Bell Knob Lookout Tower Trail

1.0 Mile
Trail hiked by:
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Trail added on:
July 16, 2018
Updated on:
October 25, 2018

Camping Allowed

Dogs (leashed)


The Bell Knob Lookout Tower Trail at the Dolly Sods Scenic Area in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia is an easy 1 mile out-and-back hike to an old deteriorating lookout tower and various campsites.

This trail is probably better for camping than it is for any hopes of a scenic view, until the tower is restored. Despite the trail's name, the lookout tower is a metal-framed structure with rotting wooden stairs and a rotting wooden deck platform 30 feet off the ground. Climbing the tower is not recommended - there's no cell phone service for at least a 45+ minute drive from this location, so if something goes wrong, you're on your own.

Regardless of the lookout tower itself, the trail is lightly trafficked. You'll find a couple of campsites along the trail and then one large campsite next to the tower itself at the turnaround point.

Warning: Dolly Sods was used for military bombing training during WWII and there are still unexploded ordinances in the ground out in the wilderness. Most of these trails and the areas around them have been combed and searched, but not everything has been found. If you find any strange metal objects, especially bomb-shaped, do not tamper with them. Make a note of where you found it and alert the proper authorities. More information can be found at the wilderness trailheads.

Dolly Sods trail map PDF

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Spring, Summer, Fall

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38.995291, -79.328687

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107 '

Total Change
120 '

120 '

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Note: Waypoints always include the parking location and trailhead. Campsites, waterfalls, and other points of interest are included in the GPX only if shown on the map.
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3 