About the Forest:
The Monongahela National Forest was established following passage of the 1911 Weeks Act. This Act authorized the federal purchase of land for long-term watershed protection and natural resource management following massive cutting of the Eastern forests in the late 1800's and at the turn of the century.
In 1915 7,200 acres in the mountains of West Virginia near Parsons were acquired by the federal government, and called the Monongahela Purchase. On April 28, 1920 the Monongahela National Forest was officially designated, incorporating the original purchase tract. Over the years additional lands have been acquired within the 1.7 million-acre proclamation boundary of the Forest. Today the Forest occupies more than 919,000 acres in 10 counties in the highlands of the State.
Located within a day's drive of about 1/2 of the nation's population, the Forest is both popular and accessible; yet feels remote and wild.
Considered by The Nature Conservancy to be in an area of global ecological importance, the Monongahela is one of the most biologically diverse national forests. Much of this diversity can be attributed to the wide range in elevation and the resulting patterns of precipitation. The lowest part of the Forest is on the eastern side and is about 1000 feet above sea level, while the central portion of the Forest contains the State's highest peak, Spruce Knob at an elevation of 4863 feet above sea level.