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  1. #1
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Hi y'all,

    Here are the details for the Sept. 16-18 Dolly Sods, WV Hang / Backpacking Weekend. The hike dates are Friday - Sunday. If you have any pre-hikes or post hikes planned, please post the details on this thread. Others may want to join you.

    This is our second group hang in Dolly Sods. For anyone new to hammock camping, this is a great chance to get together with other hangers in a beautiful wilderness area, not just for camping but to test your hammock gear for backpacking -- with a choice of short hikes or longer if that's your style. Great learning opportunity.

    See attached trail map for parking at Red Creek Campground and Friday & Saturday night camping spots. This site has more maps and info. A printable pdf high resolution trail map here.

    WEATHER LINK. Pay attention to weather reports. Any weather, any temps, any time at Dolly Sods.


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    I’m describing this as a freestyle hiking and hang event. It’s freestyle because I’m giving you the camping/hang spots for Friday and Saturday night. How and when you get there is up to you and your hiking buddies. The large number of backpackers who have shown interest in this trip has limited the camping spots where we all can hang. Right now we have approximately 25 hikers intersted. Where we are hanging can accommodate this and more hikers if necessary. So we’ll repeat one spot from last year and add a new camping spot for Saturday night.

    Both spots have very direct routes and are less than a few miles from Red Creek Campground. Or you can take circuit routes and start from different trail heads and make the hikes pretty much as long as you want. (Post on this thread if you think you need a shuttle ride to help you do the hike that you want. We’ll help out as much as possible.) This is a very flexible plan. Even if you don’t come to the Sods until Saturday, you can still meet up with the group easily at the Forks by starting out at Red Creek Campground.

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    Friday Night Campsite: Meet at west side of Blackbird Knob on Blackbird Knob Trail. This is the intersection of Blackbird Knob Trail and LEFT FORK of Red Creek. There's camping on both sides of the creek AND plenty of water. Water needs treatment. See attached map. The most direct route is to start by the Red Creek Campground, follow the Blackbird Knob Trail 2.5 miles to the intersection of Blackbird Knob Trail and the left fork of Red Creek. There are a number of ways to get to this spot using various trails. Planning an indirect hiking route is highly recommended to see more of Dolly Sods if you are coming in early on Friday.

    Saturday Night Campsite: Is at the Forks of Redcreek. Again you can take a short route to the Forks from the Friday night campsite, or you can do a longer route if you want a longer day of backpacking. See attached map. Water is not a worry. Just make sure to treat it.

    Sunday – It's 3.3 miles to cars at Red Creek Campground taking the Red Creek and Blackbird Knob Trails back out. You can have a leisurely morning or get out pretty fast. Although it’s a rather short hike to the campground, be warned the Red Creek Trail is a long up before it meets up with Blackbird Knob Trail.
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    Remember if the weather is nice there will be bird banding taking place across the road from the Red Creek Campground. This is a must do. Also take time to see the view from Bear Rocks. Last year people were still berry picking along the road at this time of year. Maybe we’ll have the same this year.

    Some veteran DS hikers will be around at the Red Creek Campground or at the parking area across the road from the campground to meet and greet hangers coming in on Friday. Don’t drive through the campground. Park across the road and walk into the campground. It’s not that big and it will be easy to find other hammock hangers. We’ll hang around until early afternoon to meet and greet and then we’ll be off to the first camping spot. We’ll be easy to spot. We have Hammock Forum stickers on our vehicles.

    That’s it. Hope to see you there!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by HappyCamper; 08-02-2011 at 10:20.

  2. #2
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Worth repeating posted from last year's hike

    Noobs and Yankees all welcome!

    Everyone please be aware that weather conditions on top of Dolly Sods can unexpectedly change at any time and it can get cold there any time of year. Like freezing cold any time of year!

    Some additional info I've found. A little dated but still true.

    Summary: The views in Dolly Sods makes the difficult drive worth every minute. This trail can be done in a single day, but to fully enjoy it I would recommend camping or backpacking over the course of two days. This will provide time to explore the area and many side trails to waterfalls.

