hiking

forest

views

bird watching

nature trips

walking

wild flowers

backpacking

wildlife

camping

dog friendly

dogs on leash

river

The 17,371 acre Dolly Sods Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is located in Grant, Randolph and Tucker Counties, West Virginia. The Dolly Sods Wilderness contains much of the Red Creek drainage and contains bog and heath eco-types, more commonly typical to southern Canada. Elevations range from 2,500 to over 4,700 feet.

hiking
15 days ago

Great little trail for easy going hikers.

Nice day hike. Parts of the trail were a little boring, especially hiking the road back. But, the surprises are worth the effort. Have lunch at the rock cliff.

This was perfect for me and my almost 3 year old son. It was pretty flat and there were a couple of campsites to explore along the service road. The service tower was pretty cool and we walked up the first set of steps to see over the trees.
If you have children or dogs. Watch out for the broken glass around the tower. Also the hand rails are sketchy so be careful when you climb the tower.

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

The trail is an old service road that leads to a 40-foot tower that gives a view of the valley 2000+ feet below. It was a bit on the wet side when I went, but it was a nice view. I did not encounter anyone else. The top deck of the tower is decommissioned and blocked off, but you can walk up the two flights of stairs to get a higher vantage point.

on Northern Dolly Sods

hiking
3 months ago

WEAR WATERPROOF HIKING SHOES AND BRING AN EXTRA PAIR OF SOCKS

GREAT views!! Very quiet once you get away from the parking lot. Way overcrowded at the parking lot at Bear Rocks. People parking in the grass alongside the road, not picking up their trash and dog crap. So much for a wilderness area. Won't be long til its permit only. Otherwise, even though VERY wet and muddy, it was great hiking! Wear some shoes with ankle support. Most of the trail is very uneven and rocky. Two stream crossings on this route. Neither very hard. First one you need to step rock to rock to avoid shin deep water. Take something to help balance if you have it.

This trail has everything. Cool views, awesome ridgelines, open meadows, rock cliffs, wooded pine forests, jungley forests, gushing rivers, huge waterfalls, and much more.
This was our groups first backpacking experience it took us 3 days and 2 nights to do the whole loop. On our way in we probably passed 40 or so people on their way out. Everything was a little muddy because of recent rain and it even rained the first day out. Overall everything was great any trail names with the word rocky in them are just that super rocky. Pack plenty of socks. Water is easy to find and if it’s wet dry wood is hard to come by. I also hiked in teva sandals and although it wasn’t terrible I’d definitely bring another option next time.

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.

very fun and challenging hike. has a lot of great views. Dobbin Grade was extremely marshy but it does have a nice camp site just south of Beaver Dam intersection. I would not recommended this trail for someone that is just starting.

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.

Just got back from my 10th trip to Dolly Sods. Bear Rocks, Raven Ridge, Rocky Ridge are still my favorite trails to be on. I actually like Dobbin's Grade too, including the swamp area! I consider it the mark of a successful trip if I get through the swamp without having water get in my boots. This was a successful trip, and my advice to anyone is make sure you have a walking stick, and each time you get to a tough spot, start poking in the water for hard spots. Almost always you can pick your way right through the middle by looking for firm spots an inch or two below the water.

Did a 3 day backpacking trip starting at Bear Rocks and going as far as Lion’s Head and back. Great trip! Amazing views! Kinda rocky so make sure you’re wearing some good socks and you tie you shoes up tight!

The Northern part of the hike was really easy going and open. As you descend down to the southern part of the trail you lose a lot of the views but the forest is very cool. the scenery is quite interesting. I will Say this Rocky Ridge Trail is almost 2 miles of no fun, hard on your feet, and at times will make you want to quit. We did 15 miles in one day and I was glad to have knocked out the southern part before making camp. All in all the blue berries, views, and toughness were what we signed up for. I was a little disappointed in not seeing much wildlife but I did get to see the Sage Grouse so that was something.

Bear Rocks and Rocky Ridge are very nice. A few areas with tree coverage, mostly wide-open flats. Only one or two areas with steep uphill. I’d consider it between easy and moderate. Avoid the Dobbin area if it has rained at all the day of or days prior... it was literally a swamp when we went through. Mud up to your knees in areas and no way of avoiding most puddles.

