Journeys Around the U.S.

Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia

General Information on Dolly Sods

We learned after this adventure that a sod is a meadow on top of a mountain, and this means be prepared for mud… The Dahle family resided here in the 1800s and had their sheep graze on this land… Hence, the name Dolly Sods 🙂 The Dolly Sods trails were muddy, sometimes swamp-like, but had a beautiful fall foliage the 2nd weekend of October 2021. Dolly Sods is about 3.5 hours from Baltimore. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service warns: starting in 1943, the Dolly Sods were used for military training, so there may still be some unexploded ordinances. Try your best to stay on the trails! This provided us a heightened experience for sure. However, we were fine and didn’t spot anything. Here is a good map that we used, but we wished we had followed the highlighted parts better. See below…

Parking & the trails we hiked

We parked at Bear Rocks Trailhead (top right of this map). We took Bear Rocks Trail (TR 522) to Dobbin Grade (TR 526). We wished we had kept going to Raven Ridge (TR 521) but the arrows were improperly marked. If you start at the Bear Rocks Trailhead, do not take your first left so you can get to TR 521. The Dobbin Grade trail was VERY muddy and swamp-like…. if you take the wrong step you will be knee-deep in mud! Yes, those first 2 pics below are a part of Dobbin Grade trail…

Then we took Upper Red Creek (TR 509) to Blackbird Knob (TR 522) heading east.

After that we walked on the road north back to our car (turn left once you get to the road). The hike entire hike that we did was 8.4 miles and took us 4.5-5 hours. If you follow the highlighted trail better than we did, we estimate it to be almost 10 miles.


On our way, we stopped at Packs Dairy Corner. It was absolutely amazing, and is a must-go-to if you end up passing it on your way to the Dolly Sods Wilderness. The rest of the trip, we ate food we made from the grocery store. On the trails, remember to bring lots of water, snacks and we packed a lunch.

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