Hike In The Shade Of The Oldest Trees In West Virginia At This Impressively Biodiverse State Park
In the hot, humid dog days of summer (as well as at any other time of year!), there’s something so refreshing about a hike through a lush, green, shady forest. There are many of those kinds of hikes that fit the bill in West Virginia, but one of the best is found in Cathedral State Park in Aurora.
As the fifth-most forested state in the nation, West Virginia is covered in trees. But there's no other forest in the whole state like the one at Cathedral State Park in Aurora, West Virginia.
It boasts some of the oldest trees in the state: huge, ancient old-growth hemlocks. Some of these trees reach 90 feet high and are over 16 feet around!
And just as amazing, in the understory at the base of these giant trees, a plethora of other plants thrive as well.
The level of biodiversity in old-growth forests is typically stunning, and Cathedral is no exception. At least 9 types of fern, 3 kinds of moss, 30 trees, and more than 50 wildflowers have been growing undisturbed in this small patch of forest for centuries.
If you haven't already, plan to stop by and stroll the more than three miles of trails that run through the park to see some of this incredible variety for yourself.
You're bound to discover, as others have, what a rare state treasure this small section of hidden forest is.
And if that discovery makes you want to hug a tree, there are plenty of magnificent, wizened ones here to choose from.
To learn more about Cathedral State Park, visit the
West Virginia State Parks website. While there’s plenty of hiking at Cathedral, there are no overnight facilities; consider traveling to nearby Blackwater Falls State Park to spend the night! Address: Cathedral State Park, Aurora, WV 26705, USA