Recreation


Forest visitor walks to the overlook at the Gaudineer Knob Scenic Area

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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

Current Recreation Conditions

Area Name Status Area Conditions
Bear Heaven Campground Open Open April 15 is first night of camping.
Bickle Knob Observation Tower Open Open Open when roads are snow-free.
Big Bend Campground Open Open April 12 is first night of camping.
Big Rock Campground Open Open March 29 is first night of camping.
Bishop Knob Campground Closed Closed April 19 is first night of camping.
Blue Bend Recreation Area and Campground Open Open Campground and small pavilion opens March 29.
Cranberry Campground Open Open March 29 is first night of camping.
Cranberry Mountain Nature Center Closed Closed April 15 opens Thursdays thru Mondays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cranberry River Sites Open Open Area opens when snow-free; toilets open March 29.
Day Run Campground Open Open March 29 is first night of camping.
Dolly Sods Picnic Area Open Open Opens April 1, weather permitting.
Gatewood Campground Closed Closed April 19 is first night of camping.
Gaudineer Picnic Area Open Open Opens when roads are snow-free. Toilets open April 15.
Highland Scenic Highway Open Open Open when highway is snow-free.
Hopkins Mountain Firemans Cabin Open Open April 12 is first night of cabin use.
Horseshoe Recreation and Campground Area Closed Closed May 13 is first night of camping.
Island Campground Open Open April 15 is first night of camping.
Jess Judy Group Campground Open Open April 12 is first night of camping.
Lake Buffalo Open Open Lake open when roads are snow-free. Toilets open April 15.
Lake Sherwood Recreation Area and Campground Open Open Lake, boat ramp and trailhead open when roads are snow-free. April 12 is first night of camping in West Shore Loop. All other camping loops and picnic pavilion open May 20.
Laurel Fork Campground Open Open April 15 is first night of camping.
Middle Mountain Cabins Open Open April 15 is first night of cabin use.
North Bend Picnic Area Open Open April 5 is opening date.
Old House Picnic Area Open Open April 14 is opening date.
Olson Observation Tower Open Open Open when roads are snow-free.
Pocahontas Campground Open Open April 12 is first night of camping.
Red Creek Campground Open Open April 15 is first night of camping, weather permitting.
Rimel Picnic Area Open Open March 29 is opening day.
Seneca Rocks Discovery Center Open Open April 5-May 12: opens Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, May 20-Oct 27: opens Thursdays thru Mondays, Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Seneca Rocks Picnic Area Open Open Opens April 1, weather permitting.
Seneca Shadows Campground Open Open April 12 is first night of camping.
Spruce Knob Lake Campground Open Open Lake open when roads are snow-free.  April 19 is first night of camping.
Spruce Knob and Spruce Knob Observation Tower Open Open Open when roads are snow-free. Toilets open April 15.
Stuart Day Use Area and Campground Closed Closed April 19 is first night of camping and gates open to picnic area.
Summit Lake Campground Open Open Lake open when roads are snow-free. April 5 is first night of camping.
Tea Creek Campground Open Open March 29 is first night of camping.
Williams River Sites Open Open Area opens when snow-free; toilets open March 29.
Woodbine Picnic Area Open Open April 5 is opening day.