Backpacking — Otter Creek Wilderness

Otter Creek Hiking


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).

Directions from Morgantown

There are six different access points with parking areas for Otter Creek Wilderness. The two described here are at the north and south respectively (see MNFguide for other access descriptions). The closest access to Morgantown is along the Dry Fork River near Parsons. Take rt. 7 (Sabraton) through Masontown, Reedsville and Kingwood to rt. 72. Go south along the Cheat River through Rowlsburg to Parsons. Go east on 219/72 for 2 miles to 72 south. Go 4.3 miles to Otter Cr. parking area on the right. The southern access route (2 hrs) is to take I-79 south to Weston (exit 99). Take rt. 33 east to Elkins. Continue on 33 east for 12 miles to Alpena and turn left on FR 91. Follow 2 miles north to the trailhead.

Travel Time: 11/2 hr


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

Web resources:

Otter Creek Wilderness – MNF 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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