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Cathedral State Park

Cathedral State Park
West Virginia State Park
National Natural Landmark
Cathedral Trail
Country United States
State West Virginia
County Preston
Elevation 2,579 ft (786.1 m)
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
Nearest city Aurora, West Virginia
Location of Cathedral State Park in West Virginia
Website: Cathedral State Park

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.[3] 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.[4] The Rhine Creek runs through the park.[3]

The United States National Park Service has designated the park as a National Natural Landmark in 1965.[5]

The park is under significant threat from the hemlock woolly adelgid, which has been detected within 20 miles (32 km) of the park.[6]


  • History 1
  • Trails 2
  • Photo gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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.[3] It was included in the Brookside Historic District.[7] The park was entered in the National Registry for Natural History Landmarks on October 6, 1966.[3] The Society of American Foresters recognized the park in 1983 in its National Natural Areas program.[3]

In 2004, the state's largest hemlock tree was felled by lightning.[3]

In October 2012, the park suffered extensive damage resulting from snowfall produced by Hurricane Sandy.[5]


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

Photo gallery

See also


  1. ^ a b West Virginia State Parks Facilities Grid, accessed March 29, 2008
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f g
  4. ^ Forests of the Appalachians Project web site, accessed July 22, 2006.
  5. ^ a b Cathedral State Park web site, access July 22, 2006
  6. ^ , December 19, 2004, accessed July 22, 2006.Charleston Gazette"Trees last stand: Park may be last place to see uncut hemlock forest in state",
  7. ^

External links

  • Official site
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