
Eagle Rock, sometimes also called Eagle Rocks, is one of several dramatic rock formations along this stretch of the South Branch. They include Seneca Rocks, Judy Rocks, and others. Situated at riverside, Eagle Rock rises abruptly 300 feet into the air, a spectacular sight even in an area known for rugged scenery.
Eagle Rock is named for Revolutionary War veteran William Eagle, who is buried just across the South Branch from the striking landmark. Eagle, who is believed to have been present at both Valley Forge and Yorktown, is identified in some sources as a colonel although he entered the Revolutionary service as a teenager. He settled in the area as a farmer in the late 1700s, after the war, and died in 1848. According to folklore, Eagle once battled an actual eagle at the rock, and lost; the bird had been raiding his poultry from its home in the cliffs. William Eagle’s grave site was discovered in 1927 and is now well-marked.
Cite This Article
e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Eagle Rock." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 20 January 2012. Web. 24 January 2017.