Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Ideas for around dc: dolly sods, st mary's
Display Avatars Sort By:
Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Ideas for around dc: dolly sods, st mary's on 01/26/2012 20:19:03 MST Print View

Any ideas about a good place for a two nighter around dc? I was thinking about St Mary's wilderness area or Dolly Sods. It's kind of hard getting into dolly sods this time of year, although I'd bet it's worth it. Is it easier gaining access to roaring plains to the south? Any thoughts would be really appreciated. I'm not that familiar with the area.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Ideas for around dc: dolly sods, st mary's on 01/26/2012 20:21:32 MST Print View

Mileage?

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Around dc on 01/26/2012 20:25:17 MST Print View

Probably 40 depending on conditions

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Around dc on 01/26/2012 20:27:33 MST Print View

There are a couple of nice, 40-mile trails in PA, about 4 hours from DC, or is that too far away?

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Around dc on 01/26/2012 20:30:59 MST Print View

Wouldn't be much further than dolly sods. Im interested

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Around dc on 01/26/2012 20:41:48 MST Print View

One of my favorites is the Black Forest Trail in the Tiadaghton State Forest. 42 miles, lots of steep ups and downs, great views. A great challenge if you're in for a challenge. There's a decent hotel a couple of miles from where the trail crosses a road near, I think, mile 22. It's where I often start (instead of starting at marked mile 1). Saw four bears on one trip. http://www.pahikes.com/trails/black-forest-trail

Allegheny Front Trail is also a nice trail. Just did this in, I think, October or thereabouts. Not as challenging as Black Forest, but a nice, enjoyable trail nonetheless. Throws a lot of looks at you. http://alleghenyfronttrail.info/

Both of these are about 4-4.5 hours from DC.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Around dc on 01/26/2012 20:48:26 MST Print View

Great. I'll look into both. Would they be in good condition this time of year? I'll bet the roads getting to them sure would be, which is one of my concerns about dolly sods

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Around dc on 01/27/2012 04:00:29 MST Print View

There is always the Shenandoah Park around the Luray area. There are hiking loops off the AT that you can combine and get in as much mileage as you want. Or simply hike along the AT and stealth camp or shelter it.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Shenandoah Park on 01/27/2012 06:41:11 MST Print View

Any particular hikes in that area that you'd recommend?

chris markley
(motorapido) - F
Re: Re: Around dc on 01/27/2012 06:52:04 MST Print View

I highly recommend the Hotel Manor, in Slate Run, PA, which is just a couple hundred yards away from the start/finish of the Black Forest Trail. Great bar/restaurant, and nice, clean, comfortable rooms, and free make-it-yourself breakfast for early-rising hikers who want something hearty before they set forth. Also a great stop if biking the Pine Creek Rail Trail, which passes directly by the Hotel Manor. Truly excellent place to eat/drink/stay in that area.

Zach Bradford
(Spiranthes) - F

Locale: WV
Roaring Plains on 01/27/2012 09:12:22 MST Print View

As for road conditions en route to Roaring Plains, I'm not quite sure. If you enter from the West via Lanesville/FR19, the road is generally wide and shouldn't be much of a worry. If there's snow on the ground, you'd absolutely want an all wheel drive vehicle. However, there are a few portions where it is quite narrow with a drop-off on the right, so I'd still be nervous. A good way to check conditions in the area is to view the daily snow report for Whitegrass: http://www.whitegrass.com/report.html. As of right now, it doesn't look like there's much on the ground.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Around dc on 01/27/2012 09:39:34 MST Print View

I'd imagine the PA trails I mentioned are a bit muddy in portions (only a guess) but eminently doable.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Allegheny Front Trail on 01/27/2012 10:21:23 MST Print View

"throws a lot of looks at you"

what does that mean?

daniel B
(dbogey)

Locale: East Coast
Mid State Trail on 01/27/2012 11:41:51 MST Print View

Also throw in there the Pa Mid State Trail which is around 200 miles long which give you plenty of places to pick your starting point. North Central Pa has the Pa Grand Canyon and the Black Forest which has been mentioned. As soon as I get my new shelter, looking at http://www.bearpawwd.com/tents_tarps/cubden.html , I'm off to the Black Forest.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Shenandoah Park on 01/27/2012 16:01:21 MST Print View

Gabe, I generally hike along Jeremy's run...pretty easy, good camping sites...a fare amount of bear during the summer, but it's nice and hooks up with the AT, about 14 miles. There's also Bluff trail, Piney-Ridge-Little Devil Stairs. This website has something for you to look at as well. YOu can also get in touch with PATC that have lots of info on their website and work the AT, clearing the trail. A nice hike is from Harper's Ferry on the AT into Maryland..but off-hand I can't remember the distance.

http://www.midatlantichikes.com/

Edited by leadfoot on 01/27/2012 16:04:01 MST.

Ian Smith
(smiia482) - F

Locale: MD/WV
Soggy Sods on 01/27/2012 20:50:57 MST Print View

We got about an inch & a half of rain/snow out this way over the last 36 hours with more mix on the way so I would expect the Sods to be a cold and soupy mess right now depending on where you were looking to go in. I was just down on the Blackwater River on tuesday at it is raging... the Blackwater Canyon trail should be pretty sweet right now. Can't go wrong with the North Fork Mountain Trail this time of year either if you're looking for a ridge hike. They're both non-circuits so if you do come all the way out here and need a shuttle just say the magic words.

Nick C.
(nixie) - F
re: Ideas for around dc: dolly sods, st mary's on 01/28/2012 11:18:11 MST Print View

Another place about 4 hours away from D.C. is the Batona Trail in New Jersey. 53 miles long, unfortunately not a loop but it goes through the Pine Barrens (flat, sandy, tea-stained rivers, stunted pine forest) which is a nice change of scenery from the usual Shenandoah-type forests. The terrain is flat so the miles come easy.

As far as accessing Dolly Sods in the winter, you can ride the chairlift at Timberline Resort for direct access to the north Sods.

John Dillon
(jdillon3) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Website on 02/02/2012 16:23:26 MST Print View

Check out this website http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/ I steal hikes from there all the time.