Recreation


A waterfall cascades over jagged rocks.

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The Monongahela National Forest is a recreation destination and major tourism attraction. The extensive backwoods road and trail system is available for hikingmountain biking and horseback riding. There are many miles of railroad grades that are a link in the recreation use of the forest. Recreation ranges from self-reliant treks in the wildernesses and backcountry areas to the challenges of mountain climbing to traditional developed site campingHuntingfishing, and wildlife viewing are also popular uses.

The national importance of the recreation resource of the Monongahela has been recognized through the designation of the Spruce Knob – Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area (NRA), the first NRA in the Forest Service, National Scenic Byway status for the Highland Scenic Highway, and eight Wilderness Areas

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

Area Name Status Area Conditions
Bear Heaven Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Bickle Knob Observation Tower Open Open Closes when roads are snow-covered
Big Bend Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Big Rock Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Bishop Knob Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Blue Bend Recreation Area and Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Cranberry Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Cranberry Mountain Nature Center Closed Closed Closed for season
Cranberry River Sites Open Open Campsites are open when roads are snow-free. Toilets are closed.
Day Run Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Dolly Sods Picnic Area Closed Closed Closed for season
Gatewood Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Gaudineer Picnic Area Closed Closed Closed for season
Highland Scenic Highway Open Open Highland Scenic Highway is not snow-plowed. Highway closes when snow-covered. Toilets are closed.
Horseshoe Recreation and Campground Area Closed Closed Closed for season
Island Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Jess Judy Group Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Lake Buffalo Open Open Lake open year-round, but roads to it are not snow-plowed. Toilets are closed.
Lake Sherwood Recreation Area and Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Laurel Fork Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Middle Mountain Cabins Closed Closed Closed for season
North Bend Picnic Area Closed Closed Closed for season.
Old House Picnic Area Closed Closed Closed for season
Olson Observation Tower Open Open Closes when roads are snow-covered
Pocahontas Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Red Creek Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Rimel Picnic Area Closed Closed closed for season
Seneca Rocks Discovery Center Closed Closed Closed for season
Seneca Rocks Picnic Area Closed Closed Closed for season
Seneca Shadows Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Spruce Knob Lake Campground Open Open Campground closed for season. Lake open year-round, but roads to it are not snow-plowed. Lake toilets are closed.
Spruce Knob and Spruce Knob Observation Tower Open Open Roads to Spruce Knob are not snow-plowed. Area closes when snow-covered. Toilets are closed. 
Stuart Day Use Area and Campground Closed Closed Closed for season.
Summit Lake Campground Open Open Campground closed for season. Lake open year-round, but roads to it are not snow-plowed. Lake toilets are closed.
Tea Creek Campground Closed Closed Closed for season
Williams River Sites Open Open Campsites are open when roads are snow-free. Toilets are closed
Woodbine Picnic Area Closed Closed Closed for season.