Oct 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm #1308783
John RowanBPL Member
I had a surprisingly quick recovery from some surgery a few weeks ago and got the go-ahead from my doctor to start backpacking again. I was really looking forward to getting in some nice fall foliage from my favorite spot in SNP this weekend, but since it doesn't look like that's happening, so I'm switching gears for Dolly Sods, which seems to be open as far as I can tell.
Right now, I think I have a general loop planned out (park near Red Creek campground, head west on the Blackbird Knob trail, South on Red creek trail, use some combination of trails to cut to the west side of the area, loop around back north to the bear rocks area before going back to my car)…it's pretty similar to the route described here: http://www.midatlantichikes.com/dst.htm, but with a different starting point and a bit of extra mileage in the beginning.
As far as I can tell, I should be getting a pretty good idea of the area from this loop, but any thoughts on best routes, side trips, etc. would be very welcome. Since the area seems to have some pretty unique features, and it's a bit of a haul for me to get there (5.5 hours each way and I'm doing it as a weekend overnight), I definitely want to make sure that I make the most of the trip. If nothing else, I really want to see the "tundra" areas.
Also, any input on what's currently permitted in the area hunting-wise would be really, really appreciated. As far as I can tell from reading the WV regulations, some things are in season, but I know jack about hunting, and I'm not sure if any of the animals/types of hunting that are currently allowed at this point in the season are something that would apply in the DSW. I'm not averse to picking up some stylish blaze orange apparel before I go, but I also wouldn't mind avoiding it if its unnecessary.Oct 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm #2034527
Marc KokoskyBPL Member
@mak52580Locale: Washington, DC Area
Not sure where you got your info from, but it is run by the National Forest Service as part of the USDA and due to the shutdown it's closed
Like you I'm also looking to do and overnight or 2 night loop so if you go I'd love to hear what routes you took and what they were like.Oct 16, 2013 at 6:38 am #2034560
John RowanBPL Member
This was addressed in another thread, but it does look as though a lot of the lands (that aren't visitor centers, campgrounds, etc.) administered by the FS. I've done a good bit of digging on the issue since the thought occurred to me as well, but I've seen it explicitly stated on a bunch of local websites that the DSW is open (maybe "not closed" would be a better term) during the shutdown.
This seems to be pretty consistent with what is happening in other places, so I'm reasonably hopeful.
That said, my big concern right now is hunting. As far as I can tell, the 19th is open for deer hunting for youth hunters. I'm not sure how that actually works out in reality (especially up in the Sods), but conceptually I'm not in love with the idea of being out in a one-day window for deer hunting where the only people shooting anything are younger. I know next to nothing about hunting (and I usually hike in places where it's not allowed), so this is kind of new territory for me.
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