Random (but not really)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Saturday it rained off and on, so although Sunday was overcast, we took advantage of the minimal precipitation and headed out to Coopers Rock.

Location: Coopers Rock
Distance: ~6 miles
Elevation: 1920-2421 feet
Temperature: 35-41 F



We went a bit earlier than usual, so it was quiet and we saw very few people, which was nice.

It was still muddy on the roadside trail, however, so we ended up walking the road part of the way back, just to avoid the mud.

Written by Michelle at 9:01 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

It was a gorgeous day for a hike.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Advanced Ski, Resoivoir Ski, Scott Run Trails
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation: 1857-2289 feet
Temperature: 28-34 C





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Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Busy day at Coopers Rock, what with it being freaking 70 F IN FEBRUARY.

Towards the gate:


Towards the I68:


We took it kinda easy today–my back has been sore from all the bending over and crouching I’ve been doing working on the chairs.

Location: Coopers Rock
Trails: Roadside, Reservoir Ski, Reservoir Trails
Distance: 3.7+ miles
Elevation: 2169-2364 feet

So we hiked the Reservoir Ski Trail to the reservoir and then around the reservoir, which brings me to this important question:





ADDENDUM the First:

To clarify for H J Gadiyar, check out the details of these pictures!

The larger tree is in the process of being gnawed down. But in the background to the left you can see a felled tree.


Here you can see the tell-tale v and ^ signs of the tree that fell to the left. But also you can see that the missing branches on the tree coming towards the camera have all been chewed and drug off once they were detached.


Written by Michelle at 7:01 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock (TWO DAYS IN A ROW)

Two weekend days in a row where it wasn’t raining and miserable!


This time we walked out to the overlook and back. Same distance as yesterday but MUCH easier, since there is little elevation gain.

Location: Coopers Rock
Distance: 6.4 miles
Elevation: 2188-2442 feet
Trail: Roadside Trail
Temperature: 28 F





Written by Michelle at 6:34 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

We’ve actually been out to Coopers Rock several times this year, but the weather has been so gloomy, I carried my camera solely for weight-bearing exercise, apparently.

But Saturday was snowy and pretty, so we hiked down to Mont Chateau, one of my favorite hikes.

Location: Coopers Rock State Park
Date: 2017-01-28
Distance: 6.2 miles
Elevation: 1483-2412 feet
Trails: Advanced Ski Trail, Mont Chateau Trail
Temperature: 28 F






What? Doesn’t everyone clamber along streams in 30 F weather?

Here are the previous hikes, if you were interested in the hikes.

Date: 2017-01-21
Distance: 5.7 miles
Elevation: 1806-2350
Trails: Advanced Ski, Resovoir Loop, Clay Run Trails
Temperature: 60 F

Date: 2017-01-15
Distance: 3.3 + miles (GPS cut out for part)
Elevation: 1768-2420 feet
Trails: Advanced Ski, Resovior Loop, Roadside Trails
Temperature: 35 F

New Years Day Hike! (Lots and lots of people out)

Date: 2017-01-01
Distance: 4.7 miles
Elevation: 1961-2393 feet
Trails: Roadside, Scott’s Run Trails
Temperature: ~40 F

Written by Michelle at 9:40 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Traveling WV: Blackwater Falls & Canaan Valley

This weekend we did some hiking, but that was just a means to and end–to enjoy how beautiful Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley were.

Blackwater Falls







Canaan Valley




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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hiking WV: Panther State Forest / WMA

Panther State Forest / WMA is kind of in the middle of nowhere (though not quite the middle of nowhere as Cabwaylingo which had multiple one-lane bridges on the route in and out), and the drive was all on windy rural roads (which made for a pleasant drive), but there were a surprising number of people there–mostly family reunion groups, but there were some teenagers playing in the creek.

Location: Panther State Forest / Wildlife Management Area
Trail: Buzzards Roost Overlook Trail
Distance: 1.9 miles
Elevation: 1227-1631 feet

Yes, we did hike three “overlook” trails this weekend. And none of the three overlooks were very impressive, but that’s okay. (I had to climb up on a cement piling that was the remainder of a wooden overlook for this picture.)

Panther WMA

Like most parks, there were lots of playgrounds, but I can’t remember seeing swings like this in recent memory.


And the creek running through the park.


It was a lovely place to visit, despite the ridiculous heat. I think I’d like to visit again.

Written by Michelle at 5:39 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Beech Fork State Park

Beech Fork State Park is for boaters and fishermen, which is one of the reasons we weren’t in a rush to visit. It’s primarily a lake (like Bluestone and Moncove Lake) so there was little hiking, which is perfectly fine, because our state park system should be for all West Virginians–hunters, fishermen, kayakers, and hikers alike.

