Random (but not really)

Monday, September 14, 2020

Hiking WV: Otter Creek Wilderness

Looking for somewhere close but also unlikely to be busy, we went back to Otter Creek Wilderness.

This time we drove in on the west side, through Fernow Experimental Forest.

Because my ankle is still a little iffy, we decided to hike to the top of the mountain and then go back down and wander to the bog.

Location: Otter Creek Wilderness
Trails: Moore Run, McGowan Mountain Trails (partial)
Distance: 4.3 miles
Elevation: 3443-3990 feet

Supposedly there had once been an overlook at the top of the mountain, but there was absolutely no view left.

Despite that, it was a very pretty hike, and for an up-the-mountain trail it was pretty easy.


Look! I found the bog!


I have hiked in a bog before, and it is not fun. So we turned around and headed back. Because I don’t enjoy stepping in muddy water up to my knees.



It was a lovely day and a beautiful hike, even if it was shorted then I’d wanted.

Written by Michelle at 4:57 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Traveling WV: Gaudineer & Smoke Hole Canyon

Assuming that everyone who could be, would be outdoors over the weekend, we decided for a scenic drive on Monday, with the hope that most people would be packing up and going home, so perhaps we could find some places that weren’t too crowded.

Our primary destination was Gaudineer Scenic Area, because it’s a place we hadn’t visited before. The secondary objective was a drive around Smoke Hole Canyon.

Location: Gaudineer Scenic Area
Trails: Gaudineer Knob; Old Growth Trail
Distance: 0.5 miles; 0.7 miles
Elevation: 4500 feet; 4093-4186 feet

Gaudineer Knob had a somewhat narrow overlook, but the forest itself was beautiful.



Also lots of adorable mushrooms.


A little bit down the mountain was the old growth forest.



Not very many large trees there, but it was still a very pretty short hike.

Then we headed north to Smoke Hole Canyon, where we stopped briefly at Eagle Rocks, which we hadn’t visited before.





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

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Hiking WV: Cranberry Wilderness

Saturday, in our bid to Avoid Humans, we headed to the Cranberry Wilderness, where we rarely see people on our hikes.

Location: Cranberry Wilderness
Trail: Cow Pasture Trail (partial)
Distance: 5.5 miles
Elevation: 3409-3650 feet

We did see a couple people, but could easily keep our distance.



We also drove up the Highland Scenic Highway, and stopped at the overlooks.



Look how many people you don’t see!

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley State Park

We decided to take a long holiday weekend, and get into the woods for some much needed downtime.

Friday was mostly rain, so it was more a series of short walks than a hike, but we did do my favorite trail.

Location: Canaan Valley State Park
Trail: Blackwater River Trail
Distance: 0.9 miles
Elevation: 3208-3260 feet



Then we mostly drove around and took short walks when it wasn’t raining.



Of course we stopped by Blackwater Falls, where the river was running quite high


Here’s the stream crossing at Canaan Loop Road just past Lindy Point.


I’m not sure what kind of vehicle could have driven across on this day, but it was comforting to watch and listen to the water.

Written by Michelle at 8:54 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Hiking WV: Cacapon State Park

Looked at the weather Friday and discovered the Eastern Panhandle was out only option without a high chance of rain.

So off to Cacapon State Park we went.

Location: Cacapon State Park
Trail: Overlook Trail (partial)
Distance: 5.9 miles
Elevation: 2100-2289 feet

At Cacapon we drove up the mountain and did the Overlook trail. Unfortunately, we didn’t hike anywhere near as long as I had hoped, because my ankle was bothering me. But it was still lovely to be in the woods.

This is from the overlook.


You’re hiking along the ridgeline for a bit, but there is never a clearing to get a good view of the valley below.


We also stopped just outside of Berkeley Springs, at the top of the mountain where you have this lovely view of the Potomac.


Written by Michelle at 7:28 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hiking WV: Otter Creek Wilderness

This was our first decent hike since I broke my foot, and although it wasn’t steep, and I was extremely cautious on rocky terrain, it was a good hike.

Also: I can’t believe we hadn’t hiked here before. We did an out-and-back on part of the Otter Creek Trail, and it was my favorite kind of trail–along the creek almost the entire way (we were never out of the sound of rushing water).

Otter Creek Wilderness
Otter Creek Trail (partial out-and-back)
Distance: 8.0 miles
Elevation: 1809-2093 feet (446 ft gain)







Written by Michelle at 9:08 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Blackwater / Canaan





Written by Michelle at 7:36 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  
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