Otter Creek Trail

West Virginia

Otter Creek Trail Facts

States: West Virginia
Counties: Randolph, Tucker
Length: 11.8 miles
Trail end points: Condon Run Trailhead and Dry Fork Trailhead
Trail surfaces: Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017390
Trail activities: Horseback Riding, Walking

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Otter Creek Trail Description

The Monongahela National Forest’s Otter Creek Wilderness has many trails, mostly for hiking through the scenic landscape of rhododendron, timber and mosses. Biking is prohibited on the trails, but horses are allowed in some areas.

The Otter Creek Trail, the most popular, follows an abandoned logging railroad grade along Otter Creek between Condon Run and the Dry Fork River. The trail is the spine of the system, offering direct connections to seven other hiking trails in the Otter Creek Wilderness.

The rugged trail offers spectacular views and a moderate to challenging hike. You will find yourself following large rock outcrops and peering through trees at roaring waterfalls. There are a number of stream crossings along its path and, depending on the season, some are quite significant, with fast, rushing water. With the exception of a very long, suspended footbridge over the Dry Fork tributary of the Cheat River toward the end of the trail, there are no bridges to aid your stream crossings.

Like all of the trails in the Otter Creek Wilderness, attention has been given to keeping this trail very primitive. There are no signs or blazes. However, confusing sections are marked with stone cairns. This rail-trail is not for the faint of heart, but it is worth the hike if you are up for a challenge.

Horseback riders are urged not to use the segment of the Otter Creek Trail between the Moore Run Trail and Green Mountain Trail; the trail is narrow through here and the drop-off steep. Equestrian users should instead take the Possession Camp Trail to bridge the gap.

Parking and Trail Access

The Otter Creek Wilderness is located in the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District of the Monongahela National Forest in Tucker and Randolph counties. The gate on McGowan Mountain Road/Forest Road 324 at the boundary with the Fernow Experimental Forest is closed between April 15 and August 15.

To reach the Condon Run Trailhead, take Stuart Memorial Drive/FR 91 1.4 miles north of US 33/State Route 55; go right at the fork (FR 303). Trailhead parking is 0.6 mile away. The Dry Fork Trailhead is off Dry Fork Road/SR 72 southeast of Parsons.

Otter Creek Trail Reviews

Beautiful area, little tough going at start from lower end. Went about 3.5 miles up from swinging bridge. Flattens out after half mile or so and gets easier.

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