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Topic: Dolly Sods Rant, Too Crowded< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 1:48 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Went Sunday, Monday and Tuesday June 23 thru 25.

Normally picking a during the week time helps with at least a BIT of solitude but not so.

I would say the avereage group we passed was well over ten people, and and the two I did count there was 19 and 23 total.

I haven't read the rule book recently but I thought the most you could have was 10.

Both of the really huge groups were kids, one scouting and one some group from the midwest.

I totally understand turning kids on to the wilderness and think it's a good thing. However when you got 15 or 20 people camping somewhere that's a party that's not enjoying the wilderness.

Sort of sad when I can go for a hike in my woods I own and actually experience more solitude than I can in a wilderness area.

Sort of reminded me of 2 years go when I went to Seneca Creek and had a group of 14 people set up camp right below us.  Was like the army out for manuvers!

Anyway we have a lot of cool hiking trails and cool campgrounds in WV with hikign trails nearby that, really are more suitable to a camp of 20 people than some of thes little campsites in the wilderness areas.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 1:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

10 is supposed to be max in a wilderness area ... but how do you go about reporting it in a timely manner? Can't be done.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 2:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Less people in the Roaring Plains.

Cranberry is about the best place for solitude though.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 3:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Finally someone has figured out what i have said in the past.  Honestly DS, is bottom of my list of places I'd choose to go, the damn place is like disney land in the summer.

It's so close to DC, VA, MD, that all the city yocals come over.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm curious, HD, what part of DS you were in.  I've found that the western side along Rocky Ridge, Dunkenbarger, and west Blackbird knob are far less crowded.

Otherwise I agree.  I visited the Forks on a weekend in August (I know, I know) and ran into 20+ improper latrine sites, every fire ring full of trash, no downed wood available, every birch tree stripped bare.  it was awful.

a similar story is the lost meadow near spruce knob.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(aseege1 @ Jul. 01 2013, 4:13 pm)
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I'm curious, HD, what part of DS you were in.  I've found that the western side along Rocky Ridge, Dunkenbarger, and west Blackbird knob are far less crowded.

Otherwise I agree.  I visited the Forks on a weekend in August (I know, I know) and ran into 20+ improper latrine sites, every fire ring full of trash, no downed wood available, every birch tree stripped bare.  it was awful.

a similar story is the lost meadow near spruce knob.

I was suprised how much the campsite down by the 3 waterfalls had expanded. There was a still burning fire and a bag of fast food from Jimmy Johns in the fire there!

Agree some areas are less traveled.

The wild thing was we saw the 2 biggest groups on Tuesday!

Glad we were heading out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(arfcomhkr @ Jul. 01 2013, 2:44 pm)
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Less people in the Roaring Plains.

Cranberry is about the best place for solitude though.

Yeah that's more my favorite place although one time I was there on Columbus day and every single campsite on the canyon rim including the one below the spring was taken!

Cranberry for sure is better for solitude. Even the back country part where there is a gated road is less crowded than DS a lot of times.

Of course Laurel Fork is king.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 5:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love the Mon so much, this makes me sick to my stomach...

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 10:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Go to the Quehanna in PA for solitude, and some Dolly Sods-like meadows.  And elk.  Great camping, gorgeous streams, views, rhodo jungles, big rocks, Quehanna is beautiful.

Roaring Plains is awesome, hopefully in the future it won't be as crowded as Dolly Sods.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 10:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Never go on weekends from Memorial Day to Columbus Day if possible. I've gone to the most popular spots in the Mon during weekdays and seen practically no one most times. Most I ever saw was about 30 people leaving Otter Creek on Memorial Day and that points out that you shouldn't go on holidays. I do hear that you saw a large group on Tuesday and that is always possible but less probable. To tell people to avoid DS is a disservice, just learn when to go and where. It's all a matter of logistics. Also, be aware that the increasing awareness of these areas due to the internet will make it harder to find privacy but I don't seem to have a problem. So far this year on about 20 outings I've seen maybe a dozen folks total. Not too bad. I also make it a point to keep areas of solitude that way by not publicizing them in every venue.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 11:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(vdeal @ Jul. 02 2013, 10:20 am)
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Never go on weekends from Memorial Day to Columbus Day if possible. I've gone to the most popular spots in the Mon during weekdays and seen practically no one most times. Most I ever saw was about 30 people leaving Otter Creek on Memorial Day and that points out that you shouldn't go on holidays. I do hear that you saw a large group on Tuesday and that is always possible but less probable. To tell people to avoid DS is a disservice, just learn when to go and where. It's all a matter of logistics. Also, be aware that the increasing awareness of these areas due to the internet will make it harder to find privacy but I don't seem to have a problem. So far this year on about 20 outings I've seen maybe a dozen folks total. Not too bad. I also make it a point to keep areas of solitude that way by not publicizing them in every venue.

I guess sites like mine are partly responsible for this.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 12:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, at least you didn't have to contend with a trail runners race like we did

Last fall they had a three day race with hundreds of runners when we were backpacking Spruce/Seneca. And just a few weeks ago they had a race up in the sods/roaring plains area while we were there.

They get special permits from the forest service.

