Dolly Sods Wilderness & Scenic Area :
One Day Trip of 2005 Oct 9

     Dolly Sods is an area of high elevation wind swept plains in West Virginia on the Allegheny Plateau. The area is well known for its extensive rocky plains, upland bogs, and sweeping vistas. With the elevations in this part of West Virginia ranging from 2,600 feet to over 4,000 feet ( 800 meters -- 1300 meters ), the climate and plant life resembles northern Canada. It is a unique 'island' of wild country surrounded by Appalachian hardwood forests. Unusual plant communities are one of the attractions of the Sods.


     Sphagnum bogs, groves of wind-stunted, one-sided red spruce and twisted yellow birch, heath barrens, grassy sods, rhododendron and laurel thickets, and rocky barren plains invite exploration and provide an endless variety of vistas. The highest areas are covered with heath barrens, where azaleas, mountain laurel, rhododendron and blueberries seldom grow taller than chest high. These plants provide a fantastic floral display from May through July. Cranberries and the insect-eating sundew plant flourish in the bogs of floating sphagnum moss found in shallow depressions. Northern hardwood forests and laurel thickets are found at lower, more sheltered locations while boulder fields are common on the high elevation plains and near the Allegheny Front.
     The Allegheny Front is the eastern continental divide. Water flowing west drains into the Ohio River, Mississippi River and finally ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. Water flowing east drains into the Potomac River then into the Chesapeake Bay. This "Front" forms the eastern edge of the Allegheny Plateau and greatly affects weather patterns in the area. Most precipitation falls west of the Allegheny Front while the east side is in the rain shadow and receives relatively little precipitation.

This site is an author project
Here is the links to formal Dolly Sods sites :
Monongahela National Forest
Dolly Sods Wilderness & Scenic Area

Dolly Sods Images :

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