Get stoked for this perfect summer day: Hike a section of a long-distance trail to excellent boulder problems on bullet-hard sandstone and then jump into an adjacent swimming hole to cool off. Yep, all of this is in one compact destination just two hours’ drive south of Pittsburgh. Welcome to Cheat Canyon Wildlife Management Area.
This West Virginia area is lightly developed, so enjoy the solitude your group will likely experience and be prepared to use your route-finding skills. There is a parking area at the CCWMA, but no other facilities. From the parking lot, walk downstream (river-right) less than 10 minutes on the yellow-blazed Allegheny Trail and then take a climbers’ trail on the left down to the Sector 1 boulders. This so-called gritstone (Connoquenessing sandstone) is similar to the rock at nearby Coopers Rock State Forest, but a bit softer after being polished by the water.