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West Virginia

West Virginia State Parks

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USA Parks
West Virginia
Potomac Highlands Region
Calvin Price State Forest
Calvin Price State Forest © Brian M. Powell (user Bitmapped on en.wikipedia) / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Entrance sign for Calvin Price State Forest, West Virginia, USA.
Afternoon Hike ©
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4800 Watoga Park Road
Marlinton, West Virginia   24954
(lat:38.0637 lon:-80.1517) map location

Phone: 304-799-4087
Email: park email button icon
Calvin Price State Forest was the last to be added to the West Virginia State Forest system. This State Forest is named in honor of the late Calvin W. Price, a Marlinton newspaper editor, prominent citizen, and leading proponent of the purchase and ultimate designation of this area as a State Forest. Calvin Price State Forest consists of more than 9,400 contiguous acres located in southern Pocahontas County, adjacent to Watoga State Park, near Hillsboro. A small area in the southeast part of the Forest extends into Greenbrier County. The bulk of the Forest was purchased from the New River Lumber Company in 1953.
History of the Area
The first settlers to this area found vast stands of pine trees that reached a maximum development of approximately 100,000 board feet per acre. After harvesting pine stands in New England and the Great Lakes areas in the 1880?s, loggers traveled to the Greenbrier River Valley to harvest this untapped resource. By the 1930's the task was completed and domestic farming was the predominate activity in the area. When the land was purchased in 1953 the forest had been largely cut over and the land was being heavily grazed by livestock.

The rich, moist sites of Calvin Price State Forest are home to a high quality mix of oaks and yellow poplar. Current oak stands rarely exceed 15,000 board feet per acre, but are highly valued in today?s multiple-use management scheme. White pine is re-establishing a presence on many managed areas, as well as, poorer, less productive sites. Drier areas of the Forest primarily still produce white pine, which also is found along most of the stream bottoms. Today, pure stands of white pine only are found along the streams of the Forest, with volumes currently approaching 30,000 board feet per acre.

Unlike most of the other State Forests, Calvin Price has no developed recreational areas. This is due largely to the Forest?s close proximity to Watoga State Park, one of West Virginia?s largest recreational parks. Some primitive camping areas are available at Calvin Price State Forest. Hunting opportunities abound on Calvin Price State Forest for both small game and large game hunters. Nearly two-thirds of the Forest is accessible only by foot.

Immediately upon acquiring this land in 1953, foresters began using the multiple-use forest management approach. Much of the early work was intended to prepare the forest for sustained management. Some small pulpwood and rail harvests were conducted and some timber stand improvement work was done. A management plan was implemented in the 1970?s but harvesting had to be done earlier than expected. A severe ice storm in 1979 felled about 400 acres of timber, necessitating salvage operations. Since that time another harvest has been conducted and a third is scheduled for completion in late 2004. These three harvests average 355 acres in size and will remove about 1.2 million board feet per harvest. The focus of forest management on Calvin Price is directed toward maintaining the vigorous growth and good health of the Forest. These harvests are focused on diseased, damaged, suppressed, or overstocked stands, removing only those trees necessary to sustain productive woodlands while providing for a diverse mixture of wildlife habitat.
1. Watoga State Park offers camping options with cabins, tent sites and RV spots within Calvin Price Forest.
2. The Bear Heaven Campground is a primitive site for campers seeking solitude in the forest's wilderness.
3. Day Run Campground provides basic facilities like picnic tables, fire rings and vault toilets amidst dense woods.
4. Lake Sherwood Recreation Area has campsites near its beautiful lake offering fishing opportunities to visitors as well.

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1. Allegheny Trail: A 330-mile long trail passing through the forest, offering challenging terrain and scenic views of West Virginia's wilderness.

2. Greenbrier River Trail: This is a 78-mile rail-trail that runs along the eastern border of Calvin Price State Forest with easy to moderate difficulty level.

3. Watoga Mountain Trails: These trails cover over 40 miles within both Watoga State Park and Calvin Price State Forest, featuring diverse flora and fauna.

4. Bear Pen Run Loop: An approximately six mile looped hiking route known for its wildflowers in springtime; moderately difficult due to steep sections.

5. Beaver Creek Wilderness Area Trails: Multiple interconnected paths totaling around five miles; these are less developed but offer solitude amidst dense woodland areas.

6. The Pocahontas County Horse Club maintains several horseback riding trails throughout this state forest as well which can also be hiked on foot by visitors who prefer more rugged terrains.

7. Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum Hiking Path: This short half-a-mile path offers an educational hike leading up to Anna Jarvis' birth home museum site from where she initiated Mother's Day celebration concept.

8. Kennison Mountain National Recreation Trail: A roughly nine-miles-long track running across high ridges providing panoramic vistas especially during fall season when leaves change colors.

9. Watson Monument Walking Route: A one-and-half mile round trip starting at park office ending at Watson monument dedicated towards first superintendent Fred E. Watson.

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Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Cottages and Cabins
Deluxe Log Cabins Rental, Tree Houses rental and Glamping Yurts cabins. All located a a remote scenic wooded area, near the New River national River and Gauley River National recreational area. Only 10 minutes from the New River Gorge Bridge Each cabin has a Hot tub and 3 cabins have a Red Heart Shaped Jacuzzi tub and gas fireplaces - Great for Romantic Get-a-Ways.
46.6 miles from park*

1. Start on I:64 E from Charleston, WV.
2. Take exit 139 for US:219 toward Lewisburg/Ronceverte.
3. Turn right onto US:219 N/N Jefferson St.
4. Continue to follow US:219 N through Marlinton and into Dunmore, WV.
5. After passing the town of Dunmore, turn left onto State Route 39/55.
6. Follow this road until you reach Watoga Road; take a slight right here.
7. The Calvin Price State Forest will be located approximately two miles down Watoga Road on your left side.

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West Virginia

West Virginia State Parks