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Cathedral State Park

Rt. 1 Box 370
Aurora, WV 26705
Phone: (304) 735-3771

Explore Cathedral!

Cathedral State Park consists of 133 acres, located on U.S. Route 50, in Preston County in Northeastern, West Virginia. The region is hilly to mountainous, but the park is located on gently sloping ground with an elevation varying from 2460 to 2620 feet. 

Over 170 species of vascular flora have been catalogued; to include 9 species of fern, 3 club moss, over 30 tree species (17 broad leaf) and over 50 species of wildflowers.

The park is an ancient hemlock forest of majestic proportions, and one of the last living commemorations of the vast virgin hemlock forest which once flourished in the Appalachian highlands. 

Trees up to 90 feet in height and 21 feet in circumference form cloisters in the park. Throughout the woods, eastern hemlock is the dominant species.

Mr. Branson Haas worked for the Brookside Hotel, which stood where the park superintendent's residence now stands. He sold the forest to the State of West Virginia in 1942, with the provision that it remains untouched by ax or saw. Mr. Haas served as caretaker until his death.

On October 6, 1966, Cathedral State Park was entered in the National Registry for Natural Historical Landmarks, as �an area that possesses exceptional value in illustrating the natural history of the United States.� 

It is of note this is the only stand of mixed virgin timber left in West Virginia. In addition, the largest hemlock tree in the state is located within the park.

Directions:

Cathedral State Park is located on Rt. 50 near Aurora, WV, approximately five miles west of Red House, MD.

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