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Hiked this with my family from the trail head at picnic area. Loved it. The trail was a little muddy in places but it was well worth the hike for the views at the cliffs, they were amazing. We had lunch at the cliffs and retraced our steps back to the trail head in some light rain. I highly recommend this trail if you are In the Sods. My 5 and 8 year old daughters kept saying this was a really fun hike and i think it is a mutual agreement that it is one of our family favorites

Looking closer at the map I think I started at Landis Trail and stayed right on the North Fork Mountain Trail. I took cover from the rain at the first ledge I came too, I don't know how far that is on the map. So I can attest to Landis Trail being rocky and steep but I'll have to start at the North Fork Mnt trail head next time.

Did this hike solo which was ok except it was super erie out there. I was on high alert the whole time. I didn't see anyone else, but I didn't see any bears either so that was good. I did see signs of bears though. It was strenuous and steep and rocky. 3/4 of the way up is started to rain a little but not bad. It quickly turned bad and I made it to an overlook and waited under a rock for over an hour. I'm still not sure how close I was to the summit, I couldn't see anything. After the thunder and lightning passed the rain persisted so I had to head down. I wasn't super prepared for a downpour so I was pretty much a drown rat. The trail was slippery because of all the rocks and rushing water. I'm sure it's beautiful when it's not storming! I would love to try it again but it won't be for a long while since I live far from there.

Was planning to do 10 miles on day 1 and then finish up the loop on day 2 but the rain set in at about mile 5. We set up camp and decided to stay there for the night due to the continuous rain. The next day we hiked the 5 miles back to the trailhead. From what we were able to see during those first 5 miles, it was beautiful. The only downside was that it is VERY wet (even before the rain came). Make sure your boots are waterproof and bring extra pairs of socks. I will be making a trip back soon to complete the hike.

nice gradual incline, gets harder as you get near the ridge.. remember to turn right at the 2 cairns incase you lose GPS service . great spot for lunch st the top, saw lots of birds of prey as well as a giant bees nest (exciting I know). noticed about 2 primitive campsites.

This past weekend I did the first three miles of Big Stonecoal from the north to Rocky Point Trail. Compared to the North Sods, this trail is one I think I'm done with (10th time). There just isn't much to see and it's pretty rocky. Then once you get to Rocky Point trail, the rocks are extreme and still nothing to look at. If you are going to Dolly for the first time, do yourself a favor and start at Bear Rocks and go no further south than Breathed Mountain trail.

started off as the only people on the trail, pretty eerie. but as we decended, we crossed paths with a handful of other hikers! a lot of bushwhacking to the summit, would recommend long pants if you want to avoid scratches! such a beautiful view, great place for photo ops!

Took about 3 hours total out and back. Amazing views at the top. It's uphill for almost a solid 3 miles, the trail up to chimney top is marked by rock stacks along the trail. The trail is well marked the whole way and is even clear on the side trail to chimney top. The side trail is very very steep so be prepared. This trail is definitely difficult but totally worth it the the views.

great ttrail for a day hike

Rocky trails with poor markings. The views and solitude make it well worth the effort.

We decided to walk back to the trailhead from where wildlife trail meets the forest road. even with a long road walk, the trail was very relaxing. not alot of elevation, but the tricky parts were how muddy parts of the trail were, and the rattlesnakes. we came across 3! wear shoes you dont mind getting wet and watch for the snakes. the cliffs are a beautiful lunch stop and there are some pretty meadows to camp along the trail. we had a sunny warm day for this hike which felt ideal. would be a more challenging day if it was wet or very windy.

The effort you expend on this hike is well rewarded with not just one, but two separate spectacular overlooks. Majority of the hike is through the woods and the lower part consists of some relatively simple switchbacks, but becomes strenuous - and rock laden - as you progress. (Trekking poles will prove very helpful) The first overlook is a little over 2 miles in and is a great spot to take a break and have a snack. Keep going along the ridge and ultimately you'll need to really work for the summit, as the last third of a mile or so is very steep.

The payoff at Chimney Rock is definitely worth it - and you'll be rewarded with an absolutely amazing summit! Take some time and soak it in! As an added bonus, the day I was there I got to watch a pair of peregrine falcons searching for prey in the forest below.

A highly recommended hike!

(Remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the sun rips though the forest for a good chunk of the hike)

backpacking
4 months ago

Traveled this trail last week, and it was a hit or miss for bogs. Many times we had to 'feel our way' with trekking poles to prevent from getting sucked in. It will slow your pace, so plan accordingly. Beautiful area and I can't wait to get back.

Amazing weather and a last minute decision to do this hike proved to be worth much more than the effort and I’ll definitely do it again. Nice ascent and great quality trail. The views at the top and along with way are insanely beautiful! The hike down is a little boring but made interesting by doing it as a trail run.

It was our first time to Dolly Sods. Really unexpected, beautiful scenery. We arrived on Friday afternoon and hiked in about 3 miles before setting up camp for the first night. On the second day, one of the dogs got loose after catching a scent and caused a minor detour... luckily she found her way back to us! We hiked through to the forks where there were lots of swimming holes to explore, and a lot of fun.

