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Topic: Dolly sods, What are the roads looking like?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 31
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 16 2013, 3:44 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

also, anyone know the update on FS80?   OR... can anyone outline parking at cabin mtn trail off FS19?  it would be nice to avoid the creek crossings of lower red creek.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 21 2013, 8:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

just got back.  parked at laneville.  went up red creek to rocky point, around to Dunkenbarger and down Little stonecoal.  all trails were in pretty awful shape.  lots of downed trees across the trail...very slow going.  i lost count after 100.  i thought it would be bad but not this bad.  bottom of red creek trail is particularly undetectable so we bushwacked up the creek for a bit until we found the intersection with big stonecoal to let us know we were on the right track.  FS19 was clear, pothole ridden...but that's not new.  

the sign was down at the dunkenbarger LSC junction so we ended up continuing onto the cabin mtn trail for a ways before we came to out of our daydream.   weather was nice though, and its always fun to be in the sods.  not much in bloom up there yet either.
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 Post Number: 33
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 21 2013, 9:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(aseege1 @ Apr. 21 2013, 8:21 pm)
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the sign was down at the dunkenbarger LSC junction so we ended up continuing onto the cabin mtn trail for a ways before we came to out of our daydream.  

So the 5' tall rock cairn with the old rail road car wheel on top is missing at that trail junction?
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 22 2013, 12:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

haha...had never been to that junction before.  we definitely noticed it and my buddy even said "well, at least we know were on the trail"  after about 25ft i realized we weren't and we turned around because i knew we were supposed to follow the stream down the mountain.  we even joked later how we totally misread that.  

i thought people would want to know the sign was missing tho
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 22 2013, 4:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How are the water levels?
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 22 2013, 11:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm 5' 11" and the water reached mid-thigh at about midway through red creek.  this was the crossing on red creek trail right before the climb up to the junction with rocky point.  the crossing on little stonecoal at red creek went up about just below the knees.  current was pretty swift so we had to scout for a section that seemed doable.  some other hikers crawled hands and knees over a fallen tree which looked a little risky cause some of the fastest white water was right under them.

that creek can drop a foot overnight tho, so a few days can make a big difference.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 22 2013, 5:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The next time you go up thataway when Red Creek is raging, there is an abandoned high water route that can still be followed, but it's pretty much a bushwack after a while.
Right across the road bridge in Laneville, there is a trail that goes strait up the hill. Take that trail until it tops out onto a railroad grade. Turn right and follow the grade upstream. Ignore other RR grades that branch off of it up hill, just keep going on the level upstream. The grade will gently descend.  It's muddy, lots of nettles in the summer, and there are some big blowdowns to crawl over/under/around but it is obvious and passable.
Keep looking off to the right as you go, and you will eventually see where you can leave the grade and head toward Red Creek. I don't have mileage, but one of the easiest places is in a spruce grove next to the grade. Where I drop down, I have to cross a small stream, and it is passable beyond that as you head toward Red Creek.  If you go too far north on the grade, you end up having to cross a marsh when you leave it. You don't want to go there!  I just kind of look around and pick a spot. The grade actually swings toward Red Creek, but footing gets very bad so I leave it before it swings out and make my own way.

Once you are off the grade, walk toward Red Creek and you'll find passable ways upstream through the trees and scrub. It's not obvious, but if you hunt around you'll find a way. I kind of wind my way through the 'path of least resistance' until I get to Little Stonecoal run. I'm still far enough away from the creek that I can't really see it, but I can hear it clearly. If you look hard, you'll find some old axe blazes on some of the biggest trees here and there.
Kind of a fun walk if you like finding your own way, and it's been a real life saver  more than once after getting trapped by some really big storms that raised the creek to well beyond sane-to-cross levels.

If you're coming the other way, (down Little Stonecoal to Red Creek), follow LS to where it crosses the stream,  leave the trail there, then follow the easiest path of least resistance downstream, through the trees. Once you pass the marshy area (really tall growth, & VERY rotten remains of an old bridge buried in there) start swinging right toward the RR grade and just pick a relatively easy climb up to it.
Once on the grade, keep looking for the path that leads down to the bridge on your left. There was a 3 or 4 rock cairn there last time I used it, but it was pretty visible without that if you're looking for it. One other clue is - at that point you are pretty high above the stream. One of these days I'll post a GPS route for it. I've told myself for years to record a track, I'll remember to do it one of these days.
This was a maintained trail before the floods of '85 erased a whole bunch of stuff, including the old RR grade that was the Red Creek trail up to Big Stone Coal, and the remains of the old Bridge that used to cross there.
Have fun & be safe!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 22 2013, 5:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(aseege1 @ Apr. 22 2013, 12:00 am)
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haha...had never been to that junction before.  we definitely noticed it and my buddy even said "well, at least we know were on the trail"  after about 25ft i realized we weren't and we turned around because i knew we were supposed to follow the stream down the mountain.  we even joked later how we totally misread that.  

