Red Creek Trail, Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV
West Virginia may not be the east’s most likely outdoor Mecca, but it does have some surprising natural wonders. And one, in particular, is world class: The 17,371-acre slice of the Monongahela National Forest in the eastern Alleghenies. Its tundra-like meadows, wind-etched granite rocks, heath barrens, and red spruce forests are as close to a western landscape as you’ll find in this part of the country. The 16-mile Red Creek Trail bisects the southwest corner of the park, skirting a steep-walled canyon through the Red Creek drainage, then climbs up to Breathed Mountain, where you’ll emerge onto a plateau of blueberry bogs and huckleberry heaths. In addition to black bears and bobcats, you might also stumble across live military ordinance — the Dolly Sods was a bombing range during WWII.
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