Cranberry Wilderness Area, WV

2:29 p.m. on January 31, 2014 (EST)
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Beginning to plan a trip for this upcoming August with my brother and his 2 kids (11 and 13) and my dog. Looking for an area with ample opportunities for fishing and ease of making loops etc for logistics purposes. I am going to probably spend a week here, and my brother would be meeting up with me for 3-4 days.

Trip is going to be either the 2nd or 3rd week of August. Since this is a drainage area with so many rivers and streams I am assuming water isnt much of an issue here even in mid august.

Anyone every been to this area? Looking for some good resources and some first hand accounts of the area.

What is the best map for this area?

Are there any guides etc that have trail information for this area?

If anyone knows of some other areas that you think I should look into then by all means please let me know! Looking for moderate to easy(brother and kids only backpack 2-3 times a year), good access to rivers/streams for fishing, allows dogs, and preferably allows fires.

Thanks!

9:36 a.m. on February 2, 2014 (EST)
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Finding some good resources online about the area but would love to hear some first hand information about the area if any of you have been.

12:52 p.m. on February 2, 2014 (EST)
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Cranberry Wilderness is one of my favorite areas of the Monongahela NF! 

38.276563,-80.237754 is a great trailhead that will allow you to build a loop in many ways! 

http://www.wvhighlands.org/Pages/Maps_CW.html Map North Central 4 will indicate where that trailhead is (lower left grid).

http://www.midatlantichikes.com/wv.htm will also shed some light on the area. 

I think the last time I visited was a couple of years ago, I always prefer beginning down the North Fork Trail. I always order custom maps through mytopo, although my buddy has the specific coordinates. Some of streams are very acidic from the peat bogs, you will be able to tell where the best fishing areas are pretty easily though. 

Hopefully this will help you make some progress, please get back to me on this! MNF is my favorite place on this planet! I think I will be heading there in early April, when the only signs of spring are the Redbud (sometimes not even yet)!

Oh yeah, BIG SCAT to be found!!!

3:49 p.m. on February 2, 2014 (EST)
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It's a lovely area! I've been a few times, and always enjoyed myself.

On ridgelines, springs can be unreliable, but no more so than anywhere else. Unexploded ordinance is an issue, so only make fires in designated rings.

A good map is here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5195772.pdf

I've entered at the Three Forks trail head, and done loops from there. There are a lot of permutations of possible loops, so it's a great area to explore with kids.

August will be hot a sticky, with afternoon thunderstorms common. Camp near a creek in the late afternoon for a nap and a swim, and you'll have beat both of these downsides.

Share pictures when you're back - and try to drink a bottle of Cheerwine in the area - a very unique WV soda.

6:26 p.m. on February 2, 2014 (EST)
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Thanks for all the input thus far. What would be the best paper map to order for the area? Or would I be better off just ordering one of the area from mytopo etc. Can't seem to find any maps for sale with trail information etc on them.

10:13 a.m. on February 4, 2014 (EST)
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I haven't found anything that has been a real good resource other than what has been posted on this thread... I use mytopo. 

10:38 a.m. on February 4, 2014 (EST)
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I may have overlooked it on the sites with those maps, but does anyone know of a place you can download all of the gps trail tracks for this area so that I could have them printed onto a mytopo map etc? I find printed the pdf maps myself yield less than stellar results...perhaps i need a better printer.

11:56 a.m. on February 4, 2014 (EST)
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October 25, 2014
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