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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by schnikel View Post
    I have hiked Lower Otter Creek about 4 yrs ago. It is the reason I chose Dolly Sods for this trip. Great Place!
    Just so I am on the same page: is the "northern" area you are speaking of North of the Blackbird Knob Trail?
    Schnikel
    Yes, Blackbird Knob trail is generally the dividing line where Dolly Sods becomes more open meadows. The Dobbin Grade trail is the one that's so watery.

  2. #42
    Registered User crazyonelost's Avatar
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    I cannot remember the trail(one from red creek to the picnic shelters) there is a very nice vista and a nice camping area. That is where I heard a black bear trying to get my food bag during the night. I think my hiking partner heard it too cause the next morning my hiking partner all but ran out of the woods to the trail head. He never ever went hiking again

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyonelost View Post
    I cannot remember the trail(one from red creek to the picnic shelters) there is a very nice vista and a nice camping area. That is where I heard a black bear trying to get my food bag during the night. I think my hiking partner heard it too cause the next morning my hiking partner all but ran out of the woods to the trail head. He never ever went hiking again
    I believe that's the Rohrbaugh Trail.

  4. #44
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    If you haven't found them already, the best DS maps are found here.

    The wet, often knee deep shoe sucking mud, section is on Dobbin Grade starting Raven Ridge and ending about half way to Beaver Dam Trail. There are a few other wet/muddy spots, but that section is by far the worst.

    DSN has been one of my favorite areas to hike. I've taken my children there several times (Photos and more Photos). DS is nice, but DSN terrain is so rare in the Eastern US.

    FWIW, you ought to be able to cover just about every inch of DS and DSN in 3 days as the terrain is rather gentle, though very rocky in the southern parts. So, you might want to venture into Roaring Plains just south of DS (connected by a short road walk) as, it too, is now a wilderness. I've heard the views along its Eastern edge are nice. The maps for Roaring Plains are on the same page I linked above.

    I wonder how crowded it might be that weekend? Let us know when you return.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  5. #45
    Registered User schnikel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the posts you guys.
    I did have that link to the maps, they are good ones for sure. I also found maps at http://www.hikesite.com to be very useful as well especially for mileage questions. I think we will stay in a hotel Thursday night somewhere around Elkins, (any cheep ones anyone knows of?) Then get up early and drive in to DS. So we will hike pretty much all of Fri, Sat, Sun, and some on Mon., then drive back. As I said in an earlier post somewhere around 35, 40 miles as a loop. Looking at the map, you could do tons of loops connecting DSN with DS and maybe down into Roaring Plains as well. The area as a whole is a little smaller than I thought it would be but it seems like a great place to spend that much time. Has anyone hiked in Roaring Plains? How does it differ from DS and DSN? Anyone got a good hotel recomendation coming from Ohio?
    Thanks again.
    Schnikel

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnikel View Post
    Anyone got a good hotel recomendation coming from Ohio?
    Thanks again.
    Schnikel
    Can't help you with a hotel, there plenty in Elkins (Snowshoe Ski Resort is just down the street), but I will tell you the best way to get there from Columbus is...33-->50-->79-->33-->Elkins-->32.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by schnikel View Post
    Thanks for the posts you guys.
    I did have that link to the maps, they are good ones for sure. I also found maps at http://www.hikesite.com to be very useful as well especially for mileage questions. I think we will stay in a hotel Thursday night somewhere around Elkins, (any cheep ones anyone knows of?) Then get up early and drive in to DS. So we will hike pretty much all of Fri, Sat, Sun, and some on Mon., then drive back. As I said in an earlier post somewhere around 35, 40 miles as a loop. Looking at the map, you could do tons of loops connecting DSN with DS and maybe down into Roaring Plains as well. The area as a whole is a little smaller than I thought it would be but it seems like a great place to spend that much time. Has anyone hiked in Roaring Plains? How does it differ from DS and DSN? Anyone got a good hotel recomendation coming from Ohio?
    Thanks again.
    Schnikel
    I believe Elkins has a few name-brand motels - try searching on kayak.com or a similar search engine. But do you want to stay in Elkins because you're arriving late? Wouldn't it be better to stay up on the plateau in Davis or Thomas? There are some motels in Davis. I'm assuming you don't want to spend the big $$$ to stay in the lodges at Blackwater Falls or Canaan Valley.

