Friends of Blackwater is excited to celebrate the newest National Natural Landmark (NNL) site- the Bear Rocks and Allegheny Front Preserve!
Located in Grant and Tucker Counties, these sites rocks the plateau world of the Allegheny Mountains in northeast West Virginia! Visiting Bear Rocks Preserve today, you’d see flat sedimentary rocks reaching right up to the edge of a high escarpment. Perched at 4,000-feet above sea level, feeling like you’re on top of world, you’d be treated to expansive views in all directions.
You would walk among red spruce trees, low-lying heath shrubs, rock outcrops and even bogs and marshes, at the lower elevations. It might even feel a bit Maine-ish, as many of the plant species here are typically found much farther north. The wind-swept, stunted appearance of the trees, and plants seemingly growing right out of the rocks, are a testament to adaptations that allow them to survive in such harsh conditions.
Even more mind-boggling is to realize that this high-elevation plateau is the result of continental plates that collided millions of years ago, uplifting the land into mountain landforms, and then slowly eroding away over the years by ice, rain, wind and water. A fascinating chapter in our natural story indeed!