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 now open with the exception of a section of the Cathedral Trail now closed due to flooding of the week of May 12, 2014.
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.
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