    Here's a real cool place to stay: the guest house of The Purple Fiddle in Thomas. You can get a meal and catch some live music. The guest house is adjacent to the pub or you can stay in their hostel upstairs for only $20.

  8. #48
    Registered User schnikel's Avatar
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    Yea, trying to save as much $$$ as I can. Elkins is right on the way in so I thought that would be a good place, but it sounds a little touristy to me. Couldn't find much in Davis or Thomas. I think I am going to try to priceline a hotel tomorrow morning for Elkins and snag a nice room for cheap.
    The Purple Fiddle sounds right up my alley, but perhaps not my wife's; especailly on the way in to hike, thanks for the link though.
    I think I will post a TR when I return and I'll let you all know how the hike went and how busy it was.
    Schnikel

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnikel View Post
    Elkins is right on the way in so I thought that would be a good place, but it sounds a little touristy to me.
    Elkins isn't touristy. It is a small mountain town that just slows you down on the way to your real destination (Skiing [north or south of town], Dolly Sods, etc.). You'll curse every traffic light in the town (of which there seems to be too many). But it does make a nice bathroom stop and/or the last place to get a meal before heading off to your final destination.

    IIRC, there are a few Motel 6 like places in town. So, you ought to be able find something cheap.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by schnikel View Post
    ...I think I will post a TR when I return and I'll let you all know how the hike went and how busy it was.
    Schnikel
    Yes, do so. We're looking forward to hearing from you. Hope you have good weather. One thing you can count on: it won't be beastly hot, especially the nights should be cool and pleasant.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    Hope you have good weather. One thing you can count on: it won't be beastly hot, especially the nights should be cool and pleasant.
    This is true. That reminds me, the weather forecasts for any place nearby Dolly Sods do not apply to Dolly Sods. It can be warm and sunny in the valley, but DS is 3-4K higher (especially DSN) which means it could be foggy and raining. So, when you plan a trip to DS, plan for everything (including sub-40F temps at night) as the forecast don't provide any guidance at all.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  12. #52
    Registered User crazyonelost's Avatar
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    I have to agree about the weather, when I was there a few years ago over july 4th weekend the valley was in the mid 80's and at the campground on top. it dropped down in the 30's during the night. so def be prepared for the difference in temp

  13. #53

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    The valleys e.g. Elkins are definitely warmer but if you want a reasonably accurate forecast, check out Davis. The town sits at over 3,000' on the Allegheny Plateau and is one of the highest-elevation incorporated municipalities east of the Mississippi.

  14. #54
    Registered User schnikel's Avatar
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    I found a really nice sounding B&B for $75 which includes a hot breakfast, lookin' forward to that. I'll speak more of that in the TR.
    The posts about the weather are funny, cause I am in the middle of trying to decide what the clothes to pack now. The weather online is saying highs in the mid 70's and lows in mid 50's. Sounds nice to me. We will have to see how close that is to what DS really is. Thanks for the ideas and comments guys, see ya when I get back.
    Schnikel

  15. #55
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    I did not see where anyone mentioned the Cass Railroad. I don't think it's too far and it's really worth it.
    I'm not really a hiker, I just play one on White Blaze.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Blazer View Post
    I did not see where anyone mentioned the Cass Railroad. I don't think it's too far and it's really worth it.
    I was at the Cass Scenic Railroad 2 weeks ago. It's not real far - I'd say less than 2 hours from the entrance to the Dolly Sods area but I don't think it worthwhile for Schnikel to go there on this trip. At Cass, you can stay in the state park-operated "company houses" near the start of the railroad. Another neat thing is you can take the Cass Scenic Railroad to the top of Bald Knob - 2nd highest point in WV - and stay in a primitive cabin. You then catch the next train down the following day. So we spent a night at the cabin (you must make reservations - sleeps 4 - only 1 party may reserve) and after leaving the next day, bicycled 2 days down the Greenbrier River Trail, taking 2 days to cycle the 77 miles.

    There are loads of outdoorsy things to do in the Monongahela National Forest region of West Virginia and it's rarely crowded. At the higher elevations especially, there's 4-season recreation with good cross-country skiing. In fact some places' prime season is winter for both downhill and X-Country skiing.

  17. #57
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    Hearing that melancholy steam whistle blow in them there mountains is a sound you will not soon forget.
    I'm not really a hiker, I just play one on White Blaze.

