Margaret Denison’s Kanawha Forest hiking journal republished


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Margaret Denison walked miles of trails in her lifetime. Many of those miles were at Kanawha State Forest near Charleston and other state park areas in West Virginia.

The book Flora of Kanawha State Forest: Wildflowers, Trees, Shrubs, Ferns and Grasses is based on the notes, journal and work of Margaret Denison and explains the best times to find blooming flowers, trees and shrubs within the forest.

Details. Complete with illustrations and descriptions, index and color photographs, the spiral bound volume is an interpretive resource for the casual or avid hiker.

The spiral-bound guidebook contains 154 pages printed on heavy, 6-by-8.5-inch water-resistant stock paper. It is available at the Kanawha State Forest office or April 23 during the Osbra Eye Memorial Hike at Kanawha State Forest and Sept. 10 during the Margaret Denison Fall Nature Walk.

The guidebook costs $14.95, with proceeds benefiting the Kanawha State Forest Foundation. For more information about Kanawha State Forest, visit or Kanawha State Forest Foundation at

Author. Denison taught science and botany in Kanawha County schools for a number of years and was well known in the forest community. From the first Spring Wildflower Walk in 1991, she was one of the most knowledgeable and dependable leaders.

Denison did not concentrate on botanical terminology, but rather on the flora including ferns, grasses and sedges. These were identified by their common names and origins and further elaborated with delightful folklore.

In 1975 she received an award from the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources for the listing of 710 flowering plants, 42 ferns and their allies, and 138 grasses and sedges in the Forest.

Denison died Jan. 2, 2003. As a tribute to Denison the Fall Nature Walks were renamed in her honor.

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