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Washington & Jefferson National ForestsWashington & Jefferson National Forests
June 21-28, 2008 | Virginia

Project Description | Recreational Opportunities

What to Bring

Council Contingent Coordinators

Staff Updates

George Washington and Jefferson National Forest were administratively combined in 1995 to form the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. The two National forest contain nearly 1.8 million acres of public land, representing one of the largest blocks of public land in the eastern United States.

The Jefferson National forest is comprised of lands located in Virginian (690,106 acres), West Virginia (18,526 acres) and Kentucky (961 acres). The George Washington National forest is comprised of lands located in Virginia (956,222 acres) and West Virginia (108,858 acres). The total combined George Washington and Jefferson National Forest are 1,646,328 acres in Virginia; 123,384 acres in West Virginia; and 961 acres in Kentucky.

The size and the location of the forest make it an excellent center for outdoor activities. The forest covers over 1.8 million acres and 140 miles along the Appalachian Mountains in northwestern Virginia and in eastern West Virginia. Most of the forest is in Virginia and within a day's drive for 54 million people.

Recreation is a key Resource as hikers, picnickers and campers pursue their interest surrounded by the natural beauty of the forest. Popular water sports include swimming, fishing and boating. Many visitors enjoy the forest scenery while driving over the mountain and valley roads.

The climate is relative mild, but varies considerably because elevations that average between 1,000 and 3,000 feet, with some peaks above 4000 feet. Average daily temperatures range from a minimum of 20 degree to 26 degrees F in January to a maximum of 80 to 86 degrees F in July. The average rainfall is 38 inches a year, including and average snowfall of 15-20 inches a year.

The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests has to operational districts; James River District located in Covington Virginia and the Warm Spring District located in Warm Springs Virginia. Both have unique features, the James River District offers the traditional National forest operation, protected lands with a diverse variety of flora and fauna; the Warm Springs District leans more toward the recreational opportunities for it's user, i.e. a lake, fishing, boating, swimming, picnicking, a fully operational marina and over night camping.

Base Camp
ArrowCorps5 participants and staff will be utilizing National capital Area Council BSA Goshen Scout reservation as base operations. Goshen is one of the largest active Boy Scout Camps in America hosting 900 to 1,000 scouts per week in a summer camp experience. ArrowCorps5 participants will stay in camp style tents; eat in dining halls, and other facilities. Check out Goshen By going to web page ( will forward later).

Project Description

Projects for the two districts are unique to its operations. The James River District will offer participants the opportunity to construct a new five-mile horseback trail system. While the Warm Springs District will require arrowmen the chance to construct a much-needed trail from the park Marina to its beach about a mile in distance, refurbish minor trails and clear campsites of invasive plant species.

Recreation & Activities

  • Lake Activities An aquatic options program including swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, and waterskiing. Participants choosing lake activities could take advantage of as many of these activities as they wish, which could range from relaxing to physically demanding. Swim checks will be required.

  • Hiking Choose a hike originating in the 4500-acre Goshen Scout Reservation. Each day’s hiking group will choose their hikes, based upon level of difficulty. At least one "guide" will accompany each group, and we can have several groups out each day if the demand is high.

  •  Climbing Learn to climb or improve your climbing skills. The morning will be spent training and doing some low climbing, and the afternoon will be spent rock climbing.

  • Mountain Biking The Goshen Scout Reservation has plenty of mountain bike trails to explore. Participants will be able to spend an entire day biking with the degree of difficulty based upon skill levels. At least one "guide" will accompany each group.

  • Local Tour The local tourism office in Lexington will provide guides for tours of Lexington and the surrounding area. The morning will be spent in Lexington on a walking tour of the Virginia Military Institute, George C. Marshall Museum, Washington & Lee University, Lee Chapel and other historic sites. In the afternoon the group will travel by bus visiting attractions around the countryside such as Natural Bridge and Natural Bridge Caverns.

  • River Canoeing/Kayaking/Tubing Take a relaxing river trip by canoe, kayak or inner tube. No training is required for this trip since it will not involve difficult white water.

  • Whitewater Rafting Take a rapid white water raft trip in the New River Gorge, the east coast's premier rafting river. Seats will be limited on this trip. A full day on the rapids with other Arrowmen from around the nation, guided by a local professional outfitter.

  • Fly Fishing Take a lesson and spend the day fly fishing on one of Virginia's excellent trout streams. A truly relaxing way to pass the time.


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