i thought people would want to know the sign was missing tho

One other note for you:
At that trail junction,  follow a path away from Dunkenbarger (kind of like Dunkenbarger extended) and there is a good place to get water. Nice place to fill up after humping up Little Stonecoal.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 22 2013, 10:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

thanks!  i read about that bushwack on mrhyker's site.  i proposed the idea but me and the other two guys i was hiking with just decided to get wet since it was only a 7/10's of a mile back to the car after that.  would like to try that route sometime though and i appreciate the detail.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2013, 9:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

3pinner's description of the old High Water Route is very detailed. Just two issues for those not familiar with the area. The bridge in question is the bridge by the Laneville cabin - not the one in Laneville - that should be obvious, and the "right across the bridge" refers to the old trail being on the Laneville side of the bridge, the opposite side from the cabin. I know it's nitpicking but I didn't want anyone to be confused. Again, thanks 3pinner for the detailed description. I've checked the beginning of it but never had to use it. Might bushwhack it some day just to explore.

BTW, 3pinner, were the remains of the bridge an old railroad bridge or a trail bridge?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2013, 9:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(vdeal @ Apr. 23 2013, 9:07 am)
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BTW, 3pinner, were the remains of the bridge an old railroad bridge or a trail bridge?

My understanding is there was a trail bridge over Red Creek at Big Stonecoal in pre wilderness days. What I remember (probably have an old picture around somewhere) there were the remains of two stone abutments in the stream.  The flood completely erased any clue they were there.

Thank you for your clarifications on the high water route.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2013, 8:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(3pinner @ Apr. 23 2013, 9:32 pm)
QUOTE

(vdeal @ Apr. 23 2013, 9:07 am)
QUOTE
BTW, 3pinner, were the remains of the bridge an old railroad bridge or a trail bridge?

My understanding is there was a trail bridge over Red Creek at Big Stonecoal in pre wilderness days. What I remember (probably have an old picture around somewhere) there were the remains of two stone abutments in the stream.  The flood completely erased any clue they were there.

Thank you for your clarifications on the high water route.

Cool,

I would love to see the pic if you ever find it. Thanks.

Just checked, DS became a wilderness in 1975 so that would be a ways back.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2013, 9:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

FR 75 open as of yesterday. Red Creek reported to be running high.

Does anyone know the condition of trails in south DS, hiking in from the Laneville cabin? I'm wondering what the wind and heavy wet snow from Hurricane Sandy did to these trails. Forest service will not be evaluating trails for a little while yet.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2013, 9:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

See Aseege1's post above.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2013, 1:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Buckeye,

Did you drive FS75 the whole way through?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 24 2013, 11:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(vdeal @ Apr. 24 2013, 1:14 pm)
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Buckeye,
Did you drive FS75 the whole way through?

The report came from the forest service.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 10:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just spent this weekend on Roaring Plains. Base camped at the meadows on South Prong and day hiked the Hidden Passage/Canyon Rim on Saturday. No major storm damage to speak of was noted, except one small blow down on South Prong. Forest Road 19 was in better condition than expected. No fender bolts rattled loose this year. Beautiful trip.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 4:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(3pinner @ Apr. 23 2013, 9:32 pm)
QUOTE

(vdeal @ Apr. 23 2013, 9:07 am)
QUOTE
BTW, 3pinner, were the remains of the bridge an old railroad bridge or a trail bridge?

My understanding is there was a trail bridge over Red Creek at Big Stonecoal in pre wilderness days. What I remember (probably have an old picture around somewhere) there were the remains of two stone abutments in the stream.  The flood completely erased any clue they were there.

Thank you for your clarifications on the high water route.

3pinner,

I just looked at my 1972 Dolly Sods guide and yes indeed it does say that there was a footbridge across Red Creek at Big Stonecoal. The bridge is still listed in my 1982 Mon Hiking Guide. However, in the 1988 edition it specifically says "(no bridge)". Pretty certain then that it was washed away in the 1985 flood. I'm sure there are pics of it somewhere.


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