Staff on the Gauley District of Monongahela National Forest have been working this summer on repairs to a 680-foot section of the boardwalk at the Cranberry Glades Botanical area. The repairs include reconnecting and raising parts of the boardwalk, and fixing uneven walkways.
“These repairs will ensure that visitors can continue to safely enjoy the Cranberry Glades Botanical area,” District Ranger Richard Raione said. “The Glades are very popular with the public, and providing access while also protecting this sensitive ecosystem is crucial. I’m proud of our staff for the work they have done on the boardwalk.”
The project was started in 2019 with help from the Gauley District Youth Conservation Corps and the residential Youth Conservation Crew, and continued in 2020 by the district’s trail crew. Repairs to the last couple hundred feet are expected to be wrapped up by late September.
The public is asked to stay on the boardwalk at all times when visiting the Glades, and obey all caution signs. This will protect the fragile ecosystem and also prevent wet feet. The area is home to beavers and gets lots of rain, which is common in wetland areas.
The Cranberry Glades Botanical Area is a designated National Landmark. At 750 acres, these are the largest acidic wetlands in West Virginia. The area includes four bogs that are home to plant and animal species similar to those found in more northern climates and glaciated landscapes. The Glades are also the headwaters for the Cranberry River and are adjacent to the Cranberry Wilderness.
Cranberry Glades is located 18 miles west of Marlinton and 21 miles east of Richwood at the intersection of Routes 39/55 and Forest Road 102. For more information call the Gauley Ranger District at (304) 846-2695 or visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mnf/rec area/?recid=9913.