The Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, a part of the Monongahela National Forest, protects the most extensive collection of peat bogs in West Virginia. The five boreal-type wetlands serve as the headwaters of the Cranberry River and are adjacent to the Cranberry Wilderness.
Cranberry Glades consists of five peat bogs spread between 750 acres whose plant and animal life is similar to that found in the muskegs of the more northern latitudes. The land, highly acidic, supports plants commonly found at higher latitudes, including bog rosemary, buckbean, cranberries, purple pitcher, skunk cabbage, sphagnum moss, and sundew.
Some of those species migrated to the West Virginia highlands during the last Ice Age. Due to the high elevation, the Glades serves as the southernmost home to many of the plant species.
The Cranberry Mountain Nature Center is a short hike or drive from the Glades, and features exhibits, an auditorium, regularly scheduled events and programs, a native plant garden, and a nature trail.