Thursday, March 3, 2011

Outdoors adventure: Cranberry Glades

With the recent warm weather I have been getting the urge to get outdoors and do some hiking, as I'm sure many of you are. For those who like to get out and see something spectacular whilst they walk, I have just the place for you. The Cranberry Glades area near Richwood, West Virginia has a very unique environment. There is the remnants of a tundra from the ice age right in the heart of West Virginia. This area has a big looped board walk going through the park. You can see a lot of wildlife such as Venus flytraps and honey dews. On a sunny day in the glades in spring the air is usually cool but not exactly cold. The walk through here is a very easy walk. The boardwalk is not at an incline.

For a more strenuous workout try the nearby Falls of hills creek.
This is a set of three waterfalls. The picture above is of the lower falls. The walk in is down hill and at the bottom there is a small board walk to stand on and rest. You can enjoy not only the falls but wildlife is rather abundant. Spotting a few white tail deer on the way in is not uncommon. If you are in the area in the spring don't forget to catch the Ramp festival. You might just pay for the whole trip!

If you need lodging in the area you can try the four seasons lodge in Richwood. Located just behind the hotel you will find a small waterfall with a very good swimming hole. four seasons

For a more natural hike, you can visit the highland scenic highway which is just down the road from the glades.
This area has breathtaking views and all natural paths. There are trails going all through the national forest, many of which are perfect for the hardcore backpacker. There is plenty of camping in the area, free of charge. The draw back to this area is that it is closed down until later in the spring due to the high elevation. There is so much snow that the road is impassable. Here you can see black bears, deer, panthers, bobcats and many other kinds of wild life. If you visit in the early fall you will be treated to a view of the leaves changing in the mountains around you. The national forest in this area is so vast that there is no way you could cover it all in a life time, so there will always be something new to see on a return trip.

At the end of your trip you can visit the Cranberry mountain nature center. Here you can pick up a lot of souvenirs as well as see the little museum they have there. So weather you are a rugged outdoorsman  or just a casual stroller, there is something here for you. A visit here will leave you with nothing but good memories as well as stories to tell your family and friends.


  1. My gawd that's beautiful! Most of my favorite places are sub-alpine to alpine.

  2. I'll have to visit soon... that would be just a quick amtrak trip

  3. Hello - I'm an editor for a paper/magazine in Jefferson County, WV - The Observer ( - and I'd like to use the above picture of the boardwalk in Cranberry Glades for an article we're doing on WV parks. Would it be possible for me to get this original image? I'd credit the photog, etc., and even link back and promote them when we push the article through the web. Many thanks - let me know: