Smoke Hole Canyon

West Virginia USA

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Not to be confused with the associated former town of Smoke Hole, West Virginia. Smoke Hole Canyon — traditionally called The Smoke Holes and later simply Smoke Hole — is a rugged long gorge carved by the South Branch Potomac River in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, United States. The area is rather isolated and remote with parts accessible only by boat or on foot. Defined to the east by Cave Mountain and to the west by North Fork Mountain, Smoke Hole has been part of the Monongahela National Forest's Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area since 1965, although some of it is still private land. Formerly, the area was home to a scattered community of family homesteads, storied for their isolation, traditional lifestyles, and skilled production of the illicit liquor known as "moonshine". Today, The Nature Conservancy considers Smoke Hole and the surrounding mountains to be "one of the most biologically rich places in the East", especially as regards its rare plant communities. It included the Canyon as part of the greater Smoke Hole-North Mountain Bioreserve during its "Last Great Places" campaign.

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Smoke Hole Canyon

West Virginia

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