March 28, 2020|Hike Review, Hiking West Virginia, Outdoor Activities
So you know how you hike a trail and have such fond memories, then you go back and HOLY CRAP! It is not what you remember. Yeah, that’s kind of the experience I had today (although may not quite so bad). I remember a long dirt road to the trail head and a nice flat trail with a great view (you know, all the things I look for).
This is a hike from West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest by Johnny Molloy. It is number 12 on page 79. The author give this hike 5 stars (out of 5) for scenery, 4 for trail condition, 5 for children, 1 for difficulty, and 2 for solitude.
The trip starts once you turn off WV32 and onto nine miles of dirt road (Canaan Valley Loop Road). By now you probably know I love dirt roads. This one however is a little trickier than most. Make sure you stay close to the uphill side (especially in the last two miles). There is a steep drop off on the other side with washouts on the road that can be hard to see. This is not a place you want to go over.
The trailhead was not hard to find and we were greeted with a large mud pit. Trying to keep our feet dry, we snaked on the outer edge and made our way into a beautiful rhododendron thicket. I bet this is even more beautiful when they are blooming. After that, it is like you have walked into a magical forest with everything covered in lush moss. This area is pretty rocky and while you may be tempted to enjoy the view, make sure you watch your footing too.
After you make it past this section you feel like you are slogging through swamps the rest of the way. We tried to keep our shoes dry, but quickly gave up as it was futile (see above pictures). Normally the girls and I thrive in this type of setting, but as we are camping and planning on hiking tomorrow, we were hoping to stay dry. With the mud and rocks it took us 45 minutes to cover 1.2 miles.
The view would have been spectacular (had it not been foggy), and the rock area is nice and would be a great place to have lunch. Beware of the deep crevasses. The girls both agree that the view is worth the hike.
When I asked the girls their opinions on the hike, they both responded “muddy”. They said that it was worth it and they would recommend it. I do not remember if being so muddy last time and I don’t think there has been a ton of rain. It is a nice hike for kids (be careful on the rocks) if you don’t mind them getting muddy.