Summersville 2020 - 25

MONONGAHELA
NATIONAL FOREST

Traveling east on Rt. 39
(Appalachian Waters Scenic
Byway) through Richwood,
in just 45 short minutes, you
can enjoy the tranquility of
the Monongahela National Forest. It is an outdoor
mecca, with hiking, biking,
fishing, hunting, camping,
scenic driving and more.
Hiking trails range from
short hikes such as Gateway
Trail at the Gauley District
office near Richwood and
Summit Lake trail, to the rugged trails of the Cranberry Wilderness Area. This area of the
Forest boasts many camping
sites, along the Cranberry and
Williams Rivers and at Summit Lake. This is a trout fishermen's paradise, with some of
the best trout streams in the
eastern United States, including the Cranberry, Cherry
and Williams Rivers. A very
popular activity is a 16-mile
bicycle or horseback-ride on
the Cranberry Backcountry
road, which is bordered by

the Cranberry Wilderness and
Cranberry River.
Cranberry Mountain
Nature Center is a favorite
destination, with nature store,
auditorium and display area
with live snakes. In the summer, snake shows and tours of
Cranberry Glades are available
on most Sundays. The nature
center is open from mid-April
to mid-October.
A nice new picnic shelter has been added to the
grounds. Also, improvements
have been made to a trail,
making it accessible with picnic tables and benches and
interpretive signage. The
Nature Center now has three
new interpretive panels.
The Highland Scenic
Highway, which follows Rt.
39 for 21 miles from Richwood to the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center at the intersection of Rt. 150, then following Rt. 150 for 23 miles to Rt.
219, is a beautiful drive any
time of year, but especially dur-

ing our spectacular fall color
season. Since the Highland
Scenic Highway goes through
Richwood, be sure to stop in
at the Chamber of Commerce,
Oakford Diner, or Gauley
Ranger Station and pick up
an audio tour of the Highland
Scenic Highway for just $4.
There are interpretive signs at
many places along Highland
Scenic Highway, including
popular recreation sites, Summit Lake, Falls of Hills Creek,
second highest waterfall in the
state which boasts three waterfalls, and Cranberry Glades, a
750-acre bog area with unique
plants and rare birds.
If you are a winter weather enthusiast, the area around
the Cranberry Mountain
Nature Center is a prime location for cross-country skiing
and snowshoeing.
For more information
about the Monongahela
National Forest, please call the
Gauley Ranger District at 304846-2695 ext. 0.
25



Summersville 2020

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