Backpacking — Cranberry Wilderness and Backcountry

Description

Cranberry Wilderness (47,815 acres) and Cranberry Backcountry (14,000 acres) make up one of the largest backpacking areas east of the Mississippi River. Together there are 135 miles of hiking trails that provide a great opportunity of reasonably long distance trips (3 to 6 days) and some good loops. The scenery includes rugged mountains with streams, waterfalls and swimming holes. Hardwood forests dominate the lower elevations and spruce forests offer interesting variation on the peaks of the mountains. Trail Map (pdf) Brochure (pdf) Trail Map Link (Highlands Conservancy)

Directions from Morgantown

From I-79, take exit #57 and follow US 19south to WV 55east. Follow WV 55East past Richwood and take WV 150north to access several trailheads on the east side of the wilderness or to reach FR 86along the north side. The west side of the wilderness can be reached by taking FR 102off WV 55past Cranberry Glades to the parking lot at the gate on FR 102and then walking up the road.

Travel Time: 3 hr

Activities:

Backpacking, Hiking, Sight Seeing (waterfall, overlooks), Swimming Holes, Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking(backcountry only)

Address:

One mile east of Richwood on Rt 39/55

Gauley Ranger District. 932 North Fork Cherry Road. Richwood, WV 26261

Phone/Email:

304-846-2695 (Voice & TDD), 304-636-1800 – Mon. National Forest

Web resources:

Mon. National Forest web site

ORC Resources:

Brochure, Books – “Monongahelia National Forest Hiking Guide”, “Out There West Virginia A Guide to Backcountry Travel and Adventure”, “West Virginia Hiking Trails”

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