I had a surprisingly quick recovery from some surgery a few weeks ago and got the go-ahead from my doctor to start backpacking again. I was really looking forward to getting in some nice fall foliage from my favorite spot in SNP this weekend, but since it doesn't look like that's happening, so I'm switching gears for Dolly Sods, which seems to be open as far as I can tell.
Right now, I think I have a general loop planned out (park near Red Creek campground, head west on the Blackbird Knob trail, South on Red creek trail, use some combination of trails to cut to the west side of the area, loop around back north to the bear rocks area before going back to my car)...it's pretty similar to the route described here: http://www.midatlantichikes.com/dst.htm, but with a different starting point and a bit of extra mileage in the beginning.
As far as I can tell, I should be getting a pretty good idea of the area from this loop, but any thoughts on best routes, side trips, etc. would be very welcome. Since the area seems to have some pretty unique features, and it's a bit of a haul for me to get there (5.5 hours each way and I'm doing it as a weekend overnight), I definitely want to make sure that I make the most of the trip. If nothing else, I really want to see the "tundra" areas.
Also, any input on what's currently permitted in the area hunting-wise would be really, really appreciated. As far as I can tell from reading the WV regulations, some things are in season, but I know jack about hunting, and I'm not sure if any of the animals/types of hunting that are currently allowed at this point in the season are something that would apply in the DSW. I'm not averse to picking up some stylish blaze orange apparel before I go, but I also wouldn't mind avoiding it if its unnecessary.