The Monongahela National Forest… Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge… Blackwater Falls State Park… these landscapes contain the most beautiful natural areas in West Virginia and the Allegheny Highlands. Biking, hiking, and paddling are great ways to explore the region.  FOB works with land managers and civic groups to promote and maintain these trails.

One of our current projects is the Olson Fire Tower area, to the west of the North Fork of the Blackwater River. Despite being easily accessible from Thomas and U.S. Route 219, this area has a remote “backcountry feel.” With U.S. Forest Service resources stretched thin, FOB volunteers are upgrading several trails in this area, with plans to reopen abandoned corridors and establish new ones.

We are also working with the Forest Service, Blackwater Falls State Park, and other local stakeholders to create a management strategy for trails in the Dobbins House area. Sandwiched between the town of Davis, the North Fork of the Blackwater River, and Blackwater Falls State Park, this area houses six miles of easily accessible, beginner-friendly trails.

Our goal is to develop an area-wide network of trails, linking towns and local attractions together.

young trail volunteers take a break

Latest News

Otter Creek volunteer day

Otter Creek Volunteer Day

On October 6th, Friends of Blackwater partnered with the Forest Service for a volunteer day in the Otter Creek Wilderness Area. While we didn’t get the massive workforce we were hoping for, we partnered with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards to work on 1.6 miles of the Shavers Mountain Trail down in the Otter Creek […]

Run for it team

Run For It Weekend A Success

This weekend, team Friends of Blackwater competed in Run For It, Tucker County’s favorite community fundraiser.  Although we weren’t the fastest team, with costumes, live music, and great team spirit, we may have been one of the most fun. The Leaf Peepers Festival also took place in Davis the same weekend, and we had a […]

view from Lindy Point in autumn

Progress on Parks, LWCF, and more

We got some good news this week, as both of West Virginia’s Senators expressed their support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF supports outdoor recreation and conservation programs around the country, including  millions of dollars for projects right here in West Virginia. Both Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley State […]

old growth hike 3

Nature Walk Celebrates Old Growth Forests

On July 15th, 20 nature lovers met at Blackwater Falls State Park to learn about the characteristics of old growth forest in an event presented by Friends of Blackwater. The event was led by naturalist Doug Wood, who gave practical lessons on how to identify old growth, as well as some information on the ways […]

group gathered around a conference table at the Forest Service office in Elkins

National Forest News

The one million acres of the Monongahela National Forest belong to our nation; here’s some recent news about your acreage: Increased Timbering Proposed The U.S. Forest Service has shared projections for future timber harvesting on the Monongahela National Forest. In 2018, 15 million board feet of timber would be cut, affecting an estimated 21,228 acres. […]