Rocky Knob in Dolly Sods

  • Highlights: Dolly Sods, views
  • Distance: 10.3 miles out and back 
  • Elevation Change 1,060 feet
  • Trail Surface: Dirt with lots of rocks, a few wooden boardwalks, and often lots of mud 
  • Difficulty Level: Strenuous
  • Trailhead Parking: Bear Rocks Trailhead, Forest Road 75 (Brushy Ridge Road), Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV
  • Trail Markings: None, signs at trail junctions
  • Website: AllTrails and US Forest Service
  • Beer Pairings: Stumptown Ales—Bewildered Hippie IPA & Multiple Hopgasms DIPA

Trail Map:

The Hike:

Dolly Sods is well known for its unique ecosystem and for muddy trails. On our early May hike, we were lucky as the famous mud didn’t materialize due to a few weeks of dry weather. This hike combines three trails: trail 522 Bear Rocks, trail 521 Raven Ridge, and trail 524 Rocky Ridge. 

Bear Rocks Trail #522

Hiking trails in the Dolly Sods Wilderness are not blazed. There are signs at junctions, but hiking here can be confusing. Download the AllTrails map and bring a compass. The Bear Rocks trail (522) heads downhill to the west. The trail passes mostly through open meadows before crossing Red Creek. On our hike, the dry weather resulted in an easy crossing. After heavy rains, the water levels in Red Creek can be knee-high. The trail begins an uphill climb through open meadows.

Raven Ridge Trail #521

The Bear Rocks trail ends at the junction with Raven Ridge at 2.4 miles. Tear right on Raven Ridge he trail leaves the meadow and enters a pine and spruce forest. The trail becomes very rocky and navigating through the forest can be confusing. The trail borders on private land to the right.

Rocky Ridge Trail #524

Turn left at the junction with the Rocky Ridge Trail and begin a rocky journey on the ridge line. Views of Canaan Valley open up on the right and windswept boulders dot the trail. Rocky Knob is a large rock outcropping at 5.1 miles with some nice views to the west. Enjoy a snack and take in the views. AllTrails continues on Rocky Ridge to Dobbin Grade and Beaver View. We opted to make this an out and back hike and turned around at Rocky Knob and returned to our vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

Located about one hour north of the trailhead in Davis WV is Stumptown Ales. They pay homage to hops and have a passion for brewing hop-centric craft beer.  It was a long drive from Dolly Sods, but we had to visit. The beer was well worth the trip. The fun brewery is all about the beer. Food is limited to a few snacks (several decent restaurants are located nearby) and they only have indoor seating available in their small tasting room. Dogs are not allowed inside the brewery.

Logging and lumber references are everywhere. Davis was nicknamed “stumptown” back in the timbering days when it was possible to walk through town stepping only on tree stumps. The bar is made from a massive 21-foot long slab of red oak and tables are crafted from huge log slices. 

Pete really like Bewildered Hippie (6.8% ABV) an American-style IPA which may be one of the best IPAs he has enjoyed in a long time. Kathy was equally pleased with Multiple Hopgasms (8% ABV) an Imperial IPA. Stumptown Ales is well worth a visit from just about anywhere in the mid-Atlantic.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.