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In West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the Dolly Sods Wilderness features sweeping vistas, spruce and aspen groves, beautiful meadows, beaver dams and rolling creeks. The area is also home to several intersecting trails, offering a selection of loop options for multi-day hikes of varying levels of difficulty.
The Big Stonecoal Trail begins in the north at a junction with the Blackbird Knob Trail and Breathed Mountain Trail, which head northeast and southeast, respectively. The Big Stonecoal Trail instead extends south on an old logging railroad corridor that serviced the once-bustling timber industry in this area.
The trail parallels Stonecoal Run for nearly its entire journey, crossing it three times before the stream empties into Red Creek. Just north of Breathed Mountain, gorgeous waterfalls await trail users. Here the aptly named Rocky Point Trail bears east, offering some lovely views of the canyon. Continue downhill on the Big Stonecoal Trail to reach its southern end at the Red Creek Trail along the larger waterway.
To reach the Big Stonecoal Trail’s southern end from the Canaan Valley, follow State Route 32 south to Laneville Road/County Route 45. Turn left and follow Laneville Road, which turns into Forest Route 19, for 10 miles to the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Just after crossing the bridge and entering the area, you will notice plenty of parking available on the left. Trail users will need to take the Red Creek Trail approximately 1.5 miles to reach the Big Stonecoal Trail.
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