Random (but not really)

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Sunday we made it to my happy place.

Location: Coopers Rock
Trails: Rhododendron, Notmucha, Clay Run, Mont Chateau Trails
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation: 1511-2156 ft (851 feet rise)

Written by Michelle at 7:07 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Hiking WV: New River Gorge, Grandview Area

Forecasts around the state were calling for a possibility of rain and thunderstorms, so we headed south to New River Gorge. It’s been awhile since we were at the Grandview area, and I’ve wanted to hike the Glade Creek trail.

On the way, after looking at the maps, I decided we should take the Little Laurel trail up the Grandview proper.

Here’s the sandbar area. We saw kayakers and rafters go by but mostly it was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday afternoon.

2018-09-01_NRG Sandbars

Location: New River Gorge
Trails: Little Laurel, Grandview Rim Trails
Distance: 7.2 miles
Elevation: 1305-2596 ft (1466 ft rise)

Little Laurel Trail
2.5 miles
1480-2539 feet
It took us just over an hour to hike up.

The maps we had said the Little Laurel trail was 2 miles. According to my GPS, from one sign to the other the trail was 2 1/2 miles and 1000 feet elevation rise.

Start HERE. At the BOTTOM. At Glade Creek Road near sandbar area.

2018-09-01_NRG_029

This is NOT readily accessible from the main portion of the Grandview area. It’s a 2 1/2 mile hike from one area to the other, but it’s an 22 mile drive and that 34 minutes is almost certainly a lie.

Here’s the drive:

Here’s the hike. (View both in Satellite mode to see the comparison more easily.)

Powered by Wikiloc

Here’s the top. If you’re starting here… Don’t. Unless you like the second half of your hike to be 100% uphill.

2018-09-01_NRG_026

I’m not quite sure what this tree is doing, but I am impressed.

2018-09-01_NRG_028

And here’s why you want to hike or drive here.

2018-09-01_NRG_010

Written by Michelle at 5:51 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Hiking WV: Tea Creek

I absolutely adore the Cranberry / Tea Creek Wilderness areas. They’re beautiful and they are usually not a lot of people there.

The trail we chose yesterday was along Tea Creek itself, so we saw lots of people fishing, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment (probably because there were no mountain bikes and everyone looked happy).

Location: Tea Creek Wilderness
Trail: Tea Creek Trail
Distance: 6.6 miles
Elevation: 3009-3569 feet (756 gain)

Signs your trail might be on an old rail bed.

2018-08-25_Tea_Creek_058

The light was lovely, so I took a picture of two other people out on the creek.

2018-08-25_Tea_Creek_021

Cascades

2018-08-25_Tea_Creek_032

2018-08-25_Tea_Creek_003

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, August 6, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Mountain Backcountry

Michael had a long and busy week at work, so we didn’t want to go too far afield. Davis is a relatively easy drive, so we hiked the Canaan Mountain Backcountry, out of Blackwater Falls.

It was gorgeous. No scenic views or water falls, just a lovely hike.

Location: Canaan Mountain Backcountry
Trails: Davis, Plantation Trails
Distance: 7.0 miles
Elevation: 3236-3615 feet (808 feet rise)

2018-08-04_Blackwater_Falls_012

2018-08-04_Blackwater_Falls_015

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Mountain Backcountry

More heat in Morgantown, so we headed south to Canaan. We hadn’t hiked the wilderness since last fall, so that was where I wanted to go.

Beautiful, and much cooler than up north. We did the southern portion of the Lindy Run trail–the northern portion is no longer maintained; I’d like to hike it in the future, because it was quite lovely.

Location: Canaan Mountain Backcountry
Trails: Fire Trail 6, Plantation, Lindy Run Trails
Distance: 3.8 miles
Elevation: 3534-3716 feet
Temperature: 78-81 F

Trails: Table Rock Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 3374-3471 feet

2018-07-14_Canaan_040

2018-07-14_Canaan_005

2018-07-14_Canaan_034

2018-07-14_Canaan_030

Written by Michelle at 2:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, July 9, 2018

Hiking WV: Cranberry Wilderness

I was craving some solitude, so we headed to the Cranberry Wilderness where there were few people AND the temperatures ranged from 66-70F.

It was SO LOVELY.

Location: Cranberry Wilderness
Trail: Black Mountain Trail
Distance: 4.9 miles
Elevation: 4236-4643 feet
Temperature: 67-69 F

Cranberry Overlook

2018-07-07_Cranberry_044

2018-07-07_Cranberry_045

2018-07-07_Cranberry_052

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hiking WV: Dolly Sods

This hike in and of itself isn’t one of my favorites–it’s muddy, it’s busy, the trail is in bad repair, and there is very little shade.

