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Cranberry Wilderness Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.1 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Awesome Loop for some great Cranberry Wilderness scenery!


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Map Key

17.3

Miles

27.8

KM

Loop

4,496' 1,370 m

High

3,086' 941 m

Low

1,831' 558 m

Up

1,830' 558 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Cave · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Great hike to enjoy some spectacular scenery at the Scenic Highway and as you drop into the Cranberry River basin. The Cranberry River offers some remote fishing experiences and beautiful waterfalls and creek side stops. The Cranberry River area does have some picnic tables and a shelter every few miles for those weary travelers.

Need to Know

The trails are mostly dry trail with a few washed out areas that you'll need to monitor your GPS for. However, the trail is well-marked in all areas.

Description

This is a great hike starting on the North-South Trail #688 at the Scenic Highway. From the parking area, the trail is fairly level to where North Fork Trail #272 splits off to the south. Take North Fork Trail #272 as it gradually drops down to the Cranberry River. There is a camping shelter just south of the intersection of the river. Follow the trail west as it winds along paralleling the river to its end on Cranberry Road.

Hike down Cranberry Road a couple miles and take the Tumbling Rock Trail #214 as it climbs back up to the North-South Trail #688 along the creek. It is only about 2.5 miles uphill, but it feels more like five miles uphill. The trail is an old railroad grade from the turn of the century and offers a great historical experience as some of the railroad timbers are still on the trail. At the intersection with the North-South Trail #688, turn right to head east back to the trailhead at the parking area at the Scenic Highway.

If you're backpacking, there are tons of camping spots along the way!

Flora & Fauna

Bear, Deer, Squirrels, Turkey, Trout, and Crawfish

History & Background

Cranberry Wilderness is a bear sanctuary and served the timber market at the turn of the century before being transformed into a National Forest.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jamie Singleton

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 8 votes

#2647

Overall
  4.1 from 8 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
63%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#16

in West Virginia

#2,647

Overall
69 Views Last Month
11,771 Since Mar 1, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
22%
11%
22%
44%
0%

Photos

North-South Trail looking east.
Mar 3, 2018 near Marlinton, WV
North South Trail dropping down to Cranberry River
Mar 3, 2018 near Marlinton, WV
North-South Trail
Mar 3, 2018 near Marlinton, WV
North-South Trail
Mar 3, 2018 near Marlinton, WV
Cranberry River confluence with North Fork tributary
Mar 3, 2018 near Richwood, WV
Heading out from our campsite at North South Trail at Scenic Highway intersection
Mar 3, 2018 near Marlinton, WV

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 68 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 18, 2022
Michael Griese
This trail has a river crossing, bring shoes you can get wet. Some of the wooden bridges are showing their age, watch your step! — 20h 00m
Sep 11, 2021
Emory Armstrong
great loop, the north-south trail is getting overgrown, and can be difficult to find the trail 17.8mi — 26h 41m
Oct 31, 2020
Zack Heck
Completed this trail in reverse compared to how it is suggested to be completed. 17.3mi
Oct 3, 2020
Will Heinle
Middle Fork-Big Beechy Loop. Backpacked. Camped next to waterfall at intersection of trail. Accompanied by Riley Place 15.6mi
Aug 31, 2019
A K
7h 45m
Jun 8, 2019
Mike Bowen
Muddy, great campaign on the Cranberry River.
May 4, 2019
Kaitlyn Sommer
17.3mi
May 3, 2019
Michael Mox
Kaitlyn and I. 5/3-5/5 rain rain rain downed trees across the path the entire way hiked to intersection of tumbling rock and north south on Saturda…