Kumbrabow State Forest, located on Rich Mountain along the western edge of the Allegheny Highlands, is West Virginia’s highest forest.
State forests were being formed because of the depletion of timber and the degradation of land in the state. Conservationists feared that without proper management, the woods would not regrow. Lumber and iron companies had harvested the old-growth forests on a massive scale, leaving behind rotting stumps and sash that was ready fuel that needed just a spark from a passing steam locomotive to become an inferno. Additionally, tanneries took advantage of the availability of oak and other bark in tanning animal hides into leather, which led to tannic acid pollution, while other companies extracted coal that led to acid mine drainage that fouled streams.
The area’s abundant rainfall, high elevation, and forest management led to quick forest regrowth. Kumbrabow State Forest was formed in 1934 and was named after the park’s earliest supporters: Governor Herman G. (Kum)p, Spates (Bra)dy, and Hubert (Bow)ers.
Kumbrabow State Forest features 12¼-miles of trails that meander along Mill Creek to spectacular waterfalls and climb to the top of Rich Mountain to magnificent overlooks.
- Potato Hole Trail: The Potato Hole Trail gradually climbs to the top of Rich Mountain along Potato Hole Fork and ends at the remains of a forest fire lookout tower on a branch of the Rich Mountain Fire Trail. The difficult trail is two-miles one-way.
- Raven Rocks Trail: Starting just north of the picnic area, Raven Rocks Trail climbs up a steep incline to a rock outcropping surrounded by rhododendron. The trail continues on to the top of Rich Mountain to the end of the Rich Mountain Fire Trail, a distance of one-mile one-way.
|219/16, Kumbrabow Road, Huttonsville, WV 26273|
From Huttonsville and the junction of US Routes 219 and 250, follow US Route 250 north for 2 miles. Turn left onto Helvetia Pike and then left onto Channell Road. Follow for 7½ miles. Turn right onto Kumbrabow Road and follow for 4.2 miles.