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West Virginia

West Virginia State Parks

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USA Parks
West Virginia
Potomac Highlands Region
Kumbrabow State Forest
Kumbrabow State Forest Mill Creek Falls © Jennifer Toms
Located just before the cabin area.
Kumbrabow State Forest Cabin 3 © Jennifer Toms
Cabin 3
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PO Box 65
Huttonsville, West Virginia   26273

Phone: 304-335-2219
Toll Free: 800-225-5982
Kumbrabow State Forest is located along the western edge of the allegheny Highlands atop Rich Mountain. The 9,474 acres of forest range from 3,000 to 3,930 feet above sea level, making Kumbrabow the state's highest forest. Acquired in 1934, the forest derives its unusual name from the three prominent families, KUMp-BRAdy-BOWers, who were instrumental in the purchase of the land.

The forest is operated by the multiple-use concept which provides recreation and watershed protection, while practicing the principles of forestry and wildlife management.

Through good management practices, Kumbrabow is a showcase for stands of black cherry and red spruce. Diverse habitat has made black bear, turkey, deer, grouse, and bobcat sightings common to visitors throughout the year. Mountain laurel and rhododendron are abundant and surround the majority of several pristine streams, creating beautiful scenic views throughout the forest.

Kumbrabow State Forest facilities include fully equipped pioneer cabins, campsites, bathhouse with laundry, and picnic areas.
History of the Area
1. Early Settlement: The area that is now Kumbrabow State Forest was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Moneton people.

2. Logging Era: In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the forests of West Virginia were extensively logged for their valuable timber. The remote mountains of Kumbrabow were not exempt from this logging boom, and the forests were heavily exploited.

3. Purchase by the State: Recognizing the importance of conserving forested lands, the state of West Virginia purchased Kumbrabow in 1934, making it the state's 14th state forest. It was initially named Seneca State Forest.

4. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Influence: The Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program during the Great Depression, played a significant role in the development and improvement of Kumbrabow State Forest. CCC workers constructed roads, trails, cabins, and other facilities, leaving a lasting mark on the forest's infrastructure.

5. Renaming as Kumbrabow: In 1942, the Forest was officially renamed Kumbrabow State Forest to honor the Native American name for the area. The term "Kumbrabow" translates to "shining waters" or "sparkling springs," a reference to the numerous springs and streams found within the forest.

6. Recreational Development: Over the years, Kumbrabow State Forest has become popular for outdoor recreation. Hiking, camping, fishing, and picnicking are among the activities enjoyed by visitors. The forest is also known for its wildlife, birdwatching opportunities, and scenic overlooks.

7. Preservation Efforts: Kumbrabow State Forest is dedicated to preserving and protecting the natural resources and ecosystem within its boundaries. The forest management practices sustainable forestry, wildlife preservation, and habitat restoration.
CabinsOvernight guests at Kumbrabow State Forest may select from among six completely furnished Pioneer cabins and cottage. Five cabins were built in the late 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the cabins feature stone fireplaces, wood burning kitchen stoves, gas lights, and refrigerators. Cabins have no running water, however pit toilets are available. Water may be drawn from the cabin area wells.

All cabins are equipped for housekeeping including cooking utensils, dishes, flatware, bed linens, towels, and outdoor charcoal grills

Pioneer cabins are open the second Friday in April to the first week of December (last day of deer rifle season).

Check-in is at 4:00 p.m, and check-out 10:00 a.m. NO pets are allowed in the cabins or cabin area A bathouse is located at forest office for cabin guests, and cots are available for an additional charge

* 1 Three Bedroom Cottage * equipped the same as the pioneer cabins * gas range top * fully accessible * cots available at additional charge * NO pets are allowed in the cottage or cottage area * sleeps up to eight people * Pine semi-cathedral ceiling and walls set off by a stone fireplace in the spacious living room add to this unique mountain experience

The Cottage is open the second Friday in April to the first week of December (last day of deer rifle season).
Another option for overnight visitors is the Mill Creek Campground. The beautiful campsites lay in pristine settings near patches of Rhododendron and a native brook trout stream. Features at the 13 site campground include

* picnic tables * fireplace * drinking water * pit toilet facilities * coin operated shower and laundry located at forest headquarters * Firewood and ice are available at headquarters during office hours

The campground is open Mid April through deer rifle season.