    Red Creek Trail: The upper portions of this trail lead through a sub-alpine tundra with vegetation (e.g. reindeer moss) otherwise only found in Canada and other arctic areas. The trail will lead downward through some boggy areas (be prepared for mud) passing beaver dams, expansive meadows, and aspen and spruce groves. As the trail closes in on Red Creek you will have a couple of minor stream crossings.

    Descending into the Red Creek canyon, the terrain will change dramatically to the more typical easterna forests, marked by abundant firs, oaks, and maples. There are plenty of swimming holes and watefalls and one major stream crossing.

    Hurricane/flooding has obscured some of the lower trail.
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    Trailhead: Traveling to Dolly Sods is not easy! The following is from the Forest Service web site, but I would recommend that you consult a map as well.

    Forest Roads 75 and 19 are graveled, narrow and rough. Heavy traffic and dusty conditions can be encountered on many weekends.

    From Petersburg, WV: Follow State Route 42 north to Jordan Run Road. Turn left onto Jordan Run Road and proceed approximately five miles to Forest Road 75. Turn right and go four miles to the Dolly Sods Scenic Area.

    OR
    Follow State Route 28 and 55 south to Jordan Run Road. Turn right and go one mile on Jordan Run Road to Forest Road 19. Turn left and follow Forest Road 19 six miles to the Dolly Sods Scenic Area.

    From Canaan Valley, WV: Follow Route 32 south to the Laneville Road. Turn left and follow the Laneville Road ten miles to the Dolly Sods Scenic Area. Before reaching the Scenic Area, the road passes several trailheads and the Dolly Sods Picnic Area.
    (Lat:39 Lon:-79.34)
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    Trail Guides for Dolly Sods Red Creek Trail:
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    Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
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    User Groups: Hikers,
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    Ranger Contact: Monongahela National Forest, Potomac Ranger District (304)257-4488
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    Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Brian Talbert, who has posted 20 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trail Reviews Submit your own review

    Reviewed by Lorax on 8/11/2009
    Don't go here. It is magical. Too many people will ruin it. Only the hardy can make this hike. Getting lost is very easy. GPS and the Canaan Valley Adventure Map are a must. Find "Eden" and you'll never forget it. It's there. I found it.

    Reviewed by AL on 6/11/2008
    This is an amazing hike, I found out about it from this website and tried it out. Lots of water crossings, bring water shoes. Be warned, some of the trails in Dolly Sods are poorly marked. Signage is very poor and mostly the trails are marked with cairns. Seems if you stay on Red Creek Trail it is pretty easy to follow, but we nearly got lost trying to follow trail 510 back to the main road. All the locals we talked to told us it is pretty easy to get lost in Dolly Sods. So be careful, especially you novice hikers. Bring a GPS/compass and map and take it seriously. No cell phone service within an hour driving distance of the park. Also if you follow Red Creek Trail all the way you will end up miles from your car.

    Reviewed by R.L. on 10/26/2007
    Just hiked this one last weekend to check out Autumn foliage and this place is a gem. Within a short hike your scenaries kept changing - passing through pine forest, crimson and yellow meadows, open tundra with crimson bushes, and stunning maple forest. The highlight of the trail is the Red Creek but unfortunately due to drought in the East Coast, the water level is quite low. This place is not easily accessible so it's not too crowded at all. Overall a GREAT hiking trail.

    Reviewed by Watson on 5/11/2007
    I have hiked in several "top ten" places of all hikers, and this is truly an unsung hero. Tie your food as there is lots of bear sign and tons of racoons. Beautiful waterfalls and many opps to see wildlife.

    Reviewed by Forest Wander on 4/20/2007
    This is the best place to go in West Virginia in my opinion. My son and I hike here all the time and we take pictures.

    Reviewed by Aaron on 4/2/2006
    This is a personal favorite of ours. Worth all the effort to get there. Definitely camp a night at the "forks" of Red Creek. HIKER BEWARE: make absolutely sure you know what the weather forecast is. During periods of heavy rain, the creek floods and the crossings can be treacherous.
    __________________
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

  3. #3
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    I've pulled names off of the previous thread about this hike and we've had approx. 27 people expressed interest in this weekend so far. These are the names I'm keeping track of right now.

