Where is the private entrance to Nathaniel Mountain Wildlife Management Area?

Ashton Woods

Where is the private entrance to Nathaniel Mountain Wildlife Management Area?

Hello All, we recently bought in Ashton Woods (lot 219) and are really enjoying the area. We keep hearing about one or two private entrances — within Ashton Woods — to the 10,000 areas of the Nathaniel Mountain Wildlife Management Area. But, we haven’t been able to locate the entrance(s). Can someone help?

Thanks much!

15 Responses

  1. Tim Schafer, just4schaf@aol.com says:

    Tom Craig, Come Volunteer for your community Saturday September 18th at 8 AM and all your questions will be answered.
    Tim 204,205

    • Tom Craigo says:

      Thanks Tim. I won’t be in AW this weekend, but I’m sure all other owners would like this information if you care to share it with on the forum.

      Once I move up full time I’ll certainly volunteer, but I can’t help this weekend. Very sorry and thank you for working this task for the community.

  2. Tim Schafer, just4schaf@aol.com says:

    There Is No Secret entrance to Nathaniel. Vehicular access is through Mount Olive Rd on the south/east side and Grassy Lick Rd on the North/East side of Nathaniel. There are signs directing you to the entrance. That is all.
    Tim 204,205

    • Tom Craigo says:

      Tim. Would you be able to provide more details? I was recently driving in from the North and GPS showed me a route using the Mt Olive road, but I was not aware there was another entrance into AW. This seems very odd to me, and seems we might need another gate?

  3. Philip Collins says:

    Thank you all for the very helpful comments. We really appreciate all the feedback!

    • Tom Craigo says:

      My question at this point is what access is available at the 2 DNR lots into AW? Is there a ‘road’ that allows road vehicles? Or, are they just foot traffic access, or ATV access?

      Depending on the answers to that question, perhaps the HOA can add cameras at these points of access? If people are coming onto AW property at these points who shouldn’t be allowed then lets do due diligence to stop it.

  4. Tim Schafer, just4schaf@aol.com says:

    False information is being spread on this post. Vehicles are legal on Nathaniel Mountain Wildlife Refuge. There are 2 easy access entrances. One is south on the East side. The other is North on the East side. I have driven the entire loop and DNR was present.
    Tim, 204, 205

    • Tom Craigo says:

      Thanks Tim. When we first bought our lot I looked up the rules, but admitedly did not review them when I posted. I looked it up again, and vehicle use is only allowed on approved and marked trails, not anywhere in the WMA. My lot(s) border the WMA, so I can not just go riding on the land adjacent to my property.

      From the DNR site:


      The maximum speed limit for vehicles is thirty (30) miles per hour unless a lower speed limit is posted.

      Drivers must observe all other traffic signs or directions as posted on the area.

      Driving any vehicle in a manner which creates a nuisance to others by repetitive or continuous cruising is prohibited.

      The use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorbikes, and snowmobiles is prohibited except where specifically permitted by posted signs on designated roads and trails.

      Driving any vehicle, ATV, snowmobile, or motorbike in a manner so as to harass, chase, or annoy any animal or bird is prohibited.

      Any person violating any of these rules and regulations shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 20 of the Code of West Virginia and such other laws as may be applicable. Wildlife management area boundaries are marked with blue paint and/or metal boundary signs.

  5. Access to the WMA and National Forest lands is limited to foot traffic. I know we have an issue with trespassers coming into AW across the WMA illegally via ATV/SXS/trucks. But these folks are breaking the law for having motorized vehicles on the WMA / National Forest and trespassing in AW. Along SBM Road if you look for the yellow sings nailed to trees they mark the areas that are in the WMA.

    And please, report anyone you see coming across that property if possible. I can tell you, without picture and something that can specifically identify the people, the DNR will not investigate. That has been my experience.

    • Tom Craigo says:

      Thanks for clarifying John. I was fairly certain motor traffic on public land was not allowed, but wasn’t sure if that had changed.

      I had gotten trail cam video of trespassers running dogs on my property and report it to DNR. They didn’t recognize the folks, but were responsive, so please get pics/video if possible and report it, license plates or good facial pics are best.

    • latanze@yahoo.com says:

      Hi Tom and John, I’ll be getting up there more frequently as I want to clear and start building in the next year. Will get pictures of any vehicles I see on that side road adjacent to my lot. After the last in-person AWPOA meeting 2 years ago in Moorefield, there was a pickup truck w/PA plates parked there with the windows open, no one around and someone was shooting nearby. Can that road be blocked at the AW/DNR boundary, if it’s not already, or does DNR have to have access from S Branch Mt Road? Given that and the other traffic I’ve seen, I’ll have to look into that possibility when I’m living up there. –Rick

  6. latanze@yahoo.com says:

    Google “Hardy County Parcel Viewer”, go to the GIS site and zoom in on S Branch Mountain Road. Adjacent to and east of that road are large parcels of DNR owned land that make up part of the WMA. They can be accessed on foot via the power line easements off of SBM Road, the locked gate near the radio repeater tower, or the road that goes by my lot (268), 269 and 270 that doesnt seem to have a gate where 269 and 270 end and is used by non-owners to get vehicles into AW and onto our roads. I don’t know where they come from but I’ve seen pickups and SxS’s go in and out of AW via that road on almost every infrequent weekend visit I’ve made to my lot. Anyway, those are the ways I’ve gotten in and out of those areas. Enjoy!

    • Tom Craigo says:

      Richard. If the vehicles are actually coming off WMA land, then try to get pics that include the license plate and contact DNR. Motor vehicle traffic is not allowed on WMA land, unless something has changed or I’m just completely wrong.

  7. Will Waldron says:


    I too am interested in the response to your question, I am new to Ashton Woods (143) looks like you are right across the road from us.

    I have seen that up on S. Branch Mountain Rd. Near lots 361 and 360 on the power line there is an access point that has a locked gate. Beyond that gate there are many trails in the WMA.

    Again very interested in what others who have been in Ashton Woods longer know.

    All the best for now,


    • Marina Winch says:

      Hi Will and Phillip,

      We are relatively new to Ashton Woods and looks like right around the corner from you – Lots 232 and 233. We have been trying to find the access point for some time now and saw a road off the S. Branch Road on the top of the mountain with a sign, but have not explored it yet. We will be interested to know the details as well!

      Thank you,
      Marina and Jeff

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