Stephen: The north sounds great. I was just there on a 3 day trip with the whole family.
Darin: Awesome photo!
Looking more closely at the hunting seasons, boar gun season runs through Nov 3. I don't think boar season is as popular as deer season, so there won't be as many hunters. I'm not sure if anyone hunts boar in Dolly Sods. There's no way to avoid archery hunting seasons in the late fall, but I'm not concerned about that. The weekend of Nov 10 appears to be free of any large animal gun seasons.
Hunting season dates:
We'll have about 10.5 hours of daylight. Sunrise/set times on Nov 3 are around 7:50 am and 6:15 pm (DST, time change is that Sunday morning). Nov 10 would have us losing about 14 min of daylight--no big deal. Nov 3 is a waning full moon, and Nov 10 is a crescent, close to new moon, with better stargazing.
Weather for nearby Elkins:
This shows an average high of 59F and average low of 33F for Nov 3. The Sods (espeically the North) will be cooler and windier than these temperatures, so take these as a "warm average".
I can do 15 miles, not sure about 20 but willing to give it a try. I generally hike about 2-2.5 mph, but I go slower than most on uphills. (My pack weight is very low, but I'm still working on some extra body weight.)
Many ideas for routes here:
I think we could plan to roughly follow one of these routes, making final planning decisions in the morning and campsite decisions in the afternoon.
Do we want to do a Friday-Sunday (3 day, 2 night), meeting at the trailhead around 10am on a Friday?