Last winter we set out for Cranesville Swamp, on the Maryland line in Preston County, in hopes of finding skunk cabbage in bloom.  Thwarted by remaining snow and a hazy idea of where we and it were, we stopped short of the goal.  West Virginia Day, we found it, and also found that we were within yards of it last winter, but probably could not have made it in on the one-lane dirt (as in not really even graveled) access road to the parking area.

Cranesville SwampThe swamp is part of an area known as the Great Glade in the 18th century, mentioned often in old letters and documents, as it was on the way from Winchester and the South Branch to the new Fort Pitt during the French and Indian War.  The area around it is fine high mountain meadows, reflected in the name of the Preston County town just south, Terra Alta.

There is  a path through pine woods, a boardwalk through the swamp, and skunk cabbage aplenty.  We will know just where to look next winter for skunk cabbage in bloom.

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