Take a quick peek at the map. What do you see? Or, more importantly, what don’t you see?
While I love riddles and trick questions, this isn’t one. There is an explanation.
The image displays levels of light pollution on the East Coast. The brighter the color, you guessed it, the more light. You will notice there is a “hole”.
Take a look at cell phone coverage maps. There it is again.
Road maps? Yup, you guessed it, same thing.
We Are In a Hole…Sort of
Opossum Creek Retreat is on the south-western edge of the “hole” you see in the maps. We spend a lot of family time inside the void, for good reason. While the maps and images may lead you to believe there is nothing there, in fact, it is full of things to do and discover.
The Monongahela National Forest
West Virginia has plenty of public lands, more than 1.5 million acres, with The Monongahela National Forest taking-up close to a million acres alone. Just about anything you can think of to do outside, can be done within the Mon boundaries.
- 825 miles of trails
- 576 miles of trout stream
- 8 Wilderness areas encompassing almost 100,000 acres
- 75 different tree species exist in the forest
- Elevation ranges from 1000′ – 4863′ above sea level
Located about 45 minutes from our cabin rentals is ‘The Cranberry’. Near the National Forest’s southern boundary, a visit to The Cranberry is like venturing to another latitude. Literally.
This area is the southernmost hold-out from the Great Ice Age of the Pleistocene. The result? It’s like going to the Canadian tundra, without a border crossing, or Loonies, or anyone ending sentences with “A”.
The plants and animals you might encounter along the Botanical Area boardwalk are from the great white north. Red Crossbills (a bird I have yet to see), Canada Warblers, Skunk Cabbage wild flowers and trees, are all normally only found much further north.
Bears & Scenic Drives
Black Bears are beautiful, graceful creatures. They are plentiful in and around The Cranberry, in fact we see one on almost every trip over. However, don’t let that stop you from making the trek, make it a reason to go!
There is so much to do while you are in the “hole”, we couldn’t possibly share it all in one post. After your next trip, be sure to share the photos.
What is your favorite thing about The Mon?