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“Unique Area”

Dolly Sods Wilderness Area
Ranked #3 of 16 things to do in Elkins
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the Monongahela National Forest, this 10,215-acre area is one of the few wilderness areas on the East Coast.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
177 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
“Unique Area”
Reviewed August 30, 2012

Went backpacking in Dolly Sods for the first time with several others including one very experienced Sodder. The area is unique; much of the ground is soggy, fairly deep mud in some places along the trail, rocky trails, interesting landscape, open areas with spruce trees, lots of berries, looks and feels like a more northern area. We camped in beautiful woods next to a stream. Saw a huge beaver dam while hiking. Also stopped at nearby Bear Rocks to enjoy some nice views. Great adventure!

Visited August 2012
1 Thank goneagain2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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196 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Beautiful West Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Forager's heaven”
Reviewed August 26, 2012

Wild blueberries, huckleberries and cranberries. Out of the way, but the drive is scenic and beautiful. Be sure to use insect repellent and sunscreen.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank geezerex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Great Place for hiking/backpacking.”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

This is an awesome place to see. This is a wilderness area, thus just driving on the road will not do this place justice. Get out of your car and hit the trails! The scenery changes are extreme you can be in the higher altitudes in the north section and see wind stunted spruces and shrubs that are usually only found in places much further north close to tundra to swamps bogs to broad leaf forest. The views are amazing! When I am in this place I think of northern Canada not West Virginia!

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Borne2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Meadows of Dan, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“If you're willing to drive a winding gravel road....”
Reviewed August 8, 2012

When we first entered West Virginia we were told we should not miss Dolly Sods Wilderness area. We did not go there at first, but just the other week there was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and we wanted to take a drive from where we were staying near Parsons and head on toward Canaan Valley where my hubby used to ski on occasion. We headed from Parsons on Rt. 72 south. It is an amazingly beautiful drive, but driver beware - it is narrow and windy and takes a good while to get across, but it is worth the drive! Pick a clear day. As we got to the end of Rt. 72 we were not sure, even by a map which way to go. We first turned right onto Rt. 32 and headed toward Harman, WV. After a few miles we were sure we had not gone right and so we turned around and headed back toward Davis. There we also missed the turn off to Dolly Sods because going north, the sign is missing. We also found out that there should have been a sign on our first attempt south on 32 as well. Thankfully, hubby saw the sign from the other direction and knew we had missed it. Turning around on Rt. 32 was a challenge, but we did it. We knew we would be going back into the countryside at least 7 or 8 miles but we didn't know that the 7 or 8 miles was only to the beginning of the Dolly Sods Wilderness area and we would then be winding up, up, up, up for several miles on a gravel road that was not marked and also very narrow. All well and good, but cars coming down were driving way to fast for conditions and stirring up lots of dust. Okay. So, we stopped when we saw a sign board that looked like it had a map on it. We realized we were not too far from a picnic area and it looked like we would get to a scenic overlook in another mile after that. We had packed a lunch and the small picnic area had a clean outhouse. There was nothing to see there, so we headed on up the road. The next map board we stopped at indicated that we had one more turn off until the scenic overlook. We did make it there and you are right on top of a plateau and looking out over a vast valley. The rock formations are interesting and there were "huckleberries" growing (what we call wild blueberries in Maine). One word of caution, we do not recommend walking on the path to the scenic overlook if you have any difficulty walking or navigating rocks and stones. There is another path that would be easier to navigate, but it does not lead to any scenic view worth looking at. Trees have grown up over the entire mountain. Be careful with children who love to climb rocks - there are some steep drop offs and rocks that could hurt if they fall. We did not have time to continue on what would be a long trek across yet more gravel roads. It must be a good place to hike and there would be great views at the other side where there is another scenic overlook. It would be good to plan a whole half a day or more to visit the area. If we had known ahead of time what we were going to encounter, we would have planned the day differently or decided to come on another day.
The other negative comment would be that as we have toured various sites in West Virginia, signs are missing all over the place and it seems like overall maintenance has not been done at the parks we have visited. Perhaps the state is out of money - like so many states. I'm not blaming them, but it does make it frustrating when you are not familiar with an area. When my daughter and I went to Greenbrier State Park it was right after the really big storm that had blown through the area and so there was lots of debris, which was understandable, but on the trails, signs were missing and the blazes were so old you could barely make them out even when you found one. We missed a major turnoff and ended up extending our hike to the top of Kate's Mountain about 1 1/2 hours! A long upward climb and no view at the top. A bit disappointing. Perhaps we should do more research before we head out from now on!!
One thing to say about Wild Wonderful West Virginia is that it is the greenest state in the Union for sure. A beautiful place and well worth the visit. Don't be surprised if you don't find one straight road - even the interstates are windy!!! Watch out for wildlife as well. Lots and lots of deer along the roads. We even saw some rare bobcat cubs! There is so much to do in this state - Tucker county is amazing!

Visited July 2012
3 Thank RBH_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rock Springs, Wyoming
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Weekend Trip”
Reviewed August 6, 2012

Many loops available depending on the time allowed and the level of difficulty you want. Lion's Head is a must see! Leave your packs at the bottom and hike up. Make sure you bring a highly accurate map and give some extra time for getting lost. Trails are not marked well and often disappear on you. It's a good backpacking adventure for active youth who have some previous experience.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Hilary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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