Cathedral to Giant Hemlock Trail Loop

Aurora, West Virginia 26705

Cathedral to Giant Hemlock Trail Loop

Cathedral to Giant Hemlock Trail Loop Professional Review and Guide

"An easy, short loop trail travels under towering virgin hemlocks. Cathedral State Park is one of the smallest state parks in West Virginia. However, what the park lacks in size (133 acres) is more than made up for by its biodiversity. The park has approximately 3.5 miles of trail. These trails pass under towering hemlock and cove hardwoods.

The largest hemlock in the state is located within the park boundaries. The park possesses the only stand of mixed virgin timber in the state. It is a testimony to the value of the preservation of old-growth stands and the diversity such stands support. Some of the trees climb to a height of 90 feet, and circumferences of more than 20 feet. More than 170 types of vascular plants, 30 tree species, and more than 50 species of wildflowers have been identified within the park boundary. Special attractions: A quiet and serene walk under towering hemlock trees. The canopy high overhead creates the impression of a vaulted cathedral of trees."

Cathedral to Giant Hemlock Trail Loop Reviews

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This trail was a nice walk through the woods, but I was under the impression from the guidebook that it would be a wide-open forest with very big and tall trees. Maybe in the winter time one would get that feel, but when I hiked the trail in July, a majority of the trail was just hiking through 4'to 8' tall ground vegetation. The tall ground cover made the big and tall trees a lot less impressive because you could not get a feel for the scale -- you were surrounded by vegetation.

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Trail Information

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Cathedral State Park
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USGS Aurora
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Jul 2018