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The West Virginia. Cyclopedia


The Smoke Hole

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The Smoke Hole Canyon of Grant County and Pendleton County, near Franklin, West Virginia, is among West Virginia's most impressive geological features. Formed about 185 million years ago, geologic forces routed the South Branch of the Potomac River between North Mountain and Cave Mountain, creating a rugged canyon more than 20 miles long. The canyon may have been named for heavy fogs that form therein, though Native Americans used the caves therein for smoking meat.


Smoke Hole Canyon is part of the Monongahela National Forest. The river within the canyon is a popular tubing, fishing, and canoeing area. Eagle Rock, Pendleton County and Big Bend of South Branch are two of several Natural Wonders within the canyon.


Map: Topo Map