For generations of North River Mills residents, summertime meant weekend pilgrimages to Ice Mountain. There, at the rocky base, they’d chip off chunks of ice to cart home as the critical ingredient in fresh, homemade ice cream and chilled lemonade.

Ice Mountain gets its name from the refrigeration effect that takes place inside its talus — a sloping mass of boulders at the foot of a mountain. In cooler months, dense, cold air sinks deep into the talus, and ice masses form inside. As the weather warms up, the cooler air flows out of vents among the rocks at the bottom of the slope. It’s here, at the foot of the mountain, that many local children would eagerly gather ice.

While it’s no longer necessary for people to collect the ice that forms there, the mountain’s base still sees its share of visitors who come to see the site’s rare plant community, native forest and the North River.

 

See Nature Conservancy Website for more details:

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/westvirginia/placesweprotect/ice-mountain-preserve.xml