Cranberry Wilderness

Area Status: Open

The 47,815 acre Cranberry Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is located in Pocahontas and Webster Counties, West Virginia. The area includes the entire drainage of the Middle Fork of the Williams and the North Fork of the Cranberry Rivers. Elevations range from 2,400 to over 4,600 feet.

For more information, see Cranberry Wilderness Brochure, Trail Map, and Boundary Map.

At a Glance

Restrictions: In addition to applicable forest-wide regulations, these special regulations are in effect in the Cranberry Wilderness.
  • 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. Mechanical transportation, such as bicycles, wagons, wheelbarrows and carts are prohibited.
  • Horse use is discouraged in the Cranberry Wilderness. Trails were developed to provide minimum requirements for safe visitor use and to protect vegetation, soil and water. The trails are maintained for human use only. Please consider other areas such as the closed portion of Forest Road 76 and Forest Road 102 for horse use.
  • Always practice “Leave No Trace” camping and hiking techniques to reduce your impacts. By making it hard for others to see and hear you, you will minimize your impact on other visitors.
  • Campfires are discouraged because of the severe impacts they cause. Use a lightweight lantern and cook stove instead. If you do build a fire, follow these important guidelines; choose a site that has already been impacted, keep fires small, use only dead and down wood for fuel, and scatter ashes 100ft. from campsite.
  • To protect your solitude, and that of others, locating your campsite 200 feet or more from roads, streams and trails is a good rule to follow.
  • Trash: “Pack it in, pack it out.” Remember, aluminum doesn’t burn. Clean your campsite before you leave. Human waste should be buried 7” - 8” deep at least 200 feet from roads, streams and trails.
  • Trails are not marked or blazed. Signs are found only at trail junctions. Stay on designated trails. Do not create new trails. There are no bridges at river or stream crossings. Trails can be muddy and wet so be prepared to get your feet wet
  • Visitors entering the Wilderness area are encouraged to register. Although registration is not mandatory we ask you to take a few moments to fill out a registration form at the trailhead or Nature Center.
Information Center: For more information contact the Gauley Ranger District, 932 North Fork Cherry Road, Richwood, WV 26261 (304) 846-2695 ext. 0

General Information


From I-79, take Exit 57, follow U.S. 19 south to Rt. 55 east, to Rt. 150. From I-64, take exit 169 and follow U.S. Rt. 219 north to Rt. 39 west to Rt. 150. Rt. 150, the Highland Scenic Highway, is not snowplowed in winter and is closed to vehicular traffic.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Wilderness trails are maintained with a narrower tread and pathway than other forest trails. Trails are marked only at junctions and there are no bridges at stream crossings. Visitors should use a map and compass when traveling in the wilderness. USGS topographic quads covering the Wilderness include: Hillsboro, Lobelia, Webster Springs SE, Webster Springs SW and Woodrow. These are available at the Nature Center and Gauley Ranger Station. Caution is urged when using these maps as trail relocations may cause discrepancies with locations on the maps. Practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethics: do not build a camp within 200 feet of roads, streams and trails.

For trail information, print Cranberry Wilderness Brochure and Map.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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