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great time . made a 15 mile loop from here

Chimney Tops, IMHO is the best view in West Virginia. Jaw-dropping 360. Please note that the immediate area around the rock formation that is Chimney Tops is often closed off due to raptor activity. The spur of the North Fork Trail is extremely steep and unmarked, so access to mapping to locate it is suggested. Please do not disrupt the area if it is roped off- there are dozens of other beautiful views north and south of this point! We were lucky enough to be there later in the season and the rope was removed. From the Northern terminus trail head of the North Fork Mt Trail, one can go south bound for a heart pounding 1,970' climb in 2.7 miles. However, Starting at the next trailhead (Landis) south off on Smoke Hole road takes off several hundred feet vertical climb and is an easier but far less dramatic approach. Our particular trip this time evolved a shuttle vehicle- starting at the third traihead down Smoke Hole Rd. (Redman Trail) then northbound on North Fork and finish at Northern terminus for a beautiful 10+/- day hike.

Today the 2nd day of December ended up a great day on the trail. It was 60 degrees and the clear. The trail is great. If you want a good moderately difficult trail this is it. Also can be mtn biked.

this by far is my favorite hike with a reward at the top...gorgeous 360 degree views.

Make sure you turn right at the fork with the medium size pile of rocks at the top to see the view. I went passed it and kept following the blue trail for awhile but not much there. Steep hike but nice enough view.

My self and two of my friends did this trail from north terminus to south. my plan to do it this way was so that i could begin the hike at 0400 and be waiting on top of chimney rock for the sunrise. My god was it worth it. I sat on that rock brewing coffee and enjoying the perfect scenery until 9am.

This was my favorite spot on the entire hike. I will be going back just to spend a weekend here. You must see it.

the trail has countless overlooks, some with beaten paths, others you can just walk west to the ridgeline. plenty of campsites premade around and the trail was pretty well kept even after all of our recent storms.

to the east is private land lines in and out of the hike. so be cautious of hunters/hunting dogs.

THE ONLY WATER SOURCE IS A SPRING AT THE 12MI MARK. this is crucial for correct planning. its very easy to walk by as i did.

from south to north the trail will continue blue blaze onto a fire road (nice well packed black gravel) down and over pipeline clearings, then downhill to campsites where the trail begins into the woods again. It is at THIS point, a grass fire road to the left of the trailhead. walk roughly 30y down that road and the spring is on the left with rocks holding down some chickenwire to prevent leaf n debris from entering it. (It looks like a rectangle stone storm drain with chicken wire ontop)

when i was hiking this i had spent a long time trying to find it and i wanted to make a point to give a very deffinitive location of this "spring" its yeild will depend on rainfall but all 3 of us got 6 litres and it didnt budge. plenty of water for us in october.

in total, this hike is beautiful, quiet, relatively easy, short distance from town, and offers alot more than you will put into it.

I will be going back.

NOTE: North Fork Mountain trail is roughly 24.3 miles long. From One Terminus to the next. One water source at 12mi. And a shuttle service is offered at the north terminus for the 25-30min drive back to where you started.

The trail/fire road from the main road is very overgrown and flooded in some areas. Huckleberry trail can be easily missed. I had to circle back after missing it, and noticed the red marker only from the opposite side of the trail. Huckleberry was less muddy but still a lot of wet spots. It started snowing on my trip and it was beautiful. A lot flatter than I expected for a high point, but the 11.5 mile trek was still tiring. Took me just under 5 hours with lots of stops for pictures along the way and at the top.

Nice walk that’s scenic and pleasant. A gem on the edge of Thomas

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.

We walked down this trail today, beautiful area, great trail. There was 20 of us. Thanks to Canaan Valley, they bused us to the top and we walked down the 9.17 miles then they took us back to Canaan to our cars. Nice hike took roughly 4 hours.

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.

