November 29, 2014.
Thanksgiving brought a snowstorm, so we decided to go to the West Fork Rail Trail to see some snow-buried spruce trees. To get here, we went through Bemis and turned right- the same road you take to get to the High Falls of Cheat trail. We had considered this trail, but didn’t want to trudge through the deep snow uphill both ways. The road, surprisingly, had been plowed for a ways. We drove until we came upon this sign and pulled over. The access trail was a short, windy gated forest road.
A truck had been through the trail (behind the gated portion), but it had turned to the right, back toward Bemis. We decided to head in the opposite direction and forge our own path.
We felt kind of bad for breaking the perfectly fallen snow, but trudged on. The trail is a converted rail-to-trail, so it’s very flat. We passed a few pond-like areas and several places were nothing but spruce lined the trail. It was a stunning sight after the freshly fallen, heavy snow. Trudging through it became a bit of a hassle, though, so we only went a mile or so before turning back. We were up to our knees in snow and didn’t have snowshoes with us. The area has a lot of spruce regeneration, which is certainly a welcome site. It looked like a small Christmas tree farm at some points. Our waterproof boots didn’t do too much to help us at this point. The snow was well over our boots and had soaked through the bottoms of our pants, so we were pretty frozen by the time we finally made it back to the tire tracks.