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Bear Heaven lies on a spur ridge high on Shavers Mountain outside Elkins. It can be pretty cool on summer nights. I can only imagine what the year-round campground is like around dark in mid-January. Most tent campers will head up this way during the warmer months to enjoy a small, quiet campground tucked away on the back side of the Otter Creek Wilderness.
The Otter Creek drainage forms the centerpiece of this preserved national forest land. Mountain ridges are the borders, where spruce stands and bogs hold strong. Lower in the wilderness are tangles of rhododendron over which grow northern hardwood species such as cherry and yellow birch. This area was once logged-any trails follow old railroad grades. In other areas, apple trees mark homesites long since abandoned. On the edge of the wilderness, Bear Heaven campground awaits your arrival.
What does this mean for you? It means a great place to get into the heart of natural West Virginia, where the woods are king once again. Then, you can return to your ridgetop camp and reflect on the day's observations. One of those observations will be what a fitting campground to be adjacent to the Otter Creek Wilderness. Another observation might literally be an obser-vation-from atop the jumbled rock outcrop near the campground picnic area where you can look south over a sea of wooded ridges.