4 months ago

Very Beautiful Wilderness. But it is very Rugged and disappointing that there is not some trail maintenance. Trails are not marked but have rock cairns sometimes to far apart. The trail can be very difficult to follow at times due to blow downs and Mountain Laurel overtaking the trail. I would recommend bringing Machete to blaze some new trails. Be prepared to get muddy and I would be careful after heavy rain because otter creek can become to swift to cross. I do not recommend this trail to Novice Hikers and someone that does not have a topo map and or GPS in addition to Wilderness survival Skills because It is real possible to get into a very bad Situation out there if you are not prepared.

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.

amazing spots to chill

5 months ago

love this trail easy hike , beautiful views not super busy. Great fly-fishing in otter creek , lots if native trout. mostly single track . I have been here many times.

5 months ago

The creek itself is pretty. The trail is not well maintained. It is muddy and slippery. I wanted to like it more than I did. I was glad I did the hike but will probably not be going back.

The trail was relatively well marked. There were a couple spots that we had to question whether we were pushing forward in the correct direction. We also were hiking this trail through a huge rain storm so it was fairly flooded in areas.

6 months ago

Did the whole trail with some friends, made for a great backpacking trip with fairly easy trails. Some steep climbs here and there but they were always worth it. The views are breathtaking. Defiantly gonna go back to run it sometime.

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)

Good hike if you are looking for something to get miles in. You can drive in on the dirt road and save yourself approx 2 miles at the beginning and end of just walking on a dirt road. Lots of gravel so you may want to protect your dogs feet if they are sensitive. Probably best to go when the leaves are off so you can see more...be prepared for not a lot of water. The map makes it look like the river is right beside the trail but its not...couple falls that come down off the mountain that are good sources but theres only two or three.

6 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.

6 months ago

This is my first review, so forgive me if it's too much: The plotted trail includes 4 trails. 3 of the 4 trails need heavy maintenance/rerouting to be enjoyable. You start off on Mylius Trail (the only trail that doesn't need maintenance currently), then take a right at intersection to continue onto Shavers Mountain Trail. This trail was hard to follow due to the overgrown vegetation and lack of blazes. From there you hit the intersection of Green Mountain Trail which continues to be overgrown with Rhododendrons which make following the trail a huge challenge. We camped just past the intersection of Green Mtn Trail and Possession trail. Great camp site with water source nearby. The next day we continued on Green Mtn Trail. This was a little better vegetation wise, but still some areas were hard to follow the trail. If it had not been for muddy footprints, I am sure we would have been off the trail for quite some time. You then run into Otter Creek Trail. This was a nice open trail for a ways, it winds along the creekside and crosses many times (5, if i remember correctly NOTE: The book we had said 4 crossings) The Ford crossings on the upper part of the trail were clearly marked with cairns, the water was swift and refreshing. There were many areas where the trail had been completely washed out. Areas, where you literally had to hold onto the roots of the trees above you so you did not fall 20ft into the creek bed below. The lower part of Otter Creek Trail is very boggy. There was one part where we opted to walk through knee high vegetation to the right of the trail and discovered what Stinging Nettles were... oops. You then turn left onto Mylius trail again, which is comprised of following mostly dried up and boggy areas until you head up in elevation again to the Intersection of Shaver Mountain trail and Mylius, where you continue down Mylius to the trailhead. I would suggest rethinking this trail if you are looking for an easy trail. If you are up for the challenge and have a GPS and some sort of non-cellular mobile communication device for emergencies, then I would say go for it. I will try to upload some photos from the trail at a later time.

We set out to hike this to the spruce knob summit but were discouraged by the overgrown beginning of the trail. This was early July and the growth was as tall as me and we stepped in a huge mud puddle right past the gate. The map we were given at the spruce knob lake campground had the only trailhead at the summit going down. If you are willing to do some serious bushwhacking I’m sure it’s worth it. If we had come earlier in the season or closer to fall I’m sure it would be fine but mid summer it was like no one had hiked this trail in years!

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.

The native bleeding heart are in bloom right now and gorgeous along the trail! Not too hard just long & a bit hard to follow like others have said.

Started at the North Terminus on Smoke Hole Rd and hiked to chimney tops. Would love to come back and hike the full trail. Great views and well-marked, well-maintained trails (at least the section we did). There were Carens (spelling?) marking where to get off the trail and head up to chimney tops.

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