Cranberry Wilderness

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Cranberry Wilderness
Part of Monongahela National Forest
Wilderness area
Cranberry Wilderness, WV, view.jpg
Cranberry Wilderness
Country United States
State West Virginia
Counties Pocahontas, Webster
Elevation 3,400 ft (1,036.3 m)
Coordinates 38°16′36″N 80°19′57″W / 38.27667°N 80.33250°W / 38.27667; -80.33250Coordinates: 38°16′36″N 80°19′57″W / 38.27667°N 80.33250°W / 38.27667; -80.33250
Highest point Black Mountain
 - location west of Woodrow
 - elevation 4,556 ft (1,388.7 m)
 - coordinates 38°16′20″N 80°14′18″W / 38.27222°N 80.23833°W / 38.27222; -80.23833
Lowest point Williams River
 - location at Three Forks of Williams River
 - elevation 2,400 ft (731.5 m)
 - coordinates 38°20′17″N 80°22′35″W / 38.33806°N 80.37639°W / 38.33806; -80.37639
Area 47,815 acres (19,350.0 ha) [1]
Established 1983-01-01
Management Monongahela National Forest
Owner US Forest Service
IUCN category Ib - Wilderness Area
Nearest city Marlinton, West Virginia
Location of Cranberry Wilderness in West Virginia
Website: Monongahela National Forest Wilderness Areas

The Cranberry Wilderness is a 47,815-acre (19,350 ha) U.S. wilderness area in the Monongahela National Forest of southeast West Virginia, United States.[1] Its name derives from the nearby Cranberry Glades as well as from the Cranberry River and Cranberry Mountain. In addition to being wilderness, it is a designated black bear sanctuary.


The Cranberry Wilderness is located mostly in Pocahontas County, with a small portion in Webster County. The wilderness is drained by the Williams River and the Cranberry River, both of which are tributaries of the Gauley River, which in turn unites with the New River to form the Kanawha, a tributary of the Ohio. The area just to the east of the Cranberry Wilderness is drained by tributaries of the Greenbrier River which flows into the New.

The wilderness is located in the Yew Mountains, which are part of the Allegheny Mountains. The highest point in the wilderness is along Black Mountain at 4,556 feet (1,389 m), although there is a slightly higher point at 4,603 feet (1,403 m) just outside the wilderness. The lowest elevation in the wilderness is at 2,400 feet (730 m) along the Williams River at Three Forks of Williams River, where it exits the wilderness.


Wilderness designation[edit]

Counterculture events[edit]

The national Rainbow Gathering has been held twice at the Cranberry Wilderness — in 1980 and in 2005.[2]

2009 addition[edit]

The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 added 11,951 acres (4,836 ha) of adjacent land to the Cranberry Wilderness.[3] This area, which was previously known as the Cranberry Backcountry, is located between the Williams River and the Cranberry River. It protects several tributaries of both the Williams and Cranberry Rivers which are popular trout streams. The area already has an excellent trail system connected to the original wilderness.

Hiking trails[edit]

  • Big Beechy Trail – 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometers)
  • Birch Log Trail – 3.0 miles (4.8 kilometers)
  • Black Mountain Trail – 2.0 miles (3.2 kilometers)
  • County Line Trail – 9.5 miles (15.3 kilometers)
  • District Line Trail – 3.0 miles (4.8 kilometers)
  • Forks of the Cranberry Trail – 6.0 miles (9.7 kilometers)
  • North South Trail – 14.0 miles (22.5 kilometers)
  • Forks By-Pass Trail – 2.0 miles (3.2 kilometers)
  • Middle Fork Trail – 9.0 miles (14.5 kilometers)
  • North Fork Trail – 7.5 miles (12.1 kilometers)
  • Laurelly Branch Trail – 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers)
  • Tumbling Rock Trail – 2.5 miles (4.0 kilometers)
  • Little Fork Trail – 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers)
  • Lick Branch Trail – 2.1 miles (3.4 kilometers)
  • Rough Run Trail – 3.0 miles (4.8 kilometers)[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cranberry Wilderness". Monongahela National Forest. Retrieved April 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Rainbow Gathering – Listing of North American Annual Sites". Rainbow Family of Living Light – Unofficial. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009". Library of Congress. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Cranberry Wilderness brochure" (PDF). Monongahela National Forest. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]