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.” 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


New Blackwater Botanical Restoration Project to Begin

Friends of Blackwater was recently awarded a grant from the National Forest Foundation to begin the Blackwater Rail Trail Botanical Restoration project. Today, on the Blackwater Canyon Rail-Trail, non-native “invasive species” like autumn olive, stiltweed, multiflora rose, garlic mustard, and Japanese honeysuckle, and barberry are choking out native plants like milkweed, an essential host for […]

Blackwater Flyer-1

Hiring Blackwater Trail Crew!

Friends of Blackwater is excited to continue work on Canyon Rim and Limerock Trails this summer/fall thanks to grants from the WVDOT and the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance. These trails are on the Monongahela National Forest near the Olsen Fire Tower and take hikers through hemlock forests, mountain laurel groves, past rocky outcroppings looking out […]

Coke Oven Clean Up 2020

Coke Oven Clean Up 2020

On Saturday, August 15th at 10 a.m., we will be cleaning up the iconic coke ovens along the Blackwater Rail Trail to Douglas Falls. These ovens have interpretive signs, benches, and a bike rack, but have become so overgrown with vegetation that threatens to cover them up and weaken the structural integrity of these historic […]