Plains Circuit

Laneville, West Virginia

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1 Review
3 out of 5
This hike climbs steeply up the side of Mt. Porte Crayon to Roaring Plains, with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside and north into Dolly Sods Wilderness. The descent back to Red Creek is steeper than the climb up but a little shorter. Just south of Dolly Sods Wilderness is the equally scenic Flatrock and Roaring Plains. The area is very similar to the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Northern hardwood forests at lower elevations give way to heath barrens and mountain plains at higher elevations. However, the Flatrock and Roaring Plains are more thickly vegetated than their counterparts in Dolly Sods. Most of the trail through the plains is so thickly bordered by rhododendron and laurel that bushwhacking is out of the question. The hike is noticeably quiet. Often the only audible sounds are your footsteps and the wind. The hike is also noticeably lonely. It seems that the droves of hikers that descend on Dolly Sods completely ignore Flatrock and Roaring Plains. Special attractions: Cascading streams, spruce forests, rhododendron and laurel jungles on wonderfully quiet plains.
Hiking West Virginia

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking West Virginia

by Steven Carroll and Mark Miller (Falcon Guides)

This hike climbs steeply up the side of Mt. Porte Crayon to Roaring Plains, with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside and north into Dolly Sods Wilderness. The descent back to Red Creek is steeper than the climb up but a little shorter. Just south of Dolly Sods Wilderness is the equally scenic Flatrock and Roaring Plains. The area is very similar to the Dolly Sods Wilderness. Northern hardwood forests at lower elevations give way to heath barrens and mountain plains at higher elevations.

However, the Flatrock and Roaring Plains are more thickly vegetated than their counterparts in Dolly Sods. Most of the trail through the plains is so thickly bordered by rhododendron and laurel that bushwhacking is out of the question. The hike is noticeably quiet. Often the only audible sounds are your footsteps and the wind. The hike is also noticeably lonely. It seems that the droves of hikers that descend on Dolly Sods completely ignore Flatrock and Roaring Plains. Special attractions: Cascading streams, spruce forests, rhododendron and laurel jungles on wonderfully quiet plains.

©  Steven Carroll and Mark Miller/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Laneville
Distance: 14.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 2,500 feet
Top Elevation: 4,600 feet
Local Contacts: Flatrock and Roaring Plains Backcountry
Local Maps: USGS Harman, Hopeville, Laneville, Onega
Driving Directions: Directions to Plains Circuit

Recent Trail Reviews

9/5/2009
0

I think the term, "will make a fit hiker sweat in the dead of winter" sums up this hike the best. This hike is very difficult. You need to be in tip top shape to go up the 2000 feet, which occurs under a mile, and the rock hopping throughout the upper plains. Of course these plains are not like the midwestern plains with grass. These are plains filled with trees and spiky foliage and rocks; lots of rocks. However, the reward of the views almost outbalance the pain of the hike... almost.



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