Jun 28, 2010 at 8:46 pm #1260635
I'm going to be hiking Dolly Sods/Roaring Plains in a couple of weeks with some college buddies and heard from the rangers that the area is quite dry right now. Anyone been there recently and can report on the water situation? No one in our group has ever been there so we're going in blind. We're planning on roughly following Devin's route described here:
but have the time to explore side trails (4-5 days). Suggestions appreciated as to trails/areas not to be missed, or more importantly, trails we should avoid at all costs. :)
Thanks.Jun 29, 2010 at 11:02 am #1624529
These are my stomping grounds. Haven't been able to make it down recently due to illness, so I can't say much on the water situation. You shouldn't have any problems in Dolly Sods South (the green section on Devin's map) because a lot of the walking is along the stream. The northern and western parts of the expansion are dry.
I do have some side trail suggestions if you are willing to do a little bushwacking. I will have to gather a few maps and sources, so let me know if you are interested. A GPS would be a huge plus.
For now, do you have these maps?Jun 29, 2010 at 11:26 am #1624538
Ok…found some stuff. You guys may already have these resources, but I might as well list them too.
The best views in Roaring Plains are along the southern ridge. However, the official trail does not take you all the way to the ridge, so the use of some unofficial trails is necessary. The link below is for a day hike in the area that uses the unofficial trail. Depending on recent use, finding this trail may be much easier than described. More and more people are starting to use it.
My other suggestion is to take Rocky Point Trail to Lion's Head overlook. It's described in this hike here.
Sorry for the serious info dump…I know this can all be confusing. The mid-atlantic hikes website is very helpful if you have a GPS. You can download his GPS files of every hike, so the off-trail travel would be pretty easy to navigate. Should be a good time :)Jun 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm #1624565
Thanks Stephen for the links. We have the first set of maps you suggested, and will take a look at the others. We've heard good things about the Roaring Plains "off-trail" ridge route, so we'll definitely be checking that out. We've also heard the Rocky Ridge Trail is not to be missed, so we'll probably head up that way too. Do you happen to recall which of the streams/springs in the northern section might be more reliable than others? The pictures we've seen of the area suggest that bear bagging might be a challenge. Have you had difficulty finding suitable hanging trees?
We'll check out those other maps. Thanks!
– KeithJun 29, 2010 at 2:13 pm #1624591
"Do you happen to recall which of the streams/springs in the northern section might be more reliable than others?"
If you follow your current plan, you should have easy access to water on the eastern trails of the expansion. Bear Rocks crosses red creek in the NE corner right before meeting up with Dobbin Grade. This is usually the first fill up location, but it may be dry here if there hasn't been rain. No worries though…red creek becomes more substantial as you travel south on Dobbin Grade. The worry is the western part. The left fork of red creek is east of where you will be hiking. This tends to dry out quite a bit too.
"Have you had difficulty finding suitable hanging trees?"
Haha umm, yes. I have several frustrating, but funny memories of trying throw line in DS. I like the PCT method when I can use it. Some of the better and larger campsites are right by the streams. These sites have more pine, so creativity is a must!Jun 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm #1624638
Here is a pretty sweet map. This thing ties in trails from the local ski resorts, the national forest, and then some.Jun 30, 2010 at 9:54 am #1624903
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