Scenic Views & Adventure: The Best Dolly Sods Hikes

Dolly Sods is well-known for its scenic views and hiking so we’ve rounded up some of the best Dolly Sods hikes that all hikers should try. Dolly Sods—also known as Dolly Sods Wilderness—resides within the Allegheny Mountains of Monongahela National Forest. The area provides phenomenal views of West Virginia’s natural landscape, making these trails perfect for West Virginia fall foliage viewing and summer adventure.

The trails listed below range in difficulty—from easy to hard—and length—some reaching nearly 7 miles long—, so no matter your skill level or preferences, you’ll have no problem finding the right Dolly Sods hiking trail to enjoy!

map of dolly sods hikes and trailsThe Top Dolly Sods Hiking Trails

Bear Rocks Trail

Distance: 2.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate

This easy to intermediate trail features many gorgeous florae, including wildflowers and fruit shrubs. Bear Rocks Trail is accessible year-round, making it a great hike for fall foliage viewing. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed. With little elevation and limited hiking hazards, this Dolly Sods hike is great for families. The trail connects with Raven Ridge Trail and Dobbin Grade Trail.

Beaver Dam Trail

Distance: 0.7 miles

Difficulty: Easy

At just 0.7 miles, Beaver Dam Trail is one of the shortest trails in Dolly Sods Wilderness. The hike is moderately trafficked and features beautiful wildflowers. Great for all skill levels, this trail is typically used for nature trips, walking, and birding during the warmer months. The trailhead begins at the northeast corner of Monongehala National Forest, eventually connecting to Dobbin Grade Trail. Dogs can also enjoy Beaver Dam Trail, but must remain on a leash.

Big Stonecoal Trail

Distance: 4.3 miles

Difficulty: Hard

Big Stonecoal trail traverses 4.3 miles through thick forest, flowing springs, and other natural formations along the south end of Dolly Sods Wilderness. The trail follows Stonecoal Run for a large portion of the hike until it empties into Red Creek. This trail is suited for skilled hikers, with a higher difficulty than other Dolly Sods hikes. Dogs are allowed on Big Stonecoal Trail and don’t have to be leashed.

sunset view over dolly sods

Blackbird Knob

Distance: 4.7 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

This longer hike boasts stops by some of Dolly Sods’ major attractions, including waterfalls, swimming holes, and beautiful vistas of the valleys and highlands. The trail features a little of everything. If you begin your hike from the east trailhead, you’ll eventually connect with Rocky Ridge Trail. The west trailhead connects with Big Stonecoal and Breathed Mountain trailhead. Dogs are allowed on Blackbird Knob Trail but must be leashed.

Breathed Mountain

Distance: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

This Dolly Sods hike boasts several creeks and river views, creating gentle sounds of rushing water. Breathed Mountain starts at Blackbird Knob and Big Stonecoal trailheads. The trail ends at Red Creek trail where hikers can either take Red Creek or loop back through Breathed Mountain. Dogs are allowed on Breathed Mountain Trail and do not have to be leashed.

Harman Trail

Distance: 1.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate

The Harman trail is a connector between Blackbird Knob Trail and Rocky Ridge Trail. Encompassing 1.4 miles, Harman Trail is a handy loop for hikers. Attractions include rivers, creeks, and plenty of wildflowers.

red creek in dolly sodsRed Creek Trail

Distance: 6.4 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate to Hard

Encompassing 6.4 miles from Red Creek trailhead to Blackbird Knob, Red Creek Trail is by the far the longest hike in Dolly Sods. Red Creek Trail boasts several scenic wonders, including waterfalls, flowing creeks, valleys, and more. Several other trails connect with Red Creek, including Big Stonecoal and Breathed Mountain. After 6.4 miles, Red Creek Trail connects with Blackbird Knob Trail. Due to the length of the trail and some difficult climbs, Red Creek Trail is cited as an intermediate to hard hike. Dogs can also use the trail but must be leashed.

Rocky Ridge Trail

Distance: 3.0 miles

Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate

Sitting at an altitude of 3,998 ft is the Rocky Ridge Trail within Dolly Sods Wilderness. For 3.0 miles, hikers will follow the ridge which will provide amazing views of the Dolly Sods Wilderness. The trail is considered easy to intermediate. Rocky Ridge Trail connects with several other Dolly Sods hikes, including Blackbird Knob Trail and Harman Trail.

a hiker relaxing with a beautiful view of dolly sodsRohrbaugh Trail

Distance: 3.6 miles

Difficulty: Easy

The Rohrbaugh Trailhead begins at the Dolly Sods picnic area in the southeast and winds its way north 3.6 miles towards Wildlife Trail and Fisher Spring Run. The trail features several scenic views, including beaver dams, flowing creeks, and lush meadows. Connect with either Wildlife Trail or Fisher Spring Run to extend this scenic hike. Rohrbaugh Trail is suitable for all skill levels.

Upper Red Creek Trail

Distance: 1.3 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

Encompassing 1.3 miles of scenic hiking, Upper Red Creek Trail is an enjoyable, quick hike. The area is surrounded by lush forest and impeccable views of valleys and hills. Towards the north end of the hike, you’ll run into the Red Creek. This hike is great for all skill levels, with most of the hike traversing through the valley.

Use the following Dolly Sods map to view other trails.

 

Explore other hiking opportunities around Dolly Sods Wilderness and book your stay in one of our luxury WV cabin rentals!

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