Otter Creek Trail - Otter Creek Wilderness

Elkins, West Virginia 26241

Otter Creek Trail - Otter Creek Wilderness

Otter Creek Trail - Otter Creek Wilderness Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Otter Creek is classic Mon wilderness. The namesake creek is the heart of this 20,000-acre area. It’s all about the creek, which is a perfect destination on a hot summer day. Nearly 50 miles of trails travel this area, making it possible to create day hikes and backpacking trips
of various lengths.

Stellar backcountry campsites dot the main trail along Otter Creek, which features waterfalls, chutes, and swimming holes galore. The creek is surrounded by mountains, spruce forests, high plateau bogs, laurel and rhododendron thickets, black bears and other wildlife, and quite a few creek crossings. Otter Creek is not for the faint of heart, but is for the adventurous water lover."

More Otter Creek Trail - Otter Creek Wilderness Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Five-Star Trails: West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest (Menasha Ridge Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"This loop explores the high and the low of the Otter Creek Wilderness. Trace Otter Creek from its headwaters as it cascades down the valley, gathering in pools, down to where it gets big enough for swimming holes. Then climb out of the valley to Mylius Gap atop Shavers Mountain. Make a solid climb to a high point on Shavers Mountain. Enjoy some views and ridgetop walking before returning to the Otter Creek valley via the Hedrick Camp Trail. There will be other hikers along Otter Creek, but after that you should relish solitude. This is a true wilderness hike. The trails are primitive, albeit well used, and trail junctions are marked with simple rock cairns rather than signs. Therefore, map reading and navigational skills will help. So will a GPS. Furthermore, once atop Shavers Mountain, old roads and private roads split from the main trail, creating potential confusion."

Otter Creek Trail - Otter Creek Wilderness Trip Reports

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We had a great trip! Our 10-year-old son was on the trip with us, and the difficulty was well within his abilities. The early part of the trail was muddy/rocky, in part because it follows an old stream bed. Once you cross Yellow Creek, the terrain becomes easier. The rhodedendron and hemlock were lovely throughout. Fording Otter Creek was great fun, and the cold water felt good on our bare feet. The climb up Shaver Mtn was pleasant with moderately steep going towards the end. Note that the trail has been re-routed relative to the map going up and down Shavers Mtn (fewer switchbacks than indicated). Rock cairn blazes helped a lot, so we only had a few moments of doubt. It was hard to find a good campsite on Shaver Mtn. The spot we used was fine but not ideal. We didn't see vistas from there as we expected. The Hedrick Camp Trail campsites looked great but were rather close to the end/parking area.
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We hiked the Lower Otter Creek trail and never made the loop up the Mt. It was a beautiful trek in and out, the river was very cold but the views were so outstanding we stayed riverside. I had my 12 yr old Boy Scout with me and he had no problem with the trail. We are going back in a few weeks to climb the Mt.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
Best in summer
Swimming, Camping
Additional Use
Potomac office of the Cheat- Potomac Ranger District, Monongahela National Forest, (304) 257-4488 or
Local Contacts
Otter Creek Wilderness map, available from the Potomac office of the Cheat- Potomac Ranger District; USGS quads: Bath Alum, Green Valley, Montrose, Parsons
Local Maps

Trail Log