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Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area

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Visit AFNHA Country

VISIT the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFNHA) and discover the vast forests, scenic vistas, natural wonders, recreational opportunities, historic sites and cultural experiences of central Appalachia.

AFNHA covers 18 counties in the highlands of West Virginia and western Maryland. (Larger MAP Below)

Appalachian Forest Discovery Center


Use the FORESTRY SITES TOUR to explore a variety of forests
and to learn about current forest management

The mountains feature awesome special places -- craggy rock outcroppings, deep forest glades, spectacular waterfalls. and deep wilderness. They are a refuge for old-growth forests and unique ecosystems that harbor wildlife and plants normally found much farther north. The wide range of altitudes, forest types, and habitats found within this area lead to unique biodiversity and variety of places to experience. An abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities let you enjoy these forests with the activities you like - whether a quiet walk, a scenic drive, overland hike or bike ride, fishing, hunting, climbing, skiing, or camping.


The stories of the people are the stories of the land. Settlers cleared the forest for agriculture. Loggers used rivers to bring logs to market, as told by Riders of the Flood outdoor drama in Ronceverte.

Logging boomed after the Civil War with the development of railroads into the mountains. Richwood, Davis and Durbin were boom towns. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is the country’s best example of an authentic logging company town, with original houses, company store, and an operating railroad with the world’s largest collection of Shay locomotives.

European immigrants and African-Americans came to this region as skilled craftsmen, farmers and timber workers with all their traditions and culture. Appalachian music and dance are still handed down, encouraged by programs like the Augusta Heritage Center. Natural resources provide inspiration for heritage artisans. Craft fairs, shops, and outlets, such as MountainMade and Poplar Forest Artisans, showcase this work. The Mountain State Forest Festival in Elkins, the Woodchopping Festival in Webster Springs, and the Autumn Glory Festival in Oakland are examples of many festivals celebrating forest heritage in the region

Potomac Highlands ROAR:
( Regional Outdoor Adventure Recreation )

Highlands Hiking Challenge

The extent of the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area is evident from the map (below).
Covering 18 counties in two different states, the AFNHA region encompasses
the heart of the central Appalachian highlands.

AFHA Region Map


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