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“Look out for black bears”

Ranked #196 of 629 things to do in West Virginia
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Owner description: An 830,000-acre preserve with campsites and hiking trails.
Reviewed November 18, 2015

Monongahela National Forest makes the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois look like Chicago's Lincoln Park or New York's Central Park. MNF, located in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, was established in 1920. It protects over 921,000 acres of rugged landscape and spectacular vistas, including most of the highest peaks in the state. The highest is 4,863-foot-high Spruce Knob. It is a recreation destination and a major tourism attraction. MNF is home to black bears, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, 230 known species of birds and 75 species of trees. More than 3 million visitors annually participate in camping, canoeing, hunting, trapping, fishing and wildlife viewing while taking in the breathtaking views, driving the peaceful country roads, fishing in the miles of streams and glimpsing the plants and animals that inhabit the forest. There are two visitors centers--at Cranberry Mountain Nature Center and Seneca Rock Discovery Center. There are two visitors observation towers--Bickie Knob Tower and Olson Tower. There are 17 picnic areas and 23 campgrounds, 129 miles of warm-water fishing streams, 578 miles of trout streams and 825 miles of hiking trails. For example, the Glady to Durbin West Fork Railroad is 23 miles along. MNF is pristine, solitary, peaceful, quiet. Drive through the park, stop for a picnic lunch, marvel at the views, observe the wildlife, enjoy nature and take a short hike through the woods. For someone who lives in downtown Chicago, it is a surreal experience.

6  Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6 - 10 of 24 reviews

Reviewed September 29, 2015

Monongahela forest was a huge surprise. If you're driving to Cass or Snowshoe at this time of the year-you're in for a surprise. Right after you pass George Washington National Forest, i.e. Seneca Rocks, you veer westwards on 28 south. that's when it all changes. You start climbing the mountains in the Monongahela forest.
It is a very pretty sight. See my photos. Then all down 28/92, the scenery is just fantastic. I loved the drive.

2  Thank hemantphd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2015

this is a completely different experience from the other parts of wv. forested area,big rocks and cliffs.we still found a lot of green,we went to spruce knob and senecca rocks areas of the forest,through a lot of small towns, we saw a lot of hikers and bicycle riders, we were able to go to blackwater falls st. park. i was able to walk to these falls also.it was great.a lot water. a lot of greenery.this is a great forest area, so diverse in different parts of it. we had been wanting to do this trip trying to go to as many of the different outdoor things offered in wv. it all exceeded out hopes of what we would see.

3  Thank catherine b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2015

I and my family have been camping at Lake Sherwood for decades. The sites are very well spaced apart, not stacked upon each other as many modern campgrounds are. You have a superb sense of privacy and the campground hosts and park rangers make very sure the rules are observed including quite time. The sites are well maintained. The public bathrooms and showers are cleaned everyday and are very clean. A campground that is what camping should be. It will be a disappointment to those wanting electric, water and sewage hookups. This is part of this campgrounds beauty. Great camp sites, beautiful lake, great fishing, hiking and wonderful people.

3  Thank Randy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 17, 2015

My family and I spent a wonderful day at the "Kids Fishing Event" at the WVDNR fish hatchery. They hold the event every year and highly suggest it for families. My 9 year old son won a new fishing pole, tee shirt, and certificate with length and weight of fish he caught. Each child is allowed to catch 2 fish and afterwards experts quickly clean and fillet the fish and place over ice to take home for dinner. This is an amazing event and EVERYTHING is FREE with memories that are priceless!
We enjoyed the day so much we decided we were not ready to head home we wanted to continue being outdoors! My dad knows the area well from trout fishing and took us to Monongahela National Forest. We ended at Bear Heaven campground where we stayed the night. The camp is clean,quiet and beautiful. It was only $5.00 a night to stay at this hidden little gem tucked away in the mountains! I would have never known about this camp without my father leading the way and I am glad he took us all to enjoy this campground! We made dinner having fish the kids caught at the hatchery. Cooking them over the open fire.
We enjoyed the peace and quiet along with the beauty of the mountains. Yet the most beautiful thing from this camping trip wasn't just the view of the mountains it was the view of seeing my family together enjoying the day,night and most of all each other!

3  Thank Mindy316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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