A Unique Natural Area In Preston County
Tucked away in a remote spot in Preston County is Cranesville Swamp, the elements of wind, water, mountains, and temperature have created a landscape that is both beautiful and rare. In combination, these climactic elements have produced a natural occurrence known as a “frost pocket” – a low area that collects moisture and cooler temperatures. As weather travels west-to-east across North America, the hills surrounding Cranesville Swamp channel precipitation and chilled air into the valley, which make the preserve one of the coolest and soggiest spots in West Virginia.
The cool, wet environ of Cranesville Swamp has over thousands of years fostered the formation of peat – made of compacted sphagnum moss that creates a nutrient-poor environment as it breaks down. Few trees can survive in the resulting bog, but tall eastern hemlock, red spruce and tamarack prevail in the acidic environment. Lower to the ground, plants like sundew, cranberry and sedge thrive in open areas.
FOR MORE INFORMATIONThe Nature Conservancy
Person Interviewed: Rodney Bartgis
Title: Director West Virginia Chapter Of The Nature Conservancy
Date: Year round
Location: Preston County, West Virginia
Phone: 304 637-0160
Fax: 304 637-0584
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