Everything was very wet, very very muddy. Gaiters are highly recommended. We took our dogs and they loved it, not overly difficult for them. There were lots of other people on the trail but we still got a lot of alone time, especially on the breathed mountain trail. There was a lot of water available at random springs, but I can imagine things would be different if it hadn’t been raining so much lately. I would fill up every chance you get.

On the last day, we hiked out through the lower and upper creek trails. The lower creek trail was basically a swamp!

Overall, we had a great time and really enjoyed our hike. We will definitely be back!

We decided to do this trail on the 4th... unfortunately we got a little later start than we wanted and ended up catching the heat wave in the middle of the day. We loved the hike but in our opinion their are much better hikes around the area. Overall I’d rate it a very strenuous hike, try to do it on a cooler day and you won’t be disappointed. Almost Heaven never disappoints! After the trail, make the trip to Hellbenders in Davis, WV... I promise it’ll be worth it.

4 months ago

Great hike with beautiful forests and rhododendron bushes for as far as you can see. Also lots of mud. Travel may be slow.

Great hike! Follow Forest Service Route 80; don’t be deterred by narrow gravel road. Keep driving until you hit last day-parking lot. No cars past this point. Short 0.3 mile walk to Dolly Sods wilderness and trailhead.

Most of the trail is well-marked by signs. But, need to be vigilant in a few places, or you’ll miss the turn-offs. Look for stick- or rock-obstructions on ground to indicate correct path (that is, don’t go down the paths that the rocks or sticks block off).

Ground was wet and muddy. Wear waterproof, hightop hiking boots or be prepared to get your shoes soaked.

Fairly easy grade—no crazy hard climbs or descents. Long parts of the trail are covered by small- to medium-size rocks. The soles of my feet are hurting right now, but I wore running shoes and not hiking boots today.

Interesting ecosystem. Biggest wetland in West Virginia. Lots of neat trees, plants, and bugs. Not desolate—we came across 3 groups of people (2 groups of day-hikers like us and 1 group of back-packers). We did the 11 miles in about 4 hours, averaging 22-minute miles.

Very difficult & I'm in pretty good shape! Awesome views, worth the pain!

Great hike. Pretty easy going for the most part. Went after a week of nonstop rain so there were a few water crossings that probably wouldn’t have been too bad if it hadn’t rained so much. Wasn’t able to cross Red Creek at the end of the trail due to so much recent rain. Camped out in a thicket just yards from the cliffs. Beautiful spot. Will be back.

took this trail and did the 21 mile lions head loop.. missed lions head but great trail.. essentially the same trail as this plus two more

Hiked in morning to catch the sunrise over the mountains was beautiful.... was definitely hard towards the peak for a pack a day smoker but still enjoyed the view at the end

Definitely hard on the legs but the view is so worth it!!! Pack a lunch to enjoy at the top ;) (just remember to leave it better than you found it)

hiking
7 months ago

We have done this trail a few times, mostly to backpack on weekend trips. We have actually never made it to the knob it's self but just before the knob next to the river is where we like to camp. it's a nice moderate trail. beware of bears. We have never seen one there but one time we spotted fresh bear tracks and another a hunter said his dog's just chased a bear in our direction, but we didn't see it. We did see quite a few deer near our camping spot. The trails are not marked but they are well traveled. Please leave nothing but footprints and stay on the trail as much as possible. oh and be sure to bring boots as this trail can get muddy at times.

Did this as a couple day overnight out and back. Lots of fun good views and not a lot of foot traffic. Kinda hard to get to the trail head but worth the effort.

This is by far the best view in the state of WV! The trail starts off right from the start with some crazy elevation gain. the spur trail leading up to Chimney Top is the steepest section but only about .3 miles. once you get there, if you want to get on top of the main chimney you have to do a little climbing up a 5 ft rock wall that it VERY easy for anyone that made it this far. Once you get to it you will not be disappointed. Looking out across you see a wonderful view of German Valley and looking back into the south you will see Virginia! Wonder 360° view and I will for sure backpack the whole trail in the near future!

I would rank the view from Chimney Top the best in the state, hands down. The trail is difficult and you work for the reward, but man, is it one hell of a reward. The trail itself was steep in places, rocky in others, and steep and rocky in some places alltogether, but I would hike this 10 more times given the chance and I don't think I would tire of the view.

Great and hard hike. We hiked this today, and got to the main overlook in about an hour and 15 minutes. Note: the bulk of the length of this trail is in the woods. The bulk of the elevation, though, is once you hit the ridge with the overlooks. Don't let the elevation rate on that map fool you. It most certainly isn't that gradual.

That said, of all the hikes I've done, I think the view from this hike is the most varied and special. While the 360° view is not completely unobstructed, I personally believe it is much better than Old Rag.

Hiked up to chimney top from the North slope 7-23-17. Spectacular view looking south west toward spruce knob. Took appoximately 2 hours to climb and only 1 hour to descend. Amazing how quiet it is at the top ridge.

Great trail for some serious elevation gain. If you continue along the trail at about the 6 mile mark you'll reach the high point of the North Fork Mountain Ridge. The views from here offer great views of the ridges and valleys. A 12 mile total out and back is nothing to sneeze at when the total elevation gain came in around 3,400'

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