Dolly Sods West Virginia May 30th

10:21 p.m. on June 2, 2010 (EDT)
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202 forum posts

I am not sure if this is going to work. Michelle and I had a great weekend in Dolly Sods. We did 16 miles in two days and stopped at Shenandoah on our way home for a quick 2 miler on Stony Man. Great Weekend! Enjoy the pics... The music accompanying may get annoying, just click the speaker in the upper left corner of the slide show to mute :)

5:39 a.m. on June 3, 2010 (EDT)
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5,429 forum posts

Thats really cool! At first I was going to ask how you made the slide/music program then I scrolled up and clicked on the SLIDE site. Thats neat. I will have to try it myself.

What kind of tree's are those with the long rounded leaves and white flowers?

Great job!!

10:29 a.m. on June 3, 2010 (EDT)
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2,162 forum posts

Really Nice, BigSmoke!

I have never been there. It is interesting how, in the photos at least, the landscape looks almost more like northern tundra than Appalachia. Nice music BTW, I will have to look that artist up.


The flower you mentioned is a small cluster of Rhododendron, with the flowers not opened yet.

The other two flowers are both varieties of Mountain Azalea.

2:17 p.m. on June 3, 2010 (EDT)
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202 forum posts

Thanks guys, it is one of our favorite places. You have such a variety of ecology on this hike starting in the river bottom lands moving up to the high planes.

Here is a snippit from Wikipedia on the Sods and a link to the site for the whole story on the area. It has an amazing history as it was once burned to bare earth. It was also a practice bombing range for the US Army during WWII. Live mortar shells are still found to this day.

We also hiked this trail in the fall of 2008 and consumed no less than 5 varieties of fruit on the trail to include; mountain blueberry, huckleberry, blackberry, wild cranberry, and apple.

Today, there are patches of recovering native red spruce forest plus twisted yellow birch, alder, maple, hemlock, black cherry and mountain ash trees amid a matrix of heath-type bushes. Views across the tundra-like windswept open meadows in the northern section of Dolly Sods are reminiscent of Alaskan landscapes.

The whole area is largely colonized by various Ericaceae (heaths): blueberry and cranberry (Vaccinium), huckleberry (Gaylussacia), azalea and rhododendron (both in the genus Rhododendron), mountain laurel (Kalmia), and teaberry (or wintergreen, Gaultheria). The upper sections of Red Creek and its tributaries display sphagnum bogs, complete with rare sundew and reindeer moss.

The term "Sods" now refers to the many boggy areas due to abundant precipitation: the Sods averages more than 100 inches (2,500 mm) of snow each winter. During the winter of 2003, 290 inches (7.3 m) of snow fell in the area, although 160 inches (4 m) is more typical. The Allegheny Front that forms the eastern edge of the plateau is a ridge that catches and holds storms. In the high spots you can see how the trees have been sculpted by the wind – strong winds blowing continuously from the west have caused some trees to have branches only on the east side (they are "flagged").

Because of the high altitude the climate is cool, and plants and animals are more similar to ones found about 1,600 miles (2,600 km) farther north in Canada. Many species found here are near their southernmost range. For example, the snowshoe hare found in Dolly Sods is usually found in Canada and Alaska and is adapted to snow conditions, with its large, hairy feet which allow it to run on the snow surface. Other animals include red and gray foxes, bobcats, black bears, wild turkey, grouse, and white-tailed deer.

5:16 p.m. on June 3, 2010 (EDT)
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2,162 forum posts

ok, so the Sods just went on my list of places to visit next!

6:34 p.m. on June 3, 2010 (EDT)
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263 forum posts

Very nice. Enjoyed the presentation and music as well.

March 28, 2020
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