All sites are rented on a first come, first served basis, and only one tent or trailer is allowed per site. Families may have one or two small tents in addition to the main unit.

R.V.'s longer than 20' may encounter difficulty in finding suitable sites. A self-registration and fee collection station is located in the campground.
Nearby Vacation Rentals
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Mill Creek is a native brook trout stream whose swift cold waters provide many hours of good fishing with proper licensing.

Deer, bear, turkey, bobcat and ruffed grouse are the most prevalent game in the forest. A state license is required for hunting which is permitted in the forest in season.

Furnished with tables, fireplaces, drinking water and toilet facilities, numerous rustic picnic sites are provided for forest guests. Playground equipment is located at the Meatbox picnic area.
A variety of scenic trails are available for forest visitors. Certain trails lead to beautiful overlooks of the mountain terrain.

Trail Descriptions

Meatbox Run Trail - 1 1/2 miles. Beginning in the picnic area, Meatbox Run Trail is a steady incline following a hollow leading up to the Rich Mountain Fire Trail. Hikers may return by way of Raven Rocks or Potato Hole Trail.

Potato Hole Trail - 2 miles. Starting behind Forest headquarters, Potato Hole Trail gradually climbs to the top of Rich Mountain, following Potato Hole Fork. The trail ends at the remains of a forest fire lookout tower on a branch road of the Rich Mountain Fire Trail.

Raven Rocks Trail - 1 mile.Beginning just north of the picnic area, Raven Rocks Trail starts as a sharp incline leading up to a rock overlook that is surrounding by lush rhododendron. The trail then gradually climbs to the top of Rich Mountain to the end of the Rich Mountain Fire Trail.

Rich Mountain Fire Trail - 3 1/2 miles. Beginning from Turkey Bone Road, the trail follows the top of Rich Mountain to the northern border of the forest. This fire trail will take you along the highest point in the forest (Buck knob: Elevation 3855 feet) and will take you into the most remote sections of the forest. Potato Hole, Meatbox Run and Raven Rocks trails connect to this trail.

Whitman Trail - 2 miles. Whitman Trail connects Turkey Bone Road to Kumbrabow State Forest Road. The suggested route is to begin from Turkey Bone Road; the trail then gradually descends off of Rich Mountain.

Clay Run Trail - 3/4 mile. Beginning at Forest Headquarters, Clay Run Trail crosses Mill Creek then follows an old logging railroad grade north alongside Mill Creek. Approximately 1/2 mile downstream, this trail turns east and ascends to the top of Mill Ridge. Once reaching the top of Mill Ridge, the Clay Run Trail ends at the Mill Ridge Fire Trail.

Mill Ridge Fire Trail - 1 mile. Mill Ridge Fire Trail follows the top of Mill Ridge between Clay Run and Mowry Run. A picnic table overlooks Tygart Valley to Cheat Mountain.

Mowry Trail - 1/2 mile. The Mowry trail begins just south of Forest Headquarters, crosses Mill Creek and ascends to the top of Mill Ridge. Mowry connects to the Mill Ridge Fire Trail.
Area Attractions
Nearby Recreation and Attractions:

-Cass Scenic Railroad

-Helvetia Swiss Village

-Holly River State Park

-Snowshoe Mountain Resort

-Local Horse stables

-Monongahela National Forest

-Elk River Trout Fishing -WV Wildlife Center

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 11 Unique Forest to be preserved by Tom Whittier, Pickens,WVa.
park review stars; one to five On the high ridges of Kumbrabow are beautiful mixed stands of mature red spruce and cherry, beautiful peaceful places for hiking, bird watching or cross country skiing. The State is bringing timber cutting ever closer to these stands. Please let the State foresters know that these stands should not be cut but rather preserved so mature forests will not be only a memory. Do not be mislead by rationals that to preserve you must cut so that young replacement trees can grow.
May 19 A favorite place of ours. by Michelle D
park review stars; one to five Love this forest. Cabins are great. Beautiful area. love it.
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Kumbrabow State Forest is located off US 219, 24 miles south of Elkins and seven miles south of Huttonsville. US 219 Turn onto Rt 219-16 (Kumbrabow Forest Road) at Elkwater and follow to forest. Coming north on 219, this turn-off is eight miles from Valley Head.

Another access to the forest is from WV 15, turning onto a rockbase road at Monterville.

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