Photos de Flatrock Trail

Distance: 16.6 miles Dénivelé: 2,870 feet Type d'itinéraire: Aller-retour

chiens en laisse

randonnée

activités en pleine nature

balade

ornithologie

forêt

vue panoramique

randonnée
6 months ago

The Flat Rock Run trail is less well known than others in the area, perhaps because it is in the Roaring Plains wilderness area that is adjacent and just west of the better known Dolly Sods wilderness. The pleasure of the hike and what the trail most has going for it is the incredible diversity you get to enjoy in a morning: Roughly in order: • Wide logging road path, • A half-dozen beautiful, humble and decently accessible waterfalls, • Deciduous forest, • A heart-pounding steep climb in mile 5 that breaks into • A spruce canopy with fern understory that emerges to • A long ridgeline hike on a high mountain, where you • Cross open fields, • Get 25-mile views, • Rock gardens, • Blueberry/heath/heather/short bushy stuff (I’m no biologist), • Bogs to skirt and • Large swathes of high mountain laurel. It’s everything great this part of WV has offer in one gorgeous hike. It is a little wilder than many WV hikes, underused and narrow, so don't expect the manicured look but is easy to follow. Big elevations for the east coast, over 2,500 of elevation gain total, a lot of it in that 5th mile. It also has one other thing WV tends to offer: Water. This is a wet hike even by WV standards. Don’t do it without legitimately waterproof shoes. It is just amazing. I mean, the ridge this follows is really high, over 4,500 ft, yet on the third day since rain, streams were running hard. Where does it come from? Some artesian spring connected to the Rocky Mountains? It also is mucky down low. So prepare for that. Also in the mid-elevation segment there is a ton of stinging nettles encroaching the narrow path in the summer. They are no problem if you either wear long pants, convertibles, shorts with gaiters, or maybe even old school knee-high socks. YOU WILL BE UNHAPPY JUST IN SHORTS. Lastly, this hike is not worth doing if you just have an hour or so to do a partial out & back. I made it a loop by connecting with Boar’s Nest and South Prong trails at the top. The hike deserves 5 stars for the variety it offers but I'll reluctantly dock a star for the amount of water and inconvenience of having to dress for nettles. Go for it!