Nestled within the Monongahela National Forest, Spruce knob is West Virginia's high point; peaking out at nearly 4900 ft. The summit of Spruce Knob has a definite alpine feel, much more so than most other mountains of the Southern Appalachians. The upper few hundred feet are covered in a dense spruce forest; a relic boreal forest environment similar to those found in northern New England and Canada.
Spruce Knob's climate can be classified as cold continental or highland. Summers are cool and often damp, with thunderstorms common both in the spring and summer. It's cold and snowy winters average over 180 inches of annual snowfall often crippling its access roads.
Established in 1965, the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area was the first National Recreation Area designated and protected by the US Forest Service. With over 75 miles of hiking trails, a 25 acre lake and a vast network of gravel roads, Spruce Knob is invites nearly every adventurer.
Next weekend, Mountain State Overland is heading to the summit for Episode 5. We'll setup base camp at The Mountain Institute's Spruce Knob Mountain Center and spend the rest of the weekend exploring this Appalachian highland while advocating The Mountain Institute's conservation efforts.
To learn more about Spruce Knob and The Mountain Institute, point your browser to the MSO Facebook and Twitter pages, enjoy still shots from our trip and anticipate the Episode 5 release near the end of May.