Kanawha State Forest, in central West Virginia (WV), protects 9,300 acres of woodland south of the Kanawha River. Its terrain descends rapidly from a complex system of ridges at more than 1,500 feet above sea level to the margins of Davis Creek at 700 feet above sea level.
Unlike other forests in the state system, Kanawha had been extensively mined for coal before being designated a conservation area, and many houses and mining structures were removed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937 after the West Virginia Conservation Commission acquired the property. Though owned by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the forest is managed as a state park by the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
Hunting is permitted in the forest, but other forms of recreation have increased, largely as a result of its proximity to the Charleston metropolitan area. Recreational facilities include playgrounds, picnic areas, a swimming pool, equestrian stables, a shooting range, a 45-site campground and hiking and biking trails. The forest is a popular destination for spring wildflower observation.
Kanawha State Forest
7500 Kanawha State Forest Drive
Charleston, WV 25314