Otter Creek Wilderness
|Otter Creek Wilderness|
|Part of Monongahela National Forest|
Otter Creek Trail (shown near Condon Run trailhead) runs the length of the Wilderness.
|Highest point||McGowan Mountain |
|- location||northeast of Bowden|
|- elevation||3,912 ft (1,192.4 m) |
|Lowest point||Dry Fork riverbank|
|- location||southeast of Hendricks|
|- elevation||1,751 ft (533.7 m) |
|Area||20,698 acres (8,376.2 ha) |
|Management||Monongahela National Forest|
|Owner||USDA Forest Service|
|IUCN category||Ib - Wilderness Area|
|Nearest city||Elkins, West Virginia|
|Website: Otter Creek Wilderness|
The Otter Creek Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness area located in the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District of Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. The Wilderness sits in a bowl-shaped valley formed by Otter Creek, between McGowan Mountain and Shavers Mountain in Tucker and Randolph Counties. It is crossed by 42 miles (68 km) of hiking trails. Otter Creek Trail is the longest, at 11 miles (18 km).
By 1914, all of the virgin forest in the Otter Creek watershed had been timbered, mostly by the Otter Creek Boom and Lumber Company, but also by the owners of several small farms and homesteads. In 1917 key land purchases were made by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the formation of the national forest system. The Otter Creek area was managed as a multiple use forest, including some second growth logging, until the passage of the Eastern Wilderness Act in 1975. The last private in-holding was acquired the same year.
The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 added 698 acres (282.5 ha) to the original 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) of the Otter Creek Wilderness. This addition is situated on the northern and eastern flanks of McGowan Mountain leading down to Dry Fork. It provides much of the scenic view for this popular river which contains excellent whitewater paddling and trout fishing.
- Otter Creek Wilderness page, GORP web site, accessed April 15, 2008
- USGS Bowden Quad Topographic Map, as displayed on TopoQuest, accessed July 6, 2008
- "Elevation for Low Point of Otter Creek Wilderness". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "Otter Creek Wilderness Proposed Expansion". Monongahela National Forest. 2008-03-11. Archived from the original on 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "Otter Creek Wilderness". Monongahela National Forest. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- Otter Creek page, Wilderness.net web site, accessed April 18, 2007
- Wilderness Description page, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy web site, accessed April 18, 2008
- "Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Otter Creek Wilderness at American Byways