But it wasn’t any place I’m eager to revisit, since there wasn’t much hiking.

Location: Beech Fork State Park
Trail: Overlook Trail
Distance: 2.5 miles
Elevation: 601-920 feet

Here’s the view from the Overlook Trail.


It’s easy to overlook. (HA!)

There is a cemetery within Beech Fork, so as is my wont, we wandered around, considering the impermanence of life and memory.


There were a lot of WWI vets buried there–more WWI than WWII from a cursory wander. At some point, I’ll put all these cemetery photos up on Flickr.

Here’s the lake itself.


Written by Michelle at 5:22 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Kanawha State Forest

This weekend we finished up visiting all the major state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas in WV! HOORAH!

Location: Kanawha State Forest
Trail: Overlook Rock Trail
Distance: 1.7 miles
Elevation: 800-1360 feet

The view from overlook rock.


If you don’t want to zoom in, the view is power lines on the far mountain ridge.


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Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls

We went with my aunt and uncle on a “hike” to view Pendleton Run Falls.

I use the term hike very loosely, because as the book I have on waterfalls puts it “cuss, fall, root grab, and butt slide your way down to the creek” and they are totally serious. The park actually removed the warning sign from the top of the trail, perhaps realizing that its existence pointed out this “path” to people who were badly prepared for the risks.

Here’s the path of 0.45 mile hike we took with three kids 6 and under, so there was a fair amount of wandering back and forth.


Here is the path going down to Pendelton Run Falls #4


I’m pretty sure the GPS lost signal more than once.

The average grade was 23% and there were a couple places that were very exciting. On the way back up I folded up my hiking stick, stuck it in my bag, and scrambled grabbing rocks and roots since that felt a whole lot more secure.

Seriously, don’t attempt this unless you are in good shape and unafraid of doing foolish things.

Location: Blackwater Falls
Trail: Pendleton Run Falls #4
Distance: 0.8 miles (down and back up)
Elevation: 2763-3132 feet

Here’s what you get for all that work.


Pretty, but to be honest, Elakala Falls is prettier with less danger.



Written by Michelle at 11:43 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Canaan Mountain Backcountry

Since we spent so much time with small people, we ended up driving out Canaan Loop Road to hike Table Rock Trail (we’d looked into hiking it from Lindy Point, but didn’t have enough time for a long hike).

Table Rock is very muddy, but the view is gorgeous.

Location: Canaan Mountain Backcountry
Trail: Table Rock Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles (out and back)
Elevation: 3391-3497 feet

Note, it hadn’t rained in awhile; when it’s been wet, these are generally giant muddy puddles.



Here’s a panorama for you!


And a look at one part of the view.


Written by Michelle at 7:41 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls

We hiked / walked a lot around Blackwater Falls, and there were lots of areas that were great for kids–rocks to climb and leap off and lots of water to play in.

The best places to play in the water were Elekala Falls (the water was low–higher water with a faster flow might not be recommended for smaller kids), and a stream just past Lindy Point–park at the Lindy Point trail head, and continue down the road that says it’s for 4×4 vehicles only. You’ll soon come to a stream.

Stop and play.

Location: Blackwater Falls State Park
Trails: Elekala Falls, Cannan Loop “Road”, Balanced Rock Trail







Written by Michelle at 6:18 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley SP

I just got back from a lovely vacation with extended family–and as many as 14 kids under 9. Which was AWESOME. Because none of those kids belong to me!

I encouraged the kids of hike, and we had two lovely hikes at Canaan Valley SP. These trails were chosen specifically because they were friendly for younger kids–the youngest hiker was 4 1/2, but an under 3 walked a good deal of these trails as well.

Location: Canaan Valley SP
Trails: Blackwater Trail, Deer & Abe Run Trails
Distance: 0.8, 1.7 miles
Elevation: 3265-3307, 3260-3363 feet



I didn’t take a lot of pictures, since I was enjoying hiking with the kids.

Written by Michelle at 5:28 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hiking WV: Summersville Lake WMA

In addition to seeing how high the lake was, we took the opportunity to do some hiking in the Summersville Lake WMA. I don’t have a link to a trail map, because I can’t find one. The only reason I knew about it at all is because one of my hiking books mentioned trails there, and had directions how to get there.

It’s a relatively easy hike, and the the view at the end is gorgeous.

Location: Summersville Lake WMA
Trail: Long Point Trail
Distance: 4.0 miles
Elevation: 1797-1991 feet



I don't believe you sign.

To get there, head towards Summersville Airport. The Long Point trailhead is just past the airport.

Here is the gpx map of the Long Point trail hike at Summersville Lake WMA.

