Things to do in CV for out of state visitor?
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bawalker
April 9, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Quick question. My girlfriend is coming into the area in two weeks and while she is here I plan to take her upto the CV area for the day. I thought about visiting possible areas, maybe taking a hike or two, but I'm not sure what if any trails are even open or what lunchtime restraunts would be good to visit?

Thoughts? Ideas? Mountainous areas like that are foreign to her as she is from Michigan. Don't ask about their 'ski hills', I saw one and thought it was my front yard.
tgd
April 10, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
For a spectacular view, hike to the top of Baldy from Canaan Valley State Park - maybe 2.5 miles roundtrip. All the trails around Blackwater Falls should be open too.
Lunch at the Purple Fiddle (Thomas) or Sirianis (Davis)
Bring your bikes (or rent one), arrange a shuttle (Highland Scenic Tours), and ride downhill 10 miles on the Blackwater Canyon rail trail from Thomas.
Windmills - everyone likes to check out the windmills outside Thomas.
Tom
Swimmer
April 10, 2006
Member since 02/3/2005 🔗
143 posts
I second the vote for Blackwater Falls
bawalker
April 10, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Where does the trail begin at for the Bald Knob hike? Up by the ski area I presume? Hrm, I wonder if I can sneak in a run or two?
tgd
April 10, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
You can get the Bald Knob trail from either the top of the chair lift (trail head is in the woods directly behind the lift, or from the upper parking area that is to the left as you enter into the ski area. I don't believe they start running the scenic chair lift rides until memorial day though. Pick up a trail map at the lodge or check out this link(requires Adobe):
http://www.wvstateparks.com/canaan/canaanvalley.pdf
tommo
April 10, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
For a short walk with a great view, and an interesting drive to match, try Table Rock. The trail head is at the exteme southwestern point of Forest Road 19, near the south end of the Plantation Trail. Table Rock has about the best view anywhere in the area and the drive around the Loop Road is very scenic as well. If you have Mtn bikes, this makes for great ride also, as it is relatively flat and not technical like many of the singletrack trails. If you're confident in your 4wd car, you can just follow the road out of Blackwater Falls State Park. An "easier" access point if from the Loop Road entrance at Canaan Heights. Of course, anything up on the Sods will be nice too - Either from the Red Creek Campground side or from the end of the Forest Road by Whitegrass (just follow Freeland road until you can't drive any further and then start walking. There's a good trailhead sign a few hundred yards further and, for grins, if you cut through to the left, you'll find yourself at the top of Salamander at TL.
JCHobbes
April 10, 2006
Member since 09/12/2005 🔗
94 posts
There's a restaurant right in between Timberline and Canaan Valley, I believe it's called Coyotes or something. We've met the owners before, they're very nice people, and it's pretty good food too.

Also, I dunno what the weather's like up there, but if you're into more serious mountain biking, you can try the Canaan loop trail. It's a very cool mountain bike trail starting and ending in Davis. I don't have the details, but the bike shop in town should have information.
rmcva
April 10, 2006
Member since 01/28/2004 🔗
187 posts
Ok - thought everybody would like a good laugh. I've been wanting to try some of the hiking and biking around CV with my wife. However, she has major concerns about the wildlife, for example being attacked. Here's the questions - have you had any problems with wild animals around Bald Knob, Sods, etc. and how do you prepare (do you carry any type of protection from the animals, etc...)
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 10, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,093 posts
Brad,
I would say that Blackwater Falls is a must visit, be sure to take the steps to the bottom.
The Blackwater Falls Lodge offers some great wiews of the canyon.
The driveway to Canaan Valley Lodge is usually packed with deer, and beyond the CV Lodge the road goes on to the Golf Clubhouse and there are usually deer there and on the course also. There is a rough road into Dolly Sods from the Rt 55 side of the mountains, but I do not know the conditions at this time of year. Other DCSkiers help out here!!!! There are dining rooms at both Lodges for lunch, call and check to make sure they are open for lunch, especially if a weekday. Both have sites on the WV State Parks website. Does she like whitewater rafting or a canoe trip? Water will be plenty cold. Most importantly, just enjoy each other's company . If she is anything like you she must be real special. Good Luck,
The Colonel
tommo
April 10, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
My wife and kids and, most of the time I, have spent probably 100 nights or more backpacking in the Sods, on Canaan mtn, Spruce Mtn, etc... with quite a few more day hikes and mtn bike rides. In all that time, we have never seen an animal that is cause for concern. Lots of deer, great variety of birds, beavers, and small green snakes. About 6 years ago we saw a timber rattle snake, but it was, unfortnately, dead on the Canaan Loop road. Probably lived it's whole life in a den in the rocks until it made the mistake of sunning itself on the gravel road one day. And about 15 years ago my wife's backpack hit a hornets nest when we were bushwacking and she was stung several times. But clearly the most dangerous animal out there is the biped kind that carries firearms and paints itself with camo paint. We have seen a few of those and THAT is disconcerting.

Ironically, we have seen many bears in MD in Garrett County. Actually had to stop for one on a mtn bike ride once 'cause it wasn't inclined to move just on the account of me. Also saw a mtn lion down on the North Branch (MD-WV border), but that was WAY back in and a much wilder location than anything near Canaan Valley.

For a nice, low fauna stress walk, try the Blackbird knob trail from Red Creek Campground on the Sods and maybe go down to the falls at the forks of Red Creek. Another nice one is along the western crest of the Sods above Timberline's houses. This is esp. good on a nice weather day. Follow Freeland road to where you can't drive any further, then follow the trail from there. You'll come to a big trail map/sign. Continue straight and you'll come out on the western crest. Follow as far as you like and then retrace back to the car.
Rich
April 11, 2006
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
"...she has major concerns about the wildlife,"
LOL - that breaks me up. Has she ever been outside the Beltway? I love skiing T-line Friday nites. So I'm halfway down the trail coming up on three big St. Bernards. They rambled off, but I asked the liftie if it was OK for people to let their dogs run free at T-line. He told me - "those weren't dogs - you skiied up on some black bears crossing the trail". LOL Oh there is one dangerous animal there - I smell them all the time - the skunks !!! Just be sure to pass IN FRONT of them !!!
rmcva
April 11, 2006
Member since 01/28/2004 🔗
187 posts
Thanks for the input. Maybe this will be enough to get her out there. She was concerned about dinner - or should I say not being dinner to a bear or something
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 11, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,093 posts
Out west the big national parks with grizzlies and other big bears sell bells that hook on one's belt or arm. The purpose is to alert an animal on the trail ahead that you are coming to minimize the chance an close up encounter or spooking the animal into an attack. I suppose they work, but the nickname for the bells is "dinner bells".
The Colonel
Swimmer
April 13, 2006
Member since 02/3/2005 🔗
143 posts
Aaahhhh grizzly bears vs. brown bears...

an anecdote...not mine, but I still find it funny

While working as a interpretive ranger out West one of my duties was to give nature walks to the various tourists. In almost every afternoon walk we would get the predictable tourist shuffling along with a walking stick that they paid way too much for in the gift shop that was adorned with bear bells. It was not atypical to see a can of bear repellant spray strapped to their waist as well. So while we would venture on our way I would take the time to explain how to tell the difference of the different scat found along the trails....

Typically when I would ask of anyone knew how to tell the difference between brown bear and grizzly bear scat I would get a round of shaking heads. With a most straight faced look I would explain that brown bear scat is full of seeds and of a slight reddish color from the berries they ate. Grizzly bear scat would be full of metal bells and smell of pepper spray.
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