Located in the heart of West Virginia, the Whitmeadow Ridge Trail is also in the center of the Monongahela National Forest. Otherwise known as the Whitmeadow Hunters Access Trail (notice the bullet holes in the trail signs), this beautiful trail follows the ridgeline of Cheat Mountain 4.7 miles to Shavers Fork. It travels through a secondary forest of pines, oaks and several different fern species. There is about a 1,000-foot descent from the beginning off Forest Road 92 to the end. This descent is not gradual until it reaches the old railroad bed near Shavers Fork.
The trail parallels Shavers Fork through a rhododendron forest until it reaches the end, where Shavers Fork meets Whitmeadow Run. The parking area is next to a catch-and-release fishing hole that is also perfect for picnics, though there are no facilities. The drive to the trail is also beautiful. The highway route from Elkins to Forest Road 92 is known as the Cheat Mountain Backway, a scenic highway that passes the site of the Cheat Mountain Summit Fort where Union Troops camped in the summer of 1861. There are now interpretive signs around the grounds to tell the story to visitors.
Parking and Trail Access
From Elkins, take US 219 south toward Huttonsville. After you drive through Huttonsville, take US 250/State Route 92 south for 7 miles toward Durbin. Turn left onto Forest Road 92. Look for the northwest trailhead about 1.3 miles north after you cross Forest Road 47.
To access the southeast trailhead from Forest Road 92, turn right onto Forest Road 47 and drive to its end. Here you will find a large parking lot next to Shavers Fork. Both ends of the trail are signed.