Description - **Information provivded by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources**
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. More information on the facilities can be found on our accommodations page
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.
Recreation - Hiking
Overlook on Ravens Rock trail at Kumbrabow State forest
The overlook on
Raven's Rock trail
A variety of scenic trails are available for forest visitors. Certain trails lead to beautiful overlooks of the mountain terrain.
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.
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.
2004 Trout Fly Fishing Packages available with a guide on the Elk river starting in April, Mill Creek is a native brook trout stream whose swift cold waters provide many hours of good fishing with proper licensing.
Climate - West Virginia experiences four distinct seasons, none of which are extreme. Temperatures in the highlands of the Allegheny Mountains are somewhat more severe than the rest of the state. Generally temperatures during the winter months range from 15 to 40 degrees F. Ample snow accumulation provides for cross-country and downhill skiing opportunities. Spring brings blooming trees and shrubs to the forested regions of the state, as well as warmer temperatures. During this season, March through May, expect mild temperatures between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers are normally hot with high humidity, especially at lower elevations. Expect temperatures to range from 70 at night to 95 during the dog days of August. Fall brings cool, crisp air to West Virginia and spectacular foliage color changes. Bring a light jacket for this season, which brings temperatures between 35, at night, to 70 degrees F, during the day.
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