Kumbrabow State Forest
Guide

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Introduction

Stunning secluded Kumbrabow State Forest, located along the western edge of the Allegheny Highlands atop Rich Mountain, offers a quiet space to enjoy nature. This 9,474-acre state forest is the state's highest forest and offers a variety of outdoor recreational options. Dating from 1934, Kumbrabow State Forest maintains a variety of native wildlife. Wild turkey, deer, grouse, bobcats, and black bear can all be found among the mountain laurel and rhododendron abundant here. Guests will be enchanted by the stands of black cherry and red spruce growing within the forest. They are invited to enjoy the pristine streams they will find flowing through this secluded haven and enjoy the many stunning views they will find here.

Those interested in staying the night within this stunning forest have a few options to choose from. Kumbrabow State Forest maintains six fully furnished cabins dating back to the 1930’s as well as 13 camping sites and a primitive group camping space. The cabins maintained by the forest were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and feature stone fireplaces, wood burning kitchen stoves, gas lights, and refrigerators. Note that there is no running water in the cabins. However, there is water available that can be drawn from the cabin wells. This said, this experience is not for everyone. Guests with an interest in experiencing the solitude and joys of living in a pioneer cabin will find that these cabins are available for rent from the second Friday in April to the first week in December. Cabin guests can find a bathhouse maintained for their use at the forest office.

Guests with an interest in camping will find that the forest maintains 13 sites near a native trout stream. Sites are available for tent/camper/RV camping. Sites can accommodate RV’s up to 20-feet in length. However, guests should be mindful that some of the roads within the forest are dirt and can be particularly difficult after severe weather conditions. The campground is open mid-April through deer hunting season.

RV Rentals in Kumbrabow State Forest

Transportation in Kumbrabow State Forest

Driving

The park's address is:

Kumbrabow State Forest

219/16 Kumbrabow Rd.

Huttonsville, WV 26273

Guests to Kumbrabow State Forest will find the forest off US 219. The forest is approximately 24 miles south of Elkins and seven miles south of Huttonsville. Those traveling via US 219 will turn onto Rt 219-16 (Kumbrabow Forest Road) at Elkwater and follow to the forest. Guests traveling north on 219 will find the turn-off eight miles from Valley Head. Another way to access the forest is to take WV 15. Guests choosing this option will turn onto Rockbase Road at Monterville. Visitors to the forest will want to be mindful that some of the roads within the forest are dirt and can be challenging following severe weather.

Parking

Guests to Kumbrabow State Forest will find parking available to them near the park headquarters, near the picnic shelters, within the campground, and near the cabins.

Public Transport

There is no access to public transportation available within the park.

Campgrounds and parking in Kumbrabow State Forest

Campsites in Kumbrabow State Forest

Reservations camping

Kumbrabow State Forest

Stunning 9,474-acre Kumbrabow State Forest offers guests a variety of lodging options as well as an array of outdoor recreational activities. The park maintains a campground with 13 sites beside a natural trout stream. Guests to the campground will find themselves surrounded by mature forest near patches of Rhododendron. This campground can accommodate RV’s up to 20-feet in length. The campground is open mid-April through the first week of December with reservations available from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. Guests will find camp sites available on a first-come, first-served basis after Labor Day. A campsite reservation application is available online.

The Kumbrabow State Forest also maintains six fully furnished pioneer cabins, open from April to the first week of December. The cabins are equipped with cooking utensils, dishes, flatware, bed linens, towels and outdoor charcoal grills. These cabins date back to the 1930’s and were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. These units propel guests back in time to a less harried time. They feature stone fireplaces, wood burning kitchen stoves, gas lights, and refrigerators. There is no running water available within the cabins. However, there are pit toilets and a bathhouse with laundry facilities located nearby.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Kumbrabow State Forest

In-Season

Hunting

Stunning 9,474-acre Kumbrabow State Forest is an exceptional place for guests interested in hunting. The forest maintains cabins and a campground that are open during hunting season. This makes the forest not only an ideal place for hunting but also allows guests with an interest in hunting to make this a family outing or an extended hunting trip. Deer, bear, turkey, bobcat and ruffed grouse are the most prevalent game in the forest. Guests should note that a state license is required for hunting.

Fishing

Stunning Kumbrabow State Forest touts a pristine trout stream at Mill Creek. Guests will find the stream near the campground area. The stream invites guests to pause by the babbling mountain stream and try their hand at catching dinner much in the way they would have decades ago. Guests staying in the rustic pioneer cabins located in the forest can then proceed to try their hand at frying up their catch on a wood fired stove.

The cold swift mountain waters here provide many hours of good fishing. Note that a WV fishing license is required.

Hiking

This massive 9,474-acre forest offers a variety of hiking options. Some of the trails to choose from are:

Clay Run Trail:

Guests will find this easy .75-mile trail near the Forest Headquarters. This trail guides guests over Mill Creek and along an old logging railroad grade. Guests can take this trail to the top of Mill Ridge where they can continue their hike along the Mill Ridge Fire Trail if they wish.

Meatbox Run Trail:

Guests will find this trail near the picnic area. This difficult one and a half-mile trail leads up to the Rich Mountain Fire Trail. Guests may choose to retrace their steps or return via either Raven Rocks or Potato Hole Trail.

Raven Rocks Trail:

Guests will locate this moderate one-mile hike north of the picnic area. This trail leads up a sharp incline to a rock overlook surrounded by rhododendron, making it a stunning site in the spring time. Guests will take a more gradual climb to the top of Rich Mountain.

Off-Season

Cheat Summit Fort

Guests to Kumbrabow State Forest with an interest in history may want to check out Cheat Summit Fort. This fort, located in Valley Head, was built in 1861. General George B. McClellan ordered this fort be built to secure to protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The Union maintained the fort despite an attack in 1861.Cheat Summit Fort is also known for the earliest use of telegraph technology during the Civil War. Guests to the fort will see the unique earthworks that remain here.

Rich Mountain Batlefield

Guests to Kumbrabow State Forest with an interest in history will find the Rich Mountain Battlefield of interest. In one of the first engagements of the Civil War, Union troops attacked and defeated Confederate troops here. It was July 11, 1961 when the Union defeated Confederate troops near this strategic mountain pass. This Union victory launched the career of General McClellan and gave Union forces control of much of Appalachian northwestern Virginia. Control of this area allowed for the formation of a government that would later become the state of West Virginia.

Geocaching

Guests to stunning Kumbrabow State Park may be surprised to find this modern twist on treasure hunting available to them in this space so full of the past. However, for those with a penchant for geocaching, there is a cache located here. The “Hanging Around Kumbrabow S.F.” cache is a bit difficult to find. Guests will be searching for a smaller than average cache located in moderately difficult terrain. The cache is made of PVC pipe and houses a few small trinkets. So, if you are looking to trade trinkets, please, remember to make your trade a small one. The cache is located just off of Whitman Trail on the Turkeybone Road end of the trail. Parking coordinates are as follows: N 38 37.360 W 080 07.045

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