PICKENS, W.Va. — Hikers in West Virginia’s high country will have a new destination for a day trip in the months to come. The West Virginia Division of Forestry is unveiling it’s new observation deck atop Rich Mountain in the Kumbrabow State Forest in southern Randolph County this weekend.
“The views from Rich Mountain are spectacular and it is the perfect place for an observation tower,” said Travis Miller, Management Forester for the West Virginia Division of Forestry. “Historically there was an old fire tower on the site. We decided to put in a little regeneration cut and open up the view around the ridge where the fire tower had been.”
The money generated from the timber sale was invested back into the area. The state built an observation deck and a small picnic shelter on the area. About 16 acres was timbered allowing for better views from the spot and to create early successional habitat to benefit the region’s wildlife.
“We’re trying to regenerate black cherry and create the early successional habitat for songbirds and other wildlife species,” Miller said. “It’s an overlook with an observation deck and hiking shelter which offers a great place to view wildlife and bird watch.”
The location is fairly remote. It’s a two hour hike, but Saturday from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. the gates will be open on the Rich Mountain Fire Trail for those attending the dedication to drive to a spot close to the area. Eventually, Miller would like to create a permanent vehicle access with a shorter hike so all could enjoy the view.
The area can be accessed via the Potato Hole Trail, the Meat Box Trail, and the Rich Mountain Fire Trail.