  18. #58
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    Mouintain biking at Snowshoe in the summer. You can ride your bike to the top of Bald Knob. Prolly even beat the Train.
    I'm not really a hiker, I just play one on White Blaze.

  19. #59
    Registered User schnikel's Avatar
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    Default Dolly Sods Backpacking Trip July 1st-5th

    Hi All,
    Sorry for the late TR here but things have been crazy ever since I got back from Dolly Sods.

    July 1- My wife and I and a friend left from C-bus around 5:30pm and drove to a B&B we had reservations at. We arrived around 10:15, so nit quite a 5 hr drive. The name of the B&B is Casual Comfort B&B and it is like your sterotypical B&B except for the breakfast. For $75 dollars which includes the room and B-fast for all three of us, I thought it was quite reasonable.

    July 2- We all awoke at 7:00 and headed down stairs and for the next hour gourgeg ourselves with the finest breakfast I can remember. Honeydew, pancakes, bacon, etc etc... enough for a thru hiker!
    We drove another hour and parked at the lot across fromRed Creek campground and headed west on the Blackbird Knob trail. Great vistas awaited us just 15 minutes into the hike. The weather was perfect as we talked with an older couple as we pulled some water on our way to the Harman trail and up Rocky Ridge Trail. The views we had from this section of trail will not soon be forgotton. We sat for while and just soaked it all in , eating blueberries by the handfulls. The only real problem we encountered was a lack of water. This fact caused us to hike 13miles the first day covering the majority of DSN. We made a loop coming down the Raven Ridge trail and connecting with the Upper Red Creek trail and finally finding water and camp on the Red Creek trail. We soaked our feet in the very cold water and ate dinner. In the middle of the night I awoke cold and checked the temp- 44 degrees! Wow, you guys called it; can't depend on weather forcasts for DS!

    July 3- Recovery and waking was pretty slow in the morning and we really didn't start hiking until 10:30 or so. From looking at the maps we had we were thinking of heading up into the Roaring Plains area, but that idea was snuffed out when we looked at the elevation gain we would have. So we decided to take it easy and continued down the red creek trail stopping for an hour long lunch. We found camp right off the Red Creek trail on Little Stonecoal trail just before the stream crossing. At camp we were in complete chill mode and soaked in Red creek for about an hour before camp duties and dinner.

    July 4- We awoke earlier than the previous day and headed over the creek and up Little Stonecoal to Dunkenbarger. Here we past the most beautiful stream I think I have ever seen. Its hard to describe but we sat mesmerized for about an hour. I will forever remember its beauty. We continued on to Big Stonecoal and around to Breathed Mtn trail. W followed this back down to red Creek trail and we camped at the same spot we had 2 nights previous. Again it was time for a nice calming soak in the creek before dinner duties.

    July 5- We had only about 3 miles to hike back to the car, which we reached around 11:30. This was the hottest day and it quickly became humid. Back at the car we drove up to check out Bear Rocks, a great vista but was hazy. It wouyld have been a site to see had we gone there on Friday morning when we first arrived.

    Summary- This was a great trip! From the vista and views to the weather and senery, to the wildlife (lots of deer out there, we saw some every day) this area cannot be beat for the drivetime from Columbus. The unique area that Dolly Sods holds is worth every effort to get there. Majority of trails we hiked we rocky, some to the point of being stupid rocky, but fun and enjoyable non the less. IO did however, manage to tweak both my ankles on this trip.
    The crowds were there, it being a long holiday weekend, but it was not awful, and solitude was found for every camp and most of the time on the trails especially on July 4 up in the Dunkenbarger trail area.
    As for personal stuff, my packed weighed 30 lbs headed out in the morning, everything including water, a little heavier than I would like but for a 4 day trip with my wife and friend, thats ok in my book. I hiked out with 2 cliff bars and a package of poptarts in leftover food. I used all the clothes I packed except 1 extra pair of socks that I probally would have used had the area not been so dry. It was a grat trip and the 3 of us will be back for sure!
    Schnikel

  20. #60

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    Thanks for the report. Sounds like a real nice time. Now can see why DS is such a special place. It's certainly an effective way to escape the summer heat.

    I checked the Davis weather a few days ago - when it was over 100 in Philadelphia, Davis was 84 with a night forecast in the mid-50s.

    Next up - how about the Cranberry Glades Wilderness in the Fall?

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