From Petersburg WV it looks like there are two ways to get to Timberline - either drop
south to Seneca Rocks and then go to Harmon
and follow 32 N, or go north out of Petersburg
using routes 42/93 until you reach davis and then follow 32 S. Which way is faster/flatter?
As a sidenote, normally I drive to CV from Baltimore, but I have gone directly there from work in DC before, trying the 66-81-55-33-32 way, which I found to be dreadfully long, even with parts of the new road completed, and I've gone the toll rd, and from winchester taken 50-93-32 and found that is MUCH quicker and easier, especially at night.
I can make it in about 3 hours from Arlington, but driving the speed limit it is more like 3.5 hours. I was stopped for speeding last week, just before reaching the WV line but it is a small price to pay for the natural beauty of CV.
I would highly recommend the Dolly Sods route but never during winter. I have driven it in a SUV and a VW Bug and made it without damage to either although the ground clearance of the SUV made for an easier trip. The road is rough but reasonably well maintained and a stop at the river to swim and refresh is worth the bumps. And you may well see a black bear.
I've been pulled over once by the WV State Police when I had skis on the rack. They don't want to discourage ski tourism, so if you are polite and have not exceeded the limits by gross margins, they'll usually let you go with a warning. That's what happened to me.
Hint: when they ask you why they pulled you over. Don't BS them. Say, "I was exceeding the speed limit." They appreciate candor.
I simply never speed on those roads in or near town, and I have a good idea of where the traps are in the sticks.
As for the original question I'd like to know how swinging north from Petersburg up Mt Storm works as opposed to dipping down into Seneca Rocks. It seems that it would be about the same or slightly longer. I drove that road lots when I was living in Cumberland - but never to get to the Valley - I'd swing north on 93 (or just take 220).
Whoever mentioned Dayton Carr Rd to PR 19 over Dolly Sods - it is not viable in winter. Even in summer it is much slower (but pretty).
Going north 42/93/32 it is 47 miles.
However of you are going to bust that move perhaps think about 10 to 57 to 5 to 3 to 93 out of Moorefield. Sounds complex, but it is more or less the Corridor H proposed alignment I think and it isn't that hard (after the first time).
The northern route is on slower roads - and they may be even worse in bad weather.
(Distance is measured using Microsoft MapPoint measure distance tool - shameless plug but hey I am not a MS employee however that software is really super cool finally a MS product that doesn't let you down).
[This message has been edited by gatkinso (edited 02-13-2004).]
Yes! That's really meant to be an eastern access to the Sods and not a thoroughfare to CV. If too many people abuse the road by using it as a shortcut, the gravel road will get more rough (more pot holes and ruts).
> ...I would highly recommend the Dolly Sods route but never
> during winter. I have driven it in a SUV and a VW Bug and
> made it without damage to either although the ground
> clearance of the SUV made for an easier trip. The road
> is rough but reasonably well maintained and a stop at
> the river to swim and refresh is worth the bumps. And you
> may well see a black bear...
Yup, and ...
I haven't been on that particular road in a while, but aren't there gates across it near its two ends (ie, at Laneville just E of Red Creek, and a bit up the hill from Petersberg) that are usually closed from somewhere around mid-November until around mid-April?
In winter, I would strongly advise not to even try to go as far as the gates. The snow can drift to surprising depths up there. We once nearly got mired down in the snow in a high clearance 4wd as we were attempting to drive as far as the gate on similar road up the Sods. This was to be our starting point for a XC ski/snowshoe based winter camping trip on the Sods.
OTOH, with respect to use of this road during the summer, its no problem whatsoever. The vast majority of the cars up on the Sods then are not 4wd. I've even seen a couple of school buses up there. They just go slow to avoid being shaken to bits.
To the other tips, I would add: As you are coming west out of Petersberg on the road to Laneville, you will eventually "T" into another road. You need to make a LHT and go downhill at this intersection to continue to head west and south around the mountain towards Laneville and Canaan V.
OTOH, if you turn right (generally north) at this intersection, you will continue to gain elevation, and you will encounter what I consider to be the very best and most unique parts of the Sods. This north bound dirt road continues for quite a few miles along the very eastern edge of the platteau. At a place called Bear Rocks, it heads steeply back down the hill and intersects with Jordon Run Rd (N-S, paved). If you make a right onto Jordon Run Rd (ie, to the south), you can make a very nice loop trip as it brings you right back to the point you initially started to climb out of Petersberg.
Tom / PM
gatkinso--Not to question the all powerful Bill Gates, but the southern route is not 71 miles. From my house in Black Bear it is exactly 50 miles to the stop light and takes, almost always, 60 minutes. The northern route is 44 miles and takes no more than 50 minutes to the stop light. Not sure how MS is calculating 71 miles.
Adding a waypoint on 28 at Seneca Rocks (which forced it to ignore its preference for bigger roads) yields a more correct figure of 43.1 miles.