Otter Creek Wilderness


Otter Creek Wilderness is 20,698 acres in size. The Otter Creek Wilderness lies in a bowl formed by Shavers Mountain and McGowan Mountain. Most of the streams flow north into Otter Creek. Vegetation consists of second-growth timber, rhododendron, and a variety of mosses and lichens. Elevations range from 1,800 feet at the mouth of Otter Creek to 3,900 feet on McGowan Mountain. Otter Creek Wilderness has 45 miles of trails, many of which follow old railroad grades, logging roads, or farm roads. Few bridges are provided at creek crossings and some streams may be difficult to cross during high water events. Trails are neither signed nor blazed, although rock cairns are sometimes provided in areas that may appear confusing. Deadfall trees are not cut out of the trails unless going around them will cause unacceptable environmental impacts. Trails can be muddy and wet so be prepared to get your feet wet.

See Otter Creek Wilderness Brochure, Trail Map, and Expansion Map.

At a Glance

Restrictions: Groups over 10 persons are prohibited in the Wilderness. Pets must be under your control at all times. Motor vehicles are restricted to roads and parking areas. Mountain bikes and mechanical devices such as carts are not allowed on Wilderness trails. Practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethics: do not build a camp within 200 feet of roads, streams and trails. Keep fires small and use only dead and down branches, however, we encourage the use of lightweight camping stoves.
Closest Towns: Elkins, WV, Dry Fork, WV, and Parsons, WV
Water: Bring drinking water; otherwise, treat water from streams and springs before drinking.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Cheat Ranger District

General Information


Otter Creek Wilderness is located on the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District of the Monongahela National Forest in Tucker and Randolph Counties, West Virginia. For additional information on this area contact the Cheat Ranger District, PO Box 368, Parsons, West Virginia 26287 at (304) 478-2000.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Winter Sports

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