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Cabwaylingo State Forest


Tick_ridge_fire_tower_medium

Located on Twelvepole Creek in Wayne County, 25 miles south of Wayne, Cabwaylingo State Forest takes its name from four neighboring counties, Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, and Mingo. The first land purchase of 6,196 acres was made in 1933. Additional purchases brought the forest to 8,150 acres.

Cabwaylingo’s early history is intertwined with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). A New Deal agency created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the CCC employed youth between the ages of 18 to 25 to work on construction projects throughout the nation. In West Virginia, the CCC worked on reforestation and construction projects in areas that later became state forests and parks.

From July 4, 1935, to October 20, 1938, CCC Company 3532 occupied Camp Anthony Wayne at what is now Cabwaylingo State Forest. In 1938, Company 1558V, made up of World War I veterans, moved in and stayed until April 11, 1939. The CCC surveyed timber and game, fought forest fires, cut weeds and brush, cleared trails, and constructed log cabins, which are still used.

Most of the land purchased to create Cabwaylingo was made up of small farms which were allowed to revert back to woodland after the purchases. Due to the land’s history of farming, and numerous forest fires from arson and moonshining, Cabwaylingo State Forest is a mosaic of trees in different stages of maturity.

Cabwaylingo offers hunting, fishing, and hiking. Facilities include a swimming pool, picnic areas, 14 log cabins, and 20 camping sites. The McClintic group camp, formerly the CCC barracks, includes a dining hall and two rustic buildings that can each sleep 50 people. Near the campgrounds stands one of the state’s few remaining fire towers, Tick Ridge, which was built in 1935.

Written by Nancy Ray Adams

Sources

  1. Woods, John H. CCC Days in West Virginia. Wonderful West Virginia, (March 1988).