|June 12, 2010||to||June 14, 2010|
Backpacking on Red Creek/ Roaring/ Flatrock Plains of Monongahela National Forest. This is one of the highest, most rugged, and most scenic parts of the West Va. Highlands. It is directly south of, and overlooks, Dolly Sods Wilderness. Prior backpacking experience is required because the Plains are no place for beginners – even for easy, leisurely trips like this one. We will cover only about 17 miles total, because there is so much to see and do that we will need lots of time for that. If you prefer a more rugged trip you can use the campsites as base-camps for your explorations. We will be near the peak of the late spring colors (probably the later stages of pink lady-slipper orchids, the peak of the azaleas, and the early stages of the mountain laurel.). Lots of spectacular views. Both campsites are right on the Eastern Continental Divide. We start at the upper trailhead of South Prong Trail, then take Hidden Passage Trail to Seneca Meadows where we can camp at the Rim campsite. This is one of the most fascinating campsites on the MNF. It offers a 3000 vertical ft. view of the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac. Seneca Rocks, the Fore Knobs, and some remote high mountain pastures are also visible far below us. Further east can be seen most of North Fork Mountain, and numerous ridges beyond that to the Shenandoah Mountains on the horizon. A view into the deep, steep-walled canyon of the headwaters of Roaring Creek is nearby. Coyotes may serenade us in the late evening. Day 2 takes us up Roaring Plains Trail to the Spruce Campsite on the rim of the deep, steep-walled Long Run. Mt. Porte Crayon and Haystack Knob can be seen along the rim of Long Run. Near the campsite is an overlook looking down on Dolly Sods Wilderness, Cabin Mountain, Canaan Valley, and Allegheny Front. The “roaring winds” are often experienced in the Spruce Campsite in late evening. Day 3 takes us down Boar’s Nest Trail and across South Fork of Red Creek (water levels permitting). We get back to our cars around 1 PM. Limit: 10. To learn more about the Plains, read pages 161 to 173 of Edition 8 of Monongahela National Forest Hiking Guide put out by the West Va. Highlands Conservancy as a paperback and as a CD. Visit http://www.wvhighlands.org. Contact Fred Kissell at email@example.com or 412 487 1155. A 4-page trip sheet, road directions, and topo maps will be emailed to sign-ups. Bad weather dates: June 19-21. $25 carpool – 150 miles.