Otter Creek Wilderness has 45 miles of trails within 20,000 acres. Otter Creek, which bisects Shavers Mountain and McGowan Mountain within the wilderness, provides a focal point with swimming holes and waterfalls. The whole wilderness includes majestic forested areas with some towering old growth trees (if you search), thick rhododendron areas, and spruce forests. Trail Map (pdf) Brochure (pdf).
Otter Creek Wilderness is part of the Monongahela National Forest located in Eastern West Virginia, near the cities of Elkins and Parsons. There are seven trailheads, with the two more popular ones at the north and south of the Wilderness. The Dry Fork Trailhead (Google directions below) is closer to Parsons, while the Otter Creek Trailhead is closer to Elkins and accessed from Rt. 33 and FR 91.
Backpacking, Hiking, Swimming Holes
Cheat Ranger District. PO Box 368, Parsons, WV 26287. On US Route 219 just east of Parsons
304-478-3251 (Voice & TDD), 304-636-1800 – Mon. National Forest
Otter Creek Wilderness – MNF site
Books – “Monongahela National Forest Hiking Guide”, “Out There West Virginia A Guide to Backcountry Travel and Adventure”, “West Virginia Hiking Trails”
Hero & Gallery photos courtesy of Michelle Klishis