    Happy Camper
    WV
    SkyDog
    Lisa
    MerryMary
    Oh-No
    Sweet Baby D
    HamMike
    Trout
    jtruslow
    Deucalion
    Andrew & Bob
    PuckerFactor
    Trout
    Hickery
    Fungus
    Big Papie
    thexuprising
    normis1
    USMCStang
    wvbowhunter
    maztrain
    dandeman


    Tentative
    crackedup
    wi1ecoyote
    NCPatrick
    hrairoorah + wife
    Last edited by HappyCamper; 08-02-2011 at 10:17.
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

  4. #4
    Oh-No's Avatar
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    Looks like a big group. Impressive.
    Happy Camper- thanks and for all the info.,
    and for all your efforts. Great job
    on setting this up.

  5. #5
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Thanks! As you know we did this type of trip last year . . . telling people camping spots instead of organizing a group hike in and out and I was amazed at how well it worked. Even though it's a big group, on Friday people come in at different times, hike at different times. Hike different routes. Then come together in late afternoon and the conversation is so much fun on how people made it to the spot and what they saw and pictures they took. People will discuss what routes they plan to take the next day.

    On Saturday, some are early risers and you don't even know that they've left for a long day of hiking. Others are more leisurely and enjoy breakfast and a beautiful morning out in nature. Some people take their time packing up and others pack up faster than a sneeze. It's fun to watch. So again, it doesn't seem like a big hiking group with people leaving at different times.

    It will be interesting to see if the coyotes start howling at us again Friday night. I'm going to make sure I use Oh-No's safety technique and hang my hammock is in the center of the group.
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

  6. #6
    Burning at both ends Dblcorona's Avatar
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    Still sounds like a great trip, but it's looking like we(Michigan) guys are going to play a little closer to home. Good luck and have fun.
    "We don't stop hiking because we grow old,
    we grow old because we stop hiking."

    -- Finis Mitchell,

  7. #7
    Senior Member normis1's Avatar
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    HappyCamper - thanks again for putting this together. Sounds like it's going to be awesome! I'll probably be there Friday early afternoon sometime - looking forward to seeing all of you there.

    Norm
    - Norm

  8. #8
    Senior Member hrairoorah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    I've pulled names off of the previous thread about this hike and we've had approx. 27 people expressed interest in this weekend so far. These are the names I'm keeping track of right now.

    Happy Camper
    WV
    SkyDog
    Lisa
    MerryMary
    Oh-No
    Sweet Baby D
    HamMike
    Trout
    jtruslow
    Deucalion
    Andrew & Bob
    PuckerFactor
    Trout
    Hickery
    Fungus
    Big Papie
    thexuprising
    normis1
    USMCStang
    wvbowhunter
    maztrain
    dandeman


    Tentative
    Dblcrona - 2 from Michigan
    wi1ecoyote
    NCPatrick
    Put me and my wife in the tentative list.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BearChaser's Avatar
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    Link to GPS file depot for download of WV topo for use on GPS unit.

    Link to USGS Topo Download Use Blackbird Knob Quad which covers most of the area, Blackwater Falls Quad will show the western region. These 2 quads should cover the entire area you will be in.

    Following 2 links include way points of Picnic Area and Red Creek Campground. Also includes approximate way points of Fri, Sat, night hang spots and Bird Banding Station.
    Dolly Sods Hammock Hang.gpx way points for GPS units.
    Dolly Sods Hammock Hang.gdb way points to import into Google Earth.


    Trail map in JPG format.
    Trail Map jpg format Can be imported into Google Earth as an Overlay then exported to your Garmin Capable Device. This allows you to have the trail map on your GPS unit.
    Link on how to do custom maps on Garmin Devices. When you use the map jpg in google earth as an overlay, line up the Picnic Area (Blue Triangle) and Red Creek Campground (Green Circle) markers on the map to the corasponding way points from the .gdb file you imported. This should get you really close.

    I hope to make it to this hang. Not sure if I will have the time off from work though. You all have fun and stay safe either way.

    Edit: I had to edit this post so the links to the downloadable files would work. Should be good to go now.
    Last edited by BearChaser; 08-02-2011 at 11:36. Reason: Yet another edit to get links working

  10. #10
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    crackedup! Thanks for links! Maybe things will work out and we'll be meeting.
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

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