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) Highlands Conservancy Trail Map.
Cranberry Wilderness and Backcountry area are located east of Richwood, WV. Wilderness area trailheads are located both along the Highlands Scenic Highway (WV 150) and on the Williams River Rd. There are five trailheads along Rt 150 including the North-South Trailhead (Google directions below). There are two trailheads on the Williams River Rd, including the Three Forks Trailhead. The west side of the wilderness can be reached by taking FR 102 (Cranberry Glades access) to the parking lot at the gate and then hiking up the road. Backcountry trailheads are located near Big Rock, Bishop Knob and Cranberry Campgrounds and at Summit Lake.
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Sight Seeing (waterfall, overlooks), Swimming Holes, Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking (backcountry only)
One mile east of Richwood on Rt 39/55
Gauley Ranger District. 932 North Fork Cherry Road. Richwood, WV 26261
304-846-2695 (Voice & TDD), 304-636-1800 – Mon. National Forest
Brochure, Books – “Monongahela National Forest Hiking Guide”, “Out There West
Virginia A Guide to Backcountry Travel and Adventure”, “West Virginia Hiking Trails”