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Topic: Otter Creek back open< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: May 30 2013, 6:41 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

FS posted this up on their site today:

Otter Creek Wilderness Trails Cleared of Downed Trees

(Elkins, WV) Crews wielding old-fashioned cross-cut saws and axes for a month have cleared most of the trails in the Otter Creek Wilderness, allowing hikers access to areas previously closed off by trees downed as a result of Superstorm Sandy.  The hand tools were required since no mechanized equipment is allowed to be used in areas formally designated under the Wilderness Act.  Monongahela sawyers were joined by sawyers from the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington, the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont, and the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana.  Using the tools correctly and safely is a specialized skill, and only recently has the Monongahela National Forest had employees certified in cross-cut sawing, or owned a cache of good saws, handles, and other related wilderness hand tools.

Working from the perimeter of the Wilderness to the inside, the crews have cleared all trails except the Green Mountain Trail (TR 130); Possession Camp Trail (TR158), and a 300’ section of Otter Creek Trail (TR) covered by a landslide near the junction with Possession Camp Trail.  Both Possession Camp and Green Mountain Trails are at elevations where little significant damage is expected, and any needed work on these will be deferred until other areas of the Forest have been cleared.  No work was done at the informal camp sites within the area, as these are not maintained sites.  The landslide on Otter Creek Trail is located in a rhododendron thicket, which complicates repairs to the trail. At this time no plans have been formalized to work on the landslide.

Although the trails have been cleared, visitors are cautioned that the weight of new leaves along with already damaged limbs will cause additional downfall over months to come.  Camp sites should be chosen with attention to overhead and surrounding conditions, and extra caution is recommended when hiking during high winds and storms which might bring down more limbs and trees.  If hikers notice new downfall on trails, the specific locations may be reported to Monongahela National Forest recreation staff in Elkins or Petersburg, which will help with planning future trail work.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 30 2013, 6:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks jnk,

Knew that would have to use hand tools. Takes a while.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 30 2013, 9:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yay!

Both the Possession Camp Trail and the section of the Green Mountain Trail that I hiked were much better off than other spots, so I'd say things are looking up.

I can't remember that landslide on the Otter Creek Trail (I came down Possession Camp Trail and then took a left - i.e. south -  on the Otter Creek Trail)...probably hidden amongst all the other damage or was to the north of the junction.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 30 2013, 10:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GaliWalker @ May 30 2013, 9:07 pm)
QUOTE
Yay!

Both the Possession Camp Trail and the section of the Green Mountain Trail that I hiked were much better off than other spots, so I'd say things are looking up.

I can't remember that landslide on the Otter Creek Trail (I came down Possession Camp Trail and then took a left - i.e. south -  on the Otter Creek Trail)...probably hidden amongst all the other damage or was to the north of the junction.

Well, if the landslide is on the Otter Creek trail near the intersection with Possession Camp, and you headed south from there, it has to be in the area of the big camping spot there where I think there used to be a old shelter?  

There is a narrow spot there on the old RR grade between the intersection, and that camping spot, that it might be.  Maybe one of those spruce that was rooted in around the old RR ties fell over, that would have pulled the whole trail out.

Or it could be further north from there, I have only been as far north on the Otter creek trail as that spot so, who knows.  Next person that gets back in there, take a picture for us.  Sounds like we're going to have to find a way around it from the way the FS explains it.

I actually have a pic of the area between that intersection and the big camping spot from June of last year :laugh:

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 03 2013, 9:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll be heading up in a couple of weeks and will post back with photos.
Glad to hear of the progress, but still kinda afraid of what I'll find. Been hiking off and on up there for a long time.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2013, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(3pinner @ Jun. 03 2013, 9:02 pm)
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but still kinda afraid of what I'll find.

But you get to have the "Wilderness Experience".

:D
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2013, 5:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While we're talking about Otter Creek, the creek crossing north of the Mylius intersection, and south of Possession Camp, what is it like??

I was thinking of taking a hike up in there from Condon Run, and seeing if i can find that "landslide" the FS is talking about and report back.  I know the only crossing between Condon Run and that area is North of Mylius, but I've not hiked that section of the OC trail before....

Don't think it's gonna be this weekend though, forecasting too much rain to play cross the creek :(
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2013, 8:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's wide and sometimes deep. Just depends.  This time of the year you'll  probably have to take your boots off and wade it.  In the fall, you can just about rock hop it if it's the normal, drier fall weather.

I've got some pics somewhere.

You can go up Mylius, Shavers to Possession camp and down, keeping your feet pretty dry.  It's more miles and climbing though.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2013, 9:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was thinking it was the one that is a pain.  Meh, I ain't gonna screw with it till we get some dry weather.  Hell you'd have to swim it now :laugh:
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2013, 9:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(jnk556 @ Jun. 05 2013, 9:24 pm)
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I was thinking it was the one that is a pain.  Meh, I ain't gonna screw with it till we get some dry weather.  Hell you'd have to swim it now :laugh:

Oh, come on! It's not that bad. I've crossed it in March with snow on the ground and a good flow. Did get our feet wet but not too bad. Normally this time of the year I wouldn't give it a second thought. But, with possible heavy rains it might be prudent to put it off a week. Since you're coming in from the south you could go up Yellow Creek and McGowan Mt. and drop down Moore Run but you've got another crossing there. Easiest way is to come in from the north.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2013, 10:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(vdeal @ Jun. 05 2013, 9:45 pm)
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(jnk556 @ Jun. 05 2013, 9:24 pm)
QUOTE
I was thinking it was the one that is a pain.  Meh, I ain't gonna screw with it till we get some dry weather.  Hell you'd have to swim it now :laugh:

Oh, come on! It's not that bad. I've crossed it in March with snow on the ground and a good flow. Did get our feet wet but not too bad. Normally this time of the year I wouldn't give it a second thought. But, with possible heavy rains it might be prudent to put it off a week. Since you're coming in from the south you could go up Yellow Creek and McGowan Mt. and drop down Moore Run but you've got another crossing there. Easiest way is to come in from the north.

