Laurel Fork

Proposed Wilderness

Laurel Fork is a wild, remote, and unique area that lies outside Shenandoah Mountain.   Friends of Shenandoah Mountain proposes that it be designated as a Wilderness area because it is such an exceptional candidate.
Where:   Highland County, Warm Springs Ranger District, George Washington National Forest, along the West Virginia border
Size:  10,153 acres
Note:  The GWNF Forest Stakeholders Consensus Agreement submitted to the GWNF Planning Team on Oct. 17, 2011, does not include a recommendation for Laurel Fork as Wilderness; however, FOSM will continue to advocate for protection of this area through the stakeholders ongoing collaborative process.  Fortunately, Laurel Fork will not be leased for gas according to the new draft plan for the GWNF, and most of it will be managed as a Special Biological Area, offering a measure of protection, albeit temporary for the 15-year life of the plan.

                                                                                Laurel Fork
Exploring a boggy area along Buck Run
Notable Characteristics:
Laurel Fork is one of the most beautiful and biologically rich areas in Virginia
  • Contains one of the finest examples of Northern Boreal natural community complexes in Virginia
  • Unique representative of the Allegheny Plateau Ecoregion within the Commonwealth
  • At least 25 species of plants and animals found nowhere else in Virginia
  • Known for salamanders, birds, beaver ponds, spruce forest
  • An exceptional native trout stream
  • Excellent opportunities for birding, hiking, backpacking, and fishing 

Northern Flying Squirrel