Pike Knob Preserve is located on North Fork Mountain in Pendleton County and is owned by the Nature Conservancy. It includes 1,095 acres of majestic views and numerous rare plants and Pike Knob itself, which rises nearly 4,300 feet in elevation. The preserve was purchased from a timber company and from the Frank and Nelson families, to provide long-term protection for the unique natural area. The preserve is renowned for breathtaking vistas downward across the rolling fields and pastures of neighboring Germany Valley. To the east one can see Shenandoah Mountain and the Laurel Fork highlands on the Virginia border. Spruce Knob, Roaring Plains, and Dolly Sods dominate the western landscape as one stands on Nelson Sods and looks across the valley of the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River.
The preserve is also the location of West Virginia’s only virgin red pine forest and contains prime examples of grass bald and dwarf pine barren habitats. Rare plants occurring on the preserve are bristly rose (southernmost station), purple clematis, white alumroot, mountain harebell, Allegheny wild onion, Appalachian oak fern, and three-toothed cinquefoil.
The preserve is reached after a steep walk up the Old Circleville-Franklin Turnpike from a dead-end dirt road off U.S. 33.
This Article was written by William N. Grafton
Last Revised on October 22, 2010