It's shorter to Condon run from home :p   I'm only 15mi from my driveway there!

Yeah, I know what yellow creek to mcgowen, to moore run is, that is a all day hike alone.  Did that last year.  The bog on Moore Run sucks big time!

I'll get up there, but it'll be a day hike.  Hell, we're still trying to get to Roaring plains before winter, damn rain on weekends :angry:
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 06 2013, 8:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Understood on the rain. I got out last week and hiked Laurel Fork South and made a loop using Laurel Fork, Beulah, Middle Mt. Rd, and Forks trails. Nice hike, not too hot but if you stopped for more than 10 seconds the bugs swarmed you. Laurel Fork trail was practically overgrown up around Elk Run. I would expect Otter Creek Trail to be much more open. I'll wait for your report.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 06 2013, 4:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Might be a wile on the OC report, but I will update when i do get there.  

Like i said if we can string a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday together without rain, Roaring plains is first.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 06 2013, 8:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That little one rock hop at the bottom of Mylius can be fun when the water is running too.

If it's high and fast enough, the water runs over the big rock you have to land on and creates a rooster tail that will shoot straight up into your private bits.

:p

People have put up a zip line across it from time to time.  It doesn't last long though.  I figure the FS cuts them down when they find them.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 8:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just got the following Outing Critique. The hike was done 06/14 - 16/13:

"**WARNING** *SECTIONS OF OTTER CREEK TRAIL NEARLY IMPASSABLE DUE TO FALLEN TREES AND LANDSLIDES* Our group of six began at Mylius trail head at 5pm. We climbed the moderately steep but charming Mylius and Shavers Mountain trails until we arrived at a nice flat grassy campsite near the edge of a cliff on Shavers Mountain where we found a mostly obscured view of the valleys and mountains in the distance. In the morning we filled up our water bottles at the spring at the campsite on the other side of the trail opposite our own, and continued on to Green Mountain trail. This trail was thick with vegetation, wet, rocky and steep as it neared Otter Creek. Some time after the first crossing we were forced to struggle through OVER A MILE OF FALLEN TREES, BUSHES, AND SOIL DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO THE CREEK BANK which delayed us for several hours. Luckily we brought a small axe and WERE FORCED TO CHOP OUR WAY THROUGH SEVERAL FALLEN TREES TO GET THROUGH. We went on at a extremely slow and tiresome pace until nearly dark when we camped in a site surrounded by fallen trees. We were very worried we were not going to be able to make it out the following day, or if we would miss our turn altogether due to the fallen trees, and that we may have to go about 10 miles back the way we came. Thankfully, we found the next morning that we only had to travel about a quarter of a mile more through the fallen trees before we reached where the trail had been cut clear. From that point on the hike was pleasant and beautiful, but we were all so stressed over the hard trek over the destroyed trail that we didn't get to enjoy it very much and were just happy to have gotten out without more than cuts, bruises and fatigue. This hike would have been very enjoyable (5 out of 5 rating) if the trail had been clear, but as there was no warning of this danger at the trail head, I am writing this review to alert others of the adverse conditions to be expected. I for one would love to hike Otter Creek again, but not until the trail is cleared. Hike at your own risk and take care!"



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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 8:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I added a photo.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 11:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That looks pretty bad. I guess the key is avoiding the section of Otter Creek Tr. between Green Mt. and Possession Camp Run trails. Loops would still be possible without that section.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 1:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One could use the Possession Camp Tr to by-pass that section and then possibly day hike down to the confluence of Moores Run and back from camp.

If I recall, the section between Moore's Run and Green Mt Tr always gets the worst of it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, I guess the FS didn't lie in there statement above...

"crews have cleared all trails except the Green Mountain Trail (TR 130); Possession Camp Trail (TR158), and a 300’ section of Otter Creek Trail (TR) covered by a landslide near the junction with Possession Camp Trail.  Both Possession Camp and Green Mountain Trails are at elevations where little significant damage is expected, and any needed work on these will be deferred until other areas of the Forest have been cleared."
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 8:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ha Ha, that photo of MR's looks like "The battle of rhododendron hill". I laugh now, only because that was small potatoes compared to the mess along Otter Creek, now cleared thankfully.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some more news from Mike:

"Hiked the entire length of the Otter Creek trail and, as noted already by Corey, there is approximately a mile and a half stretch near the middle of the trail that has yet to be cleared from the storms last year. Encountered only 4 people the entire hike: a couple hunkered down right in the middle of the aforementioned storm carnage, and 2 forest workers on their way to check out a significant landslide (on the Otter Creek trail, in the midst of the uncleared area). The workers informed me that this stretch of the Otter Creek trail, along with Green Mountain trail & Possession Camp trail are the only areas that remain to be cleared...and will be tackled in the fall most likely"


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20 replies since May 30 2013, 6:41 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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