Mar 27, 2017 at 5:08 pm #3459847Philip SBPL Member
I am looking to do a spring hike in the Dolly Sods area of WV. I live in northern WV and was looking to start at the Red Creek Trail head and hike for three days. I wondered if anyone might have any route to recommend. I hiked there once but many years ago. I mainly plan my start location because the winter road gates may still be closed when I decide to go.
Most routes seem to start near Bear Rocks and hike in a counter clockwise direction and I was looking to do the same route just starting in the south. I debated starting in the valley and hiking forest road 80 to get to the sods or hiking from White Grass which I skied two years ago and Bald Knob would also be an interesting place to visit.
I plan to spend about a week in the Canaan Valley area in general if anyone had anything to recommend. I have never hiked in Blackwater or Canaan parks just visited the main areas.Mar 30, 2017 at 8:46 am #3460516
I am looking at doing the Sods next weekend 4/6-9. Are you talking about Forest Rd 75, when you say “winter road may be closed”?Mar 30, 2017 at 8:59 am #3460523
I am looking at using the Red creek trailhead as a starting point for this route – http://www.hikingupward.com/mnf/dollysodslionshead/Mar 30, 2017 at 9:38 am #3460533
Trafikham that looks like a nice hike.Mar 30, 2017 at 10:52 am #3460553Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
It might be good to give a call to see if/when FR-80 and FR-75 are open. (I think it’s (304) 636-1800 )
I’ve tried several times in the past to access the Sods via FR-80, and it always seemed to be closed, so I would usually start off of FR-19 instead.
Regardless, as far as starting out at the southern end of the Red Creek trail (514) off of FR-19, I usually might hike up Redcreek for a bunch of miles, then hook left onto Rocky Point trail (554) (nice views), then turn right onto Big StoneCoal trial (513) and take that up to the wonderful Rocky Ridge trail (524) (very nice views). Now once I’m on Rocky Ridge, I decide how much time I have left, so I will ultimately plan my way back to the north end of Red Creek Trail (514). From the Rocky Ridge trail, you can navigate back to any part of Red creek trail via FIVE different trails (533,511,525,526, and 521) While the views are wonderful from Rocky Ridge, there’s no water so plan accordingly if you’re going to sleep anywhere there. If you are very adventurous and want your feet to get wet, the eastern end of Little Stonecoal trail (526) just east of the right fork of Red Creek is always VERY BOGGY this time of year.
What’s nice about starting out at the south: the last half of your trip is all a gradual downhill strollll!
Have fun, wish I could be there.
MattMar 31, 2017 at 6:03 am #3460723
Thanks for the advice Matt.
However, I am now looking at the weather report for the Sods and may choose another destination for the trip (4/6/-9). Dolly sods looks like it will receiving lots of rain the week prior and snow while we are there. I am a little hesitant to take on the snow and low temps with the gear I have and a less-experienced hiking partner.Mar 31, 2017 at 6:08 am #3460724
On the other hand, the snow could make for some awesome scenery! Any advice to help me decide?Apr 4, 2017 at 9:09 am #3461438
looks like snow this weekend 3-6in over thursday and friday .. planning to head out there from Northern Virginia Thursday night.Apr 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm #3461479Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
If you are heading up into the Sods from FR-19, I think you should have many options available to you if you want to shorten your trip, due to weather. The valley doesn’t get hit with the same “elements” as the plateau above, so I suspect you will be protected. Just make sure to have a plan to “get dry” if you happen to get wet (i.e. a pack-towel, extra socks, sleeping clothes, etc.)
And have a wonderful time!
:)Apr 12, 2017 at 8:53 am #3462842
How was the trip?Apr 12, 2017 at 9:00 am #3462843
Ended up going down to Grayson Highlands instead due to the snowy/wet/cold forecast for Dolly Sods at elevation. Grayson Highlands was fantastic and would highly recommend. Did a 20 mi 2 night loop.
some shots from the trip – https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8GhM_IOGriNLTJzYVVfUTZVdU0Apr 12, 2017 at 9:29 am #3462847
Looks nice there.Mar 18, 2020 at 2:33 pm #3636642Eugene HollingsworthBPL Member
Bumping an old, but not ancient thread. TRAFIKHAM: glad you posted about Grayson Highlands with pictures. Dolly Sods might be on my list for mid-June but Grayson sounds like it would be really nice.Mar 19, 2020 at 11:43 am #3636812obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
^^ Eugene My first 2 thoughts re your other thread.
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