Cathedral State Park

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Cathedral State Park
West Virginia State Park
National Natural Landmark
Cathedral State Park West Virginia Cathedral Trail.jpg
Cathedral Trail
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Preston
Elevation 2,579 ft (786.1 m)
Coordinates 39°19′36″N 79°32′17″W / 39.32667°N 79.53806°W / 39.32667; -79.53806Coordinates: 39°19′36″N 79°32′17″W / 39.32667°N 79.53806°W / 39.32667; -79.53806
Highest point 2,620
Lowest point 2,460
Area 132 acres (53.4 ha) [1]
Established 1942 [2]
Owner West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
IUCN category III[3]
Nearest city Aurora, West Virginia
Location of Cathedral State Park in West Virginia

Cathedral State Park is the largest virgin timber tract remaining in West Virginia. The park features trees of up to 90 feet in height and 16 feet in circumference.[4] Located on 132 acres (53 ha)[1] about one mile (1.6 km) east of the town of Aurora and five miles west of Redhouse, Maryland, Cathedral is a mixed forest of predominantly eastern hemlock.[5] Rhine Creek runs through the park.[4]

The National Park Service has designated the park as a National Natural Landmark in 1965.[6]

The park is under significant threat from the hemlock woolly adelgid, which has been detected within 20 miles (32 km) of the park.[7]


Mr Branson Haas, a workman for the Brookside hotel, purchased the land in 1922 and sold it to the state of West Virginia in 1942.[4] It was included in the Brookside Historic District.[8] The park was entered in the National Registry for Natural History Landmarks on October 6, 1966.[4] The Society of American Foresters recognized the park in 1983 in its National Natural Areas program.[4]

In 2004, the state's largest hemlock tree was felled by lightning.[4]

In October 2012, the park suffered extensive damage resulting from snowfall produced by Hurricane Sandy.[6]


Trail Name Trail Length in Feet
Cathedral Trail 5,898
Giant Hemlock Trail 1,170
Partridge Berry Trail 2,931
Trillium Trail 668
Cardinal Trail 1,201
Wood Thrush Trail 3,274
Old Oakland Road 2,257



See also


  1. ^ a b West Virginia State Parks Facilities Grid, accessed March 29, 2008 Archived 2008-06-26 at WebCite
  2. ^ Where People and Nature Meet: A History of the West Virginia State Parks. Charleston, West Virginia: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company. April 1988. ISBN 0-933126-91-3.
  3. ^ "Cathedral State Park". Protected Planet. IUCN. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Cathedral State Park" (PDF). West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  5. ^ Forests of the Appalachians Project web site, accessed July 22, 2006.
  6. ^ a b Cathedral State Park web site, access July 22, 2006
  7. ^ "Trees last stand: Park may be last place to see uncut hemlock forest in state", Charleston Gazette, December 19, 2004, accessed July 22, 2006. Archived May 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Courtney Fint Zimmerman (July 2012). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Brookside Historic District" (PDF). State of West Virginia, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2014-02-20.

External links

  • Official website
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