A short boardwalk with waysides highlighting the historic logging efforts that took place nearby.

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9

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3

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Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Easy

Description

Whether you're visiting Snowshoe or driving the scenic road through Monongahela NF, this short hike is one of the best you will find.

Well worth the 20-minute stop, an elevated boardwalk wanders through a rock field partially shrouded by large red spruce above.

The spring and summer wildflowers - including rhododendron and mountain laurel - are absolutely stunning, while waysides along the trail note the historic logging operations that blanketed the area. Along the trail, signs note how "before the logging boom, red spruce blanketed more than half a million acres of West Virginia's high country." These massive evergreens, which grow at the highest elevations even as far south as NC, are *a remnant of the Ice Age* and shelter for a variety of rare plants.

The West Virginia northern flying squirrel also calls the area home.

It primarily feasts on fungi, and its ability to hop from tree to tree even helps promote spruce growth.

The Black Mountain Fire Interpretative Trail begins at the Big Spruce Overlook on Highland Scenic Highway.

There is plenty of parking, including space for larger vehicles or trailers.

No water or restrooms are available, but a covered picnic bench offers a nice view of the mountains. [Source](https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mnf/recarea/?recid=77610)