The Monongahela National Forest (MNF), in the northcentral highlands of West Virginia, comprises roughly a million acres of National Forest System lands. The numerous rural communities that are surrounded by the Monongahela National Forest (MNF) have long had their livelihoods tied to the coal and timber industries and wood products. Over the last few decades, these industries have waned and these communities are innovating new economies based on recreation or tourism.
Today, an approximate 1.3 million visitors come to the Monongahela National Forest each year. It is a place where visitors can enjoy breathtaking vistas, peaceful country roads, gently flowing streams, and glimpses of many plants and animals. The MNF was established in 1920 and encompasses one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the United States, with elevations from just under 1,000 feet to 4,863 feet above sea level. The MNF is a ‘working’ forest, which provides timber, water, grazing, minerals, and recreational opportunities. The national importance of the recreation resource of the Monongahela has been recognized through the designation of the Spruce Knob – Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, the first NRA in the Forest Service, National Scenic Byway status for the Highland Scenic Highway, and eight Wilderness Areas. Dispersed recreation opportunities abound for hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, climbing, and kayaking. The IMBA Ride Center in Marlinton brings mountain bike riders from all over America to its international events. See the map for the types of activities you love the most. Our towns wait to welcome you as you need rest, lodging or a cool drink and invite you to special events you can find at the county visitors bureaus such as those at Randolph, Pendleton, Tucker, Pocahontas and Greenbrier County.