At Cranesville Swamp, the elements of wind, water, mountains, and temperature have created a landscape that is both beautiful and rare. The hills surrounding Cranesville Swamp channel precipitation and chilled air into the valley, which makes the preserve one of the coolest and soggiest spots in West Virginia. This is an astonishing arboreal bog harboring plants and birds that usually occur much farther north. 1,774 acres protected by The Nature Conservancy. 10 miles south of I-68 on the border with Maryland. Just east of Cranesville on State Route 42, turn south onto the unpaved Burnside Camp Road. After 1-mile turn left onto a country road and follow the Nature Conservancy signs into the parking area.
Cranesville Swamp Trails
Walk through dense forests of coniferous trees and wetland shrubbery when you set out on the trail at Cranesville Swamp. A mix between dirt trail and boardwalk, these trails offer one-of-a-kind views over one of the most unique ecosystems in West Virginia.
- Blue Trail: This one-way trail is many visitors’ first stop when setting out into the Cransville Swamp. Winding through forests of tall pines and swampy shrubbery for about 0.5-miles, the Blue Trail connects with the Yellow, White, and Loop Trail.
- Loop Trail: This easy 0.4-mile trail takes visitors through the farthest section of the Cransville Swamp, over wetlands and through forests. This boardwalk trail is a one-of-a-kind adventure requiring just a little bit of careful footing on rainy days.
- Orange Trail: After leaving the Loop Trail, visitors can take the Orange Trail back to the entrance of Cranesville Swamp. This 0.3-mile trail takes hikers for an easy walk through dense forests and beautiful scenery.
- White Trail: The White Trail is a direct route from the Cranesville Swamp entrance to the Loop Trail, completely bypassing the Blue and Orange Trails. This 0.3-mile trail takes hikers through forests along a boardwalk trail.
- Yellow Trail: The Yellow Trail is a 0.3-mile path that connects the White Trail with the halfway point for the Blue Trail. Visitors can use this connector to adjust the length of their walk through the Cranesville Swamp.
Cranesville Rd., White Trail
Terra Alta, WV 26764