Bear Rocks and Rocky Ridge were beautiful. Lots of open meadows and valley views from those trails. there were quite a few campsites along the entire hike. I saw maybe 5 or 6 campsites that were being used,but even more that were not. At all costs, avoid the portion of the Dobbin Grade that connects Raven Ridge to Bear Rocks. A decent amount of that "trail" is literally a swamp. Unless you've got rain boots that go up to your knees, you'll regret taking it. All-in-all, a great hike.

Went on a wet weekend and tried to pick a hike where mud wouldn’t be too much of an issue. This hike was a great choice. Recommend doing loop to the right for a steeper ascent and more gradual descent. Had to take shoes off multiple times to cross Red Creek. The waterfall was beautiful. Hike was definitely more than 7 miles (guessing maybe 8 miles). On the 2nd half of the loop, we were slowed down by lots of muddy parts but we had a lot of fun with it! No views or overlooks but the forest was magical and we really enjoyed the hike!

backpacking
5 months ago

As others have said, this loop offers a diverse selection of terrain. The trail is evenly split between forest and open fields, which is exactly what we had hoped for. We opted to stretch this hike into three days/two nights, which was easy as there were plenty of campsites to choose from along the way. We had hiked after a period of much rain for the area so the ground was thoroughly wet in some parts, but dry in most. The muddier areas were not too challenging to pass through. We did however struggle to find good firewood due to the wet conditions.

Unfortunately we were not able to reach Lions Head as the trail is unmarked and even with direction of a written trail guide we still were not able to find it. (We bumped into a couple on the trail who mentioned they were able to reach it without problems, so perhaps we just didn't look hard enough!)

Overall we enjoyed our hike, it was not too strenuous and our division of 9/6/6 miles made for a leisurely weekend.

We took a shorter loop, starting at Bear Rocks, then going on Dobbin Grade, and back on Beaver Dam. This particular loop is not difficult though very wet in the spring and requires going off the trail at several points to get around the high water. This trail is probably better for bigger dogs though we did take our bichon out once, we had to carry him a lot through mud. Views are beautiful, especially in the spring when everything is a lush green with flowers blooming. Weather has always been cool, sunny, low humidity and just perfect. This loop is also not bad if you have a child in a carrier.

hiking
5 months ago

Not a hard trail, but can be very wet and muddy, which in my opinion makes it more fun. The views are gorgeous!

great ttrail for a day hike

beautiful views on this trail

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

Very beautiful and serene. The campground is about two miles from the parking lot. It was the perfect place to camp as it was private and we didn’t have to drive back down the mountain to get to it. Beautiful views and lots of wild blueberries

Beautiful scenery and very desolate. For most of the hike I was completely alone. The trails are rocky but not too bad. Wear waterproof boots and bring extra socks. Dobbin Grade Trail is a muddy bog. You can easily be knee deep in mud if you’re not careful! Avoid if possible. Overall the views and experience were well worth it.

backpacking
6 months ago

Lots a different terrain. Had to be careful a few times to not get lost, but plenty of people hiking in July to ask for directions. I would not go if it's supposed to rain as most trails get extremely muddy fast. Lots of blueberries blooming in the higher elevations/open plains. Definitely recommend for an overnight backpacking trip!

I really enjoyed this trip. Coming from eastern North Carolina and meeting a friend from Ohio and his nephew into the Dolly Sods wilderness area was a great trip. I expected the weather to be warmer and more humid. But it turned out to be very pleasant. Bugs were not a problem too. The trail was somewhat rocky and in some parts muddy. But all in all we were not hampered or slowed down. We did not get to see any wild life. So I was a little disappointed. There were lots of blue berries and wild flowers.

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.

We did Bear Rocks -> Raven Ridge - > Rocky Ridge - > Dobbin Grade - > Beaver Dam - >back to raven ridge and re-traced Bear Rocks

The section of this trail was moderate with lots of ferns, berries, and meadows. Sweeping views and some good camping spots.

I def recommend continuing on to Rocky ridge from this loop for some even more unique views and cool rocks that have been shaped by the wind.

hiking
6 months ago

We did Bear Rocks -> Raven Ridge - > Rocky Ridge - > Dobbin Grade - > Beaver Dam - >back to raven ridge and re-traced Bear Rocks.

Beaver Dam was a nice change of pace and scenery. We chose not to do red River as it was a steeper cut through and Dobbin Grade was supposedly very wet! Beaver dam is short and basically a nice trot on a narrow trail through gaping meadows. We saw some wildlife and enjoyed the breeze and ripe berries!

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