My older brother Chris went to school in West Virginia, and he came back from Missouri for a class reunion two weekends ago. I met him and his friend Gene for a few days of camping out in Kumbrabow State Forest after their reunion. A week ago Monday, Chris was going to see a friend and Gene wanted to take a nap, so I went on a hike from our campsite. I repeated the loop that I did when I was there two years ago - where I took a fall and nearly broke my arm.
This map shows the location of the forest (red circle). The arrow points to the West Virginia border. The forest is about 30 miles south of Elkins.
Here is the track of the Raven Rocks - Meatbox Run trail loop. I started and ended at my campsite (circle) and traveled counter clockwise (arrows). The hike is about 5 miles long and does some climbing to get to the top of the ridge.
Much of the trail is through dark and dense forest. The forests here are managed by the state. There are some impressive looking black cherry trees in the woods here.
Early in the hike are great views from Raven Rocks. The rocks form a small ledge that juts out with quite a drop off, so I moved slowly and carefully out there.
Late on the hike, going down the steep and wet Meatbox Run Trail, where I fell two years ago, I came across these cool mushrooms. As far as wildlife is concerned, I saw a ruffed grouse as it flushed through the forest, and I saw a wild turkey.
I avoided falling this time - yay! Dinner that night was as good as it gets camping out - hot dogs grilled over a hardwood fire, baked beans, pickles, and Tasticake pies!
I had fun camping out. I hardly ever get to see my brother, so that alone made it worth going - to hang out around the campfire, enjoying the amazing stars at night in the West Virginia darkness. But getting in a hike was a nice little bonus! Also, the weather was a bonus for this time of year - highs in the 70's and lows around 50 Fahrenheit. The mountains on the Virginia border, western Maryland, and eastern West Virginia sure have different weather than we do back in the Piedmont!
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