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“Dolly Sods North Hike”

Dolly Sods Wilderness Area
Ranked #2 of 33 things to do in Elkins
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the Monongahela National Forest, this 10,215-acre area is one of the few wilderness areas on the East Coast.
Reviewed August 23, 2009

Bear Rocks Trail - Raven Ridge Trail - Rocky Ridge Trail - Dobbin Grade Trail Loop (about 11 miles).
Did this hike on a Thursday and saw very few people... not a sole once we got onto Raven Ridge Trail. Mid August is a great time to do this hike - there were billions (not kidding!!) of berries - blueberries and huckleberries. We picked and ate so many berries that it took almost 2 hrs to reach Rocky Ridge Trail, and realized if we wanted to finish before night fall we would have to stop eating berries - still couldn't resist a big fat one occaisionally. If you actually look up instead of down in amazement of all the berries, you are greeted with a variety of landscapes. All awesome. Grassland/Meadows, hardwood forest, dark spruce forest (near intersection of Raven Ridge and Rocky Ridge), rocky outcrops and of course the infamous bog on Dobbin Grade Trail. In retrospect, I laugh at the difficulty we had through the bog (the section between intersections of Ravin Ridge and Beaver Dam) but would probably avoid if I did this hike again. At first we had some success at hopping from rock to rock, then tried to go around some areas (I know this is not accepted hiking ettiquette; however, some areas looked capable of sucking you under - probably an exaggeration - but I was not willing to find out) - this tactic proved mostly unsuccessful as it felt as though you were walking on a giant floating sponge and you had to move fast to avoid sinking to unknown depths. Had one moment of fear when I jumped from a rock onto what I thought was "solid" ground and my foot punctured the sphagnum moss mat and plunged calf deep into I'm not sure what. I quickly pulled my foot out and moved on. All in all, a great hike and would like to explore more in the Dolly Sods area in the future. Thought we might see some evidence of bear because of all the berries, but did not. In fact, no wildlife other than birds. One other note - I actually drove a small motorhome (21 ft) up FR 75 - would not recommend doing this in anything larger or coming back down this way (no guard rails) - we took the other road down (near Bear Rocks) and it was not as bad.

4  Thank prazenicaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"bear rocks"
in 32 reviews
"red creek"
in 17 reviews
"blueberry bushes"
in 7 reviews
"rocky ridge"
in 5 reviews
"trail map"
in 5 reviews
"breathtaking views"
in 5 reviews
"unique landscape"
in 4 reviews
"forest road"
in 6 reviews
"day hike"
in 4 reviews
"lots of hiking trails"
in 4 reviews
"scenic overlooks"
in 4 reviews
"high altitude"
in 3 reviews
"parking area"
in 5 reviews
"miles and miles"
in 6 reviews
"bumpy ride"
in 3 reviews
"great trails"
in 3 reviews
"beaver dam"
in 3 reviews
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229 - 231 of 231 reviews

Reviewed October 16, 2008

Everyone knows that Dolly Sods is one the major wilderness areas in WV. It is certainly true that there is a large expanse of wilderness, so you really can get away from civilization. Yes, there are great views from Bear Rocks. The open areas without trees (The Sods) are unusual. The bogs have environmental interest. But Dolly Sods takes real effort to get to and the unique portions are bordered by miles of forest. Certainly we enjoyed the Sods, but they don’t have the degree of magnificence and drama that we expected. Considering the time and effort it takes to get there, we expected more.

The other big question is the road condition. They are often characterized as poor with little definition beyond that. I am fine with dirt roads, but I don’t want to hit bottom. We had to choose between a car with good gas mileage or a four wheel drive truck with high ground clearance. I am glad we chose the truck. We entered from the North via Forest Rd 75 from Jordan Run Road. There are extended one-lane sections that would be too narrow to pass a vehicle going the other way, thereby forcing one car to back a considerable distance to a wide area. Virtually the entire hill has protruding ledge rock, occasionally as high as six inches above the surface. Definitely the worst road we were on. Once on top the road is dusty with scattered potholes. Usually the potholes can be driven around, but some are so large as to be unavoidable. We left via Forest Road 19 to Laneville. Not nearly as harsh as and somewhat wider than the northern entrance. So yes, you can drive there with a conventional car (at least one that is not too low), but I would certainly avoid the northern entrance.

Dolly Sods does have one big attraction for backpackers. It is one of the limited areas in WV that is somewhat level. Just check the warnings/precautions about old ordnance before you go.

6  Thank SilverZebra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 28, 2006

Having been to the area twice, we can hardily recommend it. The altitude and winds encourage an almost Canadian eco structure.
There are great trails through rocky forests with bogs, blueberry bushes, mountain laurel etc. We have encountered very few hikers and once saw recently made paw prints of some type of big cat. On the very top of the mountain are great overlooks of the surrounding country. I don't think there are any overnight accommodations in the wilderness area, although it is possible that camping is permitted..

9  Thank carolph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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