NASA Rocket Scientists Commemorated at the Library of Congress ©Author Adventures

No literary tour of West Virginia would be complete without a visit to and a tour of Hickam’s hometown. Take a look at the tour on the Coalwood website at: The road to Coalwood can be challenging so drivers need to take it slowly.

Much of the Coalwood of Homer Hickam’s childhood no longer exists, sadly, but visitors can still use the map to find places of significance — where they are now or where they once stood. The census has not counted the population since 1990 when it was approximately 900, down from more than 100,000 in 1950.

Homer Hickam writes many books and one of them, Rocket Boys, was used as a basis for a popular movie called October Sky. Like many feature films, its story is different from the one in the book, but both are popular choices.  Rocket Boys has all the same letters as October Sky. Read more about the author at

A “Rocket Boys Festival” occurs at the end of September in nearby Beckley. Read about it here: Rocket Boys Festival.


Coalwood is the final stop on our West Virginia Trail!

Patricia Smart