18. Red Creek Trail, Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia (16.4 miles)Learn More
Arguably the most neglected outdoors state, West Virginia has some surprising natural wonders. The crown jewel is this 17,371-acre slice of the Monongahela National Forest in the eastern Alleghenies. Its tundra-like meadows, wind-etched granite rocks, heath barrens and flag-form red spruce forests are as close to a western landscape as you’ll find in the east. The Red Creek Trail bisects the southwest corner of the park, skirting a steep-walled canyon through the Red Creek drainage, then rising through the forest to Breathed Mountain, where you’ll emerge onto a plateau of blueberry bogs, huckleberry heaths, red cedar, sundew and reindeer moss. In addition to black bears and bobcats, you might also find live military ordinance—the Dolly Sods was a bombing range during WWII—so don’t touch the mortars.
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