From now on, we're checking the event calender of West Virginia Mountain Trail runners web site before we go out.  I suggest you all do the same.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 4:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(arfcomhkr @ Jul. 02 2013, 12:30 pm)
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Well, at least you didn't have to contend with a trail runners race like we did

Last fall they had a three day race with hundreds of runners when we were backpacking Spruce/Seneca. And just a few weeks ago they had a race up in the sods/roaring plains area while we were there.

They get special permits from the forest service.

From now on, we're checking the event calender of West Virginia Mountain Trail runners web site before we go out.  I suggest you all do the same.

Yeah, but the last trip, was a non-issue with the runners, did you or i see any of them on the trails? Nope :p
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 04 2013, 11:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been to the sods just once, thur-mon and had a great time wasn't crowded at all. In fact 2 of the nights we were the only ones at the campsite.

I'd like to go back this year, a friend of the guy I hike with said he was there earlier this year and said storms had made a mess of the place with blow downs and ruined campsites, etc. any truth to that? Vdeal if you've been there 20 times this year I'm guessing its still enjoyable!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 04 2013, 12:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep, less is better.  Think most of us go to the woods/mountains/wilderness to enjoy the solitude and serenity.  Any more than a handful is way to many for my liking.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 08 2013, 1:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MRHyker @ Jul. 01 2013, 1:55 pm)
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10 is supposed to be max in a wilderness area ... but how do you go about reporting it in a timely manner? Can't be done.

There is 5 bar cellular service on the back (western) ridge near the ski resort.  There is also spotty service near Bear Rocks.

The ski resort is the real problem I think.  I've seen multiple trails being cut over toward that area.  They are developing it with new homes and I think they are marketing DS as "your wilderness backyard".  I have caught groups of mountain bikers in that area of the wilderness.  They seemed unfazed when I mentioned to them that the area wasn't open to biking.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 08 2013, 2:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Flexo @ Jul. 08 2013, 1:52 pm)
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(MRHyker @ Jul. 01 2013, 1:55 pm)
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10 is supposed to be max in a wilderness area ... but how do you go about reporting it in a timely manner? Can't be done.

There is 5 bar cellular service on the back (western) ridge near the ski resort.  There is also spotty service near Bear Rocks.

The ski resort is the real problem I think.  I've seen multiple trails being cut over toward that area.  They are developing it with new homes and I think they are marketing DS as "your wilderness backyard".  I have caught groups of mountain bikers in that area of the wilderness.  They seemed unfazed when I mentioned to them that the area wasn't open to biking.

Ranger Districts are closed on the weekend and I don't think the cops would care.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 08 2013, 4:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I doubt the rangers would even get excited about it honestly.  The FS is just stretched too thin, and these areas suffer.  I don't know what will happen with DS, but it's definitely not working twords the better.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 8:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Adirondackiteer @ Jul. 04 2013, 11:02 am)
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Vdeal if you've been there 20 times this year I'm guessing its still enjoyable!

I guess I was a bit unclear. I've been out 20 times this year but not 20 times to DS.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 10:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We need a bear to attack someone to scare off all the weekend warriors from the city.  Even a few scary warning signs would keep them in the campground.

Still, the problem is the development that's been allowed on all the borders of the area.  I don't think it's going to get better.  Very sad.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 2:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Flexo @ Jul. 09 2013, 10:01 am)
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We need a bear to attack someone to scare off all the weekend warriors from the city.  Even a few scary warning signs would keep them in the campground.

Still, the problem is the development that's been allowed on all the borders of the area.  I don't think it's going to get better.  Very sad.

I wouldn't wish that on anyone.


I don't think there's anything that can be done about it, just like Seneca Creek.   If you're stuck only going out on weekends and holidays, you're just going to have to deal with it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 3:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's interesting how "Americans" are considered "couch potatoes" by many and often negatively compared to the "Europeans" who are supposedly a much more "outdoorsy" people but when/as we become more "outdoorsy" there are complaints from some about the numbers of people in the "wilderness".
It is what it is...perhaps the larger than allowed groups had some sort of permission to be where they were? Don't know.

Mountain bikers can be a big pain in the arse when using trails they shouldn't be and/or blasting down trails where there are families enjoying, or trying to, a family hike/walk in the woods...I'm a mtn bike racer/road and cross bike racer of 30 years and get angry when walking in the woods with the kids and bikers blast through at unsafe speeds...ugh.

As we in the riding world say "share the road"...I suppose it fair to say "share the trails".

Solitude is going to get harder to come by in the more accessible areas.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 10 2013, 11:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most of the time with us it isn't just groups of hikers.

It's usually some sort of Boy Scout or organized youth group.

I mean I think it's cool to turn kids on to the woods and stuff. However when you are walking down the trail with 20 people and camping with 20 people that's not really turning them onto the wilderness in my book. It's more about socializing.

Why not camp at a big campground or group camp and take day hikes or something??

But the vast numbers of people do seem to have an impact.

Have y'all been to that "secret" campsite in the spruce up on Raven Ridge lately??

Used to be it was fairly thick back in there, and now you can nearly walk from the fire ring to where the trail snakes around the back of it so many of the branches have been removed.

Need to try to explore Spice Run. With no trails the solitude factor should be decent.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 31 2013, 10:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

After reading this and getting confirmation from my dad that Dolly Sods was overcrowded I diverted my mid-week overnight hike that I did last week to Halfmoon Mountain in the GWNF.  I literally didn't see anyone at all in two days.  Bliss.
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