Cranberry Glades Botanical area W.VA
Port-a-potty style restrooms
Hillsboro, WV 24946
In the Monongahela National Forrest is one of the most unique mountain locations I have ever seen. The Cranberry Glades Botanical Area protects the largest area of bogs in West Virginia. What makes this place unique is that bogs, which are acidic wetlands, are more likely found in the northern areas of the U.S. and Canada.
So, its existence in West Va makes it pretty special. In addition to that, because it is such a unique environment, some of the coolest plants you'll find inhabit this area. I'm talking about carnivorous insect-eating plants, which I love. The Botanical Area is some 750 acres and you can experience this unique location via the boardwalk.
I will say the views from the board walk vary every 30 feet or so. One moment you're out in the open, the next you're under a canopy of trees inhabited by some chatty little birds.
There are informational signs along the way directing you towards unique plant life, like the carnivorous plants I mentioned earlier, as well as different types of wild life that call the Glades home. At various points there is also some beautiful mountain views which act as the backdrop to the Glades.
On our visit here, I will say the parking lot was full, however a very strong but short rain storm sent people running to their vehicles to wait it out, as we pressed onward. This ended up blessing us with having the Glades all to ourselves and it was lovely in the rain. One word of warning here, the boardwalk in the rain was slippery. Especially in areas where the path is slanted. We slipped a few times but manged to make it out without eating it.
While we visited the Glades in the summer, the recommendation I'd pass along to you is to come in the fall. The red colors of the bog make it look so much more magical. I will also note, while we didn't experience mosquitos, we did experience black flies. They were very annoying. It might be a good call to do a quick bug spray session before heading out here in the summer months.
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
The Glades might inspire you to ponder a little deeper if you let it.
Although we encountered no mishaps with individuals, there were a couple signs alerting to vehicle break-ins and theft. Don't let this discourage you from enjoying the Glades, but just to give a reminder to make sure your belongings are well out of sight. My personal tips when traveling is to be as ordinary and uninteresting as possible. Meaning just have situational awareness, pay attention to who is around and what you're discussing.
Whatever path you choose to adventure on in West Virginia, I hope one of them is in the Cranberry Glades.
Access to the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area is from Route 39/150 just north of the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center. From Route 150 take Forest Service Road 102 north approximately one mile.
As always, keep it safe, keep it cool, and stay curious.