COWEN, W.Va.—The Monongahela National Forest will re-open 15 miles of forest road 86 along the Williams River from Laurel Run to the entrance of Tea Creek Campground on Friday, according to a spokesperson for the forest service.
Soon after, the scenic backcountry route that crosses through a remote section of the Allegheny Mountains will reopen entirely from Cowen, West Virginia, in the west to the Highland Scenic Highway near Marlinton, West Virginia, in the east.
Road repair began in mid-2017 after a massive June 2016 flood, according to Kelly Bridges, public affairs officer for the national forest, which protects more than 921,000 acres within a 1,700,000 acre boundary in eastern West Virginia.
Bridges said the road was subject to additional flooding in 2018 and 2019, disrupting construction and requiring additional work.
On Monday, July 25, a four-mile section of Williams River Road from the entrance of Tea Creek Campground to the intersection with Forest Road 216/County Road 17 will close for spot paving.
Depending on the weather and other factors, the project is expected to take about one week, and the Tea Creek Campground will remain open during the spot-paving project.
Bridges said the public should plan to access the campground from the Dyer and Cowen end of Williams River Road during this time.
Williams River Road will require additional work in the future. Before visiting the area, tourists should the latest information:
- Check the Monongahela National Forest webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/mnf.
- Follow the forest on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MonongahelaNF.
- Marlinton Ranger District at 304-799-4334 or Gauley Ranger District at 304-846-2695