Geography of Hancock County, West Virginia

By | March 12, 2024

Geography of Hancock County, West Virginia

Hancock County, nestled in the northern part of West Virginia, is a region defined by its scenic beauty, rolling hills, and historic significance. Spanning approximately 88 square miles, it is one of the smaller counties in the state. The county is known for its rich history, charming small towns, and access to the Ohio River, making it a desirable destination for residents and visitors seeking a taste of Appalachian culture and outdoor recreation. Check sportingology for information about Boone County, West Virginia.


Hancock County is situated in the Appalachian Plateau region of West Virginia, characterized by its rugged terrain, forested hills, and narrow river valleys. The county’s landscape is dominated by the Ohio River, which forms its western boundary and serves as a major transportation route and economic lifeline for the region. The river valley is relatively flat, with fertile floodplains and agricultural land.

Inland, Hancock County is dotted with rolling hills and small streams, including Tomlinson Run, Buffalo Creek, and Kings Creek. These waterways meander through the countryside, providing habitat for diverse wildlife and offering opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and hiking.

The county seat, New Cumberland, is located near the center of Hancock County and serves as a commercial and cultural hub for the area. Other notable communities include Weirton, Chester, and New Manchester, each offering its own unique charm and character.


Hancock County experiences a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons characterized by hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The region’s climate is influenced by its location in the Appalachian Mountains and its proximity to the Ohio River, which can lead to wide temperature variations and rapid weather changes throughout the year.

Summers in Hancock County are typically warm and humid, with average high temperatures in the 80s to 90s Fahrenheit. Heatwaves are common during the summer months, with temperatures occasionally reaching into the 90s or higher. Thunderstorms are also frequent during the summer, bringing heavy rainfall, lightning, and strong winds.

Winters in Hancock County are cold and snowy, with average high temperatures in the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit. Snowfall is common from December through March, with several inches of snow accumulating over the winter season. The county’s hilly terrain and abundance of snowfall make it a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.

Spring and fall bring transitional weather to Hancock County, with fluctuating temperatures and changing foliage. Springtime brings blooming flowers, budding trees, and warmer temperatures, while fall is characterized by cool temperatures, vibrant foliage, and the onset of harvest season for local farms and orchards.

Rivers and Lakes:

While Hancock County is primarily known for its access to the Ohio River, it is also home to several smaller rivers, creeks, and streams that provide recreational opportunities and natural beauty for residents and visitors alike. Tomlinson Run State Park, located in the northern part of the county, features a 55-acre lake, hiking trails, and picnic areas, making it a popular destination for outdoor recreation.

In addition to Tomlinson Run, Hancock County is also home to several smaller lakes and reservoirs, including Bear Rocks Lake and Little Blue Run Lake. These bodies of water offer opportunities for fishing, boating, and picnicking, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.


In conclusion, Hancock County, West Virginia, is a region of natural beauty, historic significance, and Appalachian charm. From its scenic river valleys and rolling hills to its charming small towns and access to the Ohio River, the county offers a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities and cultural attractions for residents and visitors alike. With its humid continental climate, cold winters, and warm summers, Hancock County remains a beloved destination for those seeking to experience the beauty and tranquility of rural West Virginia.