Cathedral Is Not Open
Cathedral State Park, Aurora, WV in Preston County suffered extensive damages from Hurricane Sandy resulting snowfall of October 29 and 30, 2012. According to Park Ranger, Eric Risinger, all of the buildings had trees fall on them and trails became blocked by the massive hemlocks, many of which fell onto and over the trails from the weight of the snowfall. Cathedral is still under recovery. During the winter some trees have been cut out. Assessment of structural repairs are ongoing. Structures are not in useable condition. The area remains closed until trees and limbs are removed from structures and trails to allow for safe access to a natural area. Please observe any and all information signs, cautions and warnings. A goal is to have some areas open by Memorial Weekend. (4/19/2012)
Note: One of the season’s heaviest snowfalls occurred the last week of March 2013 at Cathedral and the Preston county area. There are still some areas with snow at Cathedral. West Virginia is diverse in nature, weather, and topography.
Cathedral State Park is an ancient hemlock forest of majestic proportions, and one of the last living commemorations of the vast virgin hemlock forest which once flourished in the Appalachian highlands. Trees up to 90 feet in height and 21 feet in circumference form cloisters in the park. Throughout the woods, eastern hemlock is the dominant species.
Over 170 species of vascular flora have been catalogued; to include 9 species of fern, 3 club moss, over 30 tree species (17 broad leaf) and over 50 species of wildflowers.
Cathedral State Park consists of 133 acres, located on Route 50, in Preston County in Northeastern, West Virginia. The region is hilly to mountainous, but the park is located on rather gently sloping ground with an elevation varying from 2460 to 2620 feet.