We had lunch at Fran’s Family Restaurant and Cafe, which was as delicious as it was inexpensive. (607 Main St, Summersville, WV 26651)

Written by Michelle at 8:30 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Saturday we hiked Coopers Rock, which we hadn’t done since March (because of traveling and rain).

It was hot, and we could hear the cicadas, but interestingly they weren’t at the lower elevations, just the higher elevations.

Location: Coopers Rock
Trails: Rhododendron, Mont Chateau, Ridge, Rock City Trails
Distance: 4.1 miles
Elevation: 1459-2069 feet

Rhododendron Trail: 6.7% grade
Mont Chateau Trail: 1.4 % grade
Ridge Trail: 7.1% grade
Rock City Trail: 2.8% grade

New trees down up the creek from Mont Chateau trail






Written by Michelle at 11:40 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls to Canaan Valley

Saturday we did the “Walk Between the Parks” which is an 8+ mile hike between Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley State Park.

It’s not advertised well enough, so you should look into it yourself. There are two more over the summer, and one October 1st, that I think we may do ourselves. They drive you from one park to the other, and provide a picnic lunch halfway

We’d been keeping an eye on the weather all week, and the forecast not only remained suspect, but it rained every day prior to Saturday.

But we were GOING to do this hike, rain or not, so we went down the night before, and packed for rain and mud.

Mud and water we go, rain, we did NOT. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful hike.

There were 28 of us, and two guides–one to lead and one at the back of the line, to look for stragglers and anyone in need (other than blisters, there were no problems).

The hike is supposedly 8 miles, by my GPS said 9.0 (and my cell phone GPS said 9.3) but we did avoid a super muddy area, which may well have added an extra mile.

Location: Blackwater Falls State Park, Canaan Valley State Park, and Canaan Mountain Backcountry
Trails: Davis, Plantation, Fire Trail #6 (Allegheny Trail), Allegheny Trail, Middle Grade Trails
Distance: 9.0 miles
Elevation: 3135- 3694 feet

No pictures, because as nice as a hike as it was, there weren’t breath-taking views. Just the beauty of being in the wilderness.

Written by Michelle at 9:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hiking WV: Calvin Price State Forest

And the fifth place we checked off our list: Calvin Price State Forest.

For those who are familiar with Coopers Rock–Calvin Price is completely different. Aside from the Allegheny, there are no maintained trails in the forest.

It also is adjacent to Watoga State Park (WATOGA! WATOGA! WATOGA!), so although there aren’t trails, you can access some parts from Watoga.

Because we’d had a long hike the day before, and because we were heading home, we only hiked about a mile into the forest, along the Allegheny Trail.

This is as far as we hiked in.


And as proof, the forest sign!


Written by Michelle at 7:15 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Greenbrier State Forest

Our main hike for the trip was at Greenbrier State Forest, where we did the Kates Mountain Trail.

Location: Greenbrier State Forest
Trails: Old Road, Rocky Ridge, Holsapple, Youngs Nature, Mable Dowdy Nature Trails, and Kates Mountain Road
Distance: 10.2 miles
Elevation: 1689 – 3370 feet (1680 feet elevation gain)

Our hike started with two miles trail, that felt like it went straight up the mountain.

Pictures do not come close to showing precisely how steep this trail was, and I didn’t take many, because I was too tired to even pull out my cell phone for a quick snapshot.


Does this help? Probably not. Just take my word that it was REALLY steep, and I was very glad to be going UP that slope rather than down. (1)


Here is the view looking down towards the valley.


Look! Holsapple Trail!



Sadly, I can’t recommend hiking Holsapple trail, because it is being actively logged, which is not attractive, or pleasant to hike.

We found lots of random bits of wall, in the middle of the woods.


(1) Because of my ankle, I am very uncomfortable going down extremely steep slopes. It puts extra strain on my ankle and both hurts and makes me feel like I’m more likely to plummet down the hill.

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hiking WV: Greenbrier River Trail

For the sake of completeness, I’ll mention that we also stopped and walked (about a mile and a half) on the Greenbrier Rail Trail at its southern terminus.

We plan to go back at a later point in time and bike–I especially would like to visit the Droop Mountain Tunnel–but for now, here’s another crossed off our list!


Written by Michelle at 2:05 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Moncove Lake State Park

The second location we checked off our list was Moncove Lake State Park.

The skies cleared on our way there, so no dramatic fog on the water pictures. But it was still pretty. (But not much in the way of hiking.)

Location: Moncove Lake State Park
Trails: Devil’s Creek Trail
Distance: 1.72 miles
Elevation: 2470 – 2550 feet




Written by Michelle at 2:01 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  
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