That said, it has one of my favorite views, which is why we went out on it.

But seriously, the Dolly Sods Wilderness may not be developed, but except in winter, I see tons and tons of people there on my hikes. On the one hand, I’m glad people are enjoying the wilderness. On the other hand, I no longer go to Dolly Sods expecting solitude.

Location: Dolly Sods Wilderness
Trail: Rocky Ridge Trail (partial)
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation: 4014-4198 feet

2018-06-30_Dolly_Sods_12

2018-06-30_Dolly_Sods_15

2018-06-30_Dolly_Sods_37

2018-06-30_Dolly_Sods_7

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls State Park

Almost all of our hikes at Blackwater Falls involved kids, so they were short and non-strenuous. And a lot of fun.

We also took a night hike (with two kids) which, not unexpectedly, had zero pictures taken.

Location: Blackwater Falls State Park
Trails: Shay Trace to Elakala Trails
Distance: 1.3 miles
Elevation: 3093-3287 feet

Trail: Cherry Lane Trail
Distance: 1.1 miles
Elevation: 3221-3400 feet

There are some random pictures from Blackwater Falls not related to our hikes.

Main falls on Thursday evening

2018-06-28_Blackwater_Falls_024

Main falls Saturday evening

2018-06-30_Blackwater_Falls_242

Elakaka Falls (below the bridge behind the lodge)

2018-06-30_Blackwater_Falls_147

2018-06-30_Blackwater_Falls_151

Written by Michelle at 8:27 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley State Park

This is a ridiculously easy hike, but it’s also one of my favorites, because it is always beautiful.

Location: Canaan Valley State Park
Trail: Blackwater River Trail
Distance: 0.8 miles
Elevation: 3243-3331 feet

2018-05-26_Canaan_Valley_4

2018-05-26_Canaan_Valley_29

2018-05-28_Canaan_Valley_21

2018-05-26_Canaan_Valley_43

2018-05-26_Canaan_Valley_53

2018-05-26_Canaan_Valley_15

Written by Michelle at 2:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Despite off and on again rain, we went to Coopers Rock on Saturday, and we had a surprising amount of sun, making it a beautiful hike.

We made it to my favorite place.

It was good.

Location: Coopers Rock
Trails: Rhododendron, Mont Chateau, Ridge Trails
Distance: 4.7 miles
Elevation: 148-2092 feet (804 ft gain)

2018-05-19_Coopers_Rock_22

2018-05-19_Coopers_Rock_15

2018-05-19_Coopers_Rock_36

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hiking WV: New River Gorge

Since it’d been awhile, we headed to New River Gorge, and went to one of the (many) areas we hadn’t hiked before: the Thurmond area.

We first went to see the town of Thurmond (separate post) which has been all but a ghost town for decades (the post office closed in 1995). Then we took our hike. We chose the Stone Cliff Trail, when runs beside the New River for its length.

What was particularly nice was that aside from the day-use area and the very start of the trail, we didn’t see anyone and had the trail to ourselves. We hiked 2 1/4 miles out–close to the end–but then I noticed that it was already 3, and we still had to stop at the brewery and eat dinner and then drive home, so we turned around and headed back.

Location: New River Gorge, Thurmond
Trail: Stone Cliff Trail (partial)
Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation: 980-1253 feet
Temperature: 83-85 F

Because the trail runs beside the river it is quite flat, and thus an easy hike.

Stream tumbling down the mountainside

2018-05-12_NRG_Thurmond_54

Stream crossing

2018-05-12_NRG_Thurmond_53

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hiking WV: Snake Hill WMA

As much as I love the Morgantown Farmers Market, I *hate* their winter market hours. 11 AM on a Saturday means we can EITHER go to the market OR go somewhere and go hiking.

Despite the beautiful weather, we went to the Farmers Market, so we needed a close place to hike on Saturday, so we ended up at Snake Hill WMA (Wildlife Management Area). There are multiple logging / gas / access roads and multiple trails off them. The trails are unmarked and not blazed, but they had enough use to be pretty obvious.

The trail we set out to hike–the Canyon Rim trail–has four overlooks: Table Rock, Lake View, Middle View, and River View. For trails and overlooks that are not maintained, three of the four had excellent views. We also only came across one other group of hikers, which for a beautiful Saturday afternoon, was nice. (At Coopers Rock on nice days there are a constant stream of people; it’s nice people are visiting the forest, but not nice for relative solitude.)

Location: Snake Hill WMA
Trails: Canyon Rim, Cheat View, Little Hoop, Big Dipper, Northside Trails
Distance: 3.8 miles
Elevation: 1715-2342 feet (698 feet elevation rise)

Facing west towards Cheat Lake (Lake View overlook)

2018-04-21_Snake_Hill_WMA_9

Facing east towards Cheat River, Raven Rock is on the left (River View overlook)

2018-04-21_Snake_Hill_WMA_20

Coopers Rock Overlook. I swear I’ve never noticed that giant rock down and to the right.

2018-04-21_Snake_Hill_WMA_10

In Snake Hill WMA there is a small cemetery, with three gravestones, and one rock that might be a marker. All three males (ages 4, 17, 19) died in 1860, two in July and one in October.

2018-04-21_Snake_Hill_WMA_49

Written by Michelle at 3:43 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Morgantown,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hiking WV: Blackwater Canyon

You would think that a trail called the Canyon Rim Trail would have lots of views of the Blackwater Canyon.

You would be mistaken.

That doesn’t make this a bad trail, and there are views at either end: the Olsen Fire Tower at the Western end, and along the Allegheny Trail at the Eastern terminus.

The trail itself is part of the Allegheny Trail, which you can take through WV. It also means this trail is getting some extensive maintenance right now, to shore up sections that have become muddy messes.

Location: Monongahela National Forest
Trail: Canyon Rim Trail
Distance: 6.6 miles (out and back)
Elevation: 3162-3705 feet (994 feet gain)

Along the trail, this is as good a view as you get. And once the leaves are out, it’ll be even less.

20180414_Canyon_Rim_Trail_021

It was a little steep in a couple of places, and rocky and muddy in other places, but it isn’t a difficult hike for anyone who is in shape.

20180414_Canyon_Rim_Trail_071

You get to cross several streams, one of which has a “Stone Bridge”. Most of the crossings should not be problematic unless the water is extremely high or flash flooding.

20180414_Canyon_Rim_Trail_064

But in addition to the very pretty creek crossings, if you do a little searching you can find the falls, which were absolutely lovely.

20180414_Canyon_Rim_Trail_039

This is where we sat and ate our lunch, and then clambered around on the rocks.

20180414_Canyon_Rim_Trail_046

And here’s the elevation graph of the hike.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, April 16, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley SP – Bald Knob

Our third hike on Friday was also at Canaan Valley State Park, but on the ski area part of the park.

This trail was NOT created by or for hikers. It’s labeled a cross-country ski trail, but is not maintained as such. If you want the view at bald knob, I recommend taking the lift up to the top of the mountain, then hiking across to Bald Knob.

The problem are the portions of the trail that are for skiing down. Hiking up or down such a trail isn’t that fun (Michael got blisters, due the steep grade for a longer distance).

Location: Canaan Valley State Park
Trail: Bald Knob Mountain Trail
Distance: 4.6 miles (out and back)
Elevation: 3572-4336 feet (1000 feet gain)
Parts of the trail: 14% and 16% grades (or steeper)

But the view is lovely.

Here you are looking down into Canaan Valley.

20180413_Canaan_Valley_SP_055

No switchbacks here. Straight down you go.

20180413_Canaan_Valley_SP_076

The surprise was this:

20180413_Canaan_Valley_SP_072

Here you can look down the OTHER side of the mountain. It was kinda cool, although I cropped out the ugliness of where they took out all the trees. It’s not yet a mowed lawn, it’s just a clear-cut clearing. Which is not so attractive.

20180413_Canaan_Valley_SP_063

Someone (ie:me) forgot to turn on the GPS until we were part way up the mountain, so here’s the trip down, minus the leg up to the peak.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls

After dinner on Friday, we wanted an easy hike to stretch our legs out, so we did Lindy Point.

20180413_Blackwater_Falls_019

20180413_Blackwater_Falls_031

20180413_Blackwater_Falls_015

Written by Michelle at 4:29 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley SP

Michael has use-or-lose-leave, so we spent a long weekend in the Canaan area doing lots of hiking.

In the morning we hiked two trails: Blackwater River trail and the Middle Ridge trail. I have pictures from the one and data from the other.

Location: Canaan Valley State Park
Trail: Middle Ridge Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles (loop)
Elevation: 3331-3558 (483 feet gain)
Temperature: 66-74

The Middle Ridge Trail doesn’t have many scenic vistas, but it does go through several different kinds of areas, and goes by a bog–it’s dry right now, so I didn’t find anything picturesque about the bog, but on the plus side, our feet stayed dry.

I do love the Blackwater River Trail

20180413_Canaan_Valley_SP_015

20180413_Canaan_Valley_SP_045

20180413_Canaan_Valley_SP_023

Here is the elevation graph for the Middle Ridge Trail.

Written by Michelle at 3:47 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hiking WV: Cacapon State Park

The weather recently has been all over the place, but Saturday was beautiful, so we took the opportunity to go to Cacapon. (I was also hoping that there might be blooming flowers at Berkeley Springs.)

For all the rain we’ve had, the trails we hiked were weirdly dry–because they were so steep.

Location: Cacapon State Park
Trails: Ziler, Ziler Loop Trails
Distance: 5.5 miles
Elevation: 961-2273 feet (1800 feet gain)
Temperature: 58-67 F

0.6 mile of Ziler trail was 22.6% grade
Entire Ziler trail was 1.3 miles @ 17.6% grade with 1242 feet ascent

For all the elevation gain, there aren’t any decent scenic overlooks or views–the woods are thick and there what rock outcroppings there are don’t go above the treeline.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a view, it just means there isn’t a photographable view.

2018-03-31_Cacapon_1

At some point we’re going take the trail to Prospect Rock. But this trip we apparently wanted to torture ourselves with the Ziler trail.

Cacapon hike

Written by Michelle at 8:55 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Hiking WV: Cranberry Wilderness

This may well have been our last hike in snow of the season, so I was glad we were able to enjoy it–and that it was such a beautiful day.

I love the Cranberry Wilderness and am glad we got to hike it in the snow.

Location: Cranberry Wilderness
Trail: Charles Creek, Cowpasture Trails
Distance: 1.9 miles
Elevation: 3422-3564 feet
Temperature: 31 F

There used to be a prison in this area–a prison that didn’t bother with walls and barbed wire, since it was so far away from civilization that there was nowhere for escaped prisoners to go.

Although this prison was open during the Korean war (conscientious objectors were typically sent here) there are very few signs of civilization left: some spots of asphalt, the occasional chimney, and some stairs.

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_78

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_81

Charles Creek

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_92

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_87

Written by Michelle at 8:55 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Falls of Hills Creek

The Falls of Hills Creek is one of the places where there is a very small window of time if you want light for taking pictures.

We managed to nail that window Saturday.

Lower Falls

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_18

Hills Creek

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_50

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_53

Middle Falls

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_3

2018-03-03_Cranberry_Glades_6

Written by Michelle at 8:27 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Hiking WV: Dolly Sods

Our original plan was the get to Canaan Thursday night and spend Friday and the weekend hiking, but when the forecast changed to rain on Saturday and overcast all Friday, we shifted things a bit so I could take pictures Thursday afternoon, and then Friday would be hiking.

We got very lucky, because instead of overcast, the weather was partially cloudy, and our hike at Dolly Sods ended up being absolutely stunning.

Location: Dolly Sods
Trails: Rocky Ridge, Blackbird Knob, Harman Trails
Distance: 4.2 miles
Elevation: 3746-4190 feet (684 ft)
Temperature: 30-41F

We’ve had a lot of odd weather this winter. For the second time this month, we had rain immediately followed by freezing temperatures and snow. When the rain fell on ground that was already freezing, it meant a lot of ice.

This was the trail we took up to Dolly Sods. It was a little more exciting than I generally prefer.

2018-02-09_Dolly_Sods_24

Luckily, that was the worst portion of anything we hiked, and the view was well-worth the care we had to take reaching the ridge.

2018-02-09_Dolly_Sods_36

Until temperatures warmed up to the mid 30s, all the trees were covered with snow and frost, and we walked through an amazing winter wonderland.

2018-02-09_Dolly_Sods_26

2018-02-09_Dolly_Sods_12

We hiked down to the Left Branch of Red Creek and then turned around. It wasn’t one of our longest hike, but stepping into the occasional drift made the hike a little more work than usual.

2018-02-09_Dolly_Sods_56

It once again reminded me how very lucky I am to both live in such an amazing place, and be able to get out and enjoy it.

2018-02-09_Dolly_Sods_60

Written by Michelle at 8:53 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  
Next Page »

Powered by WordPress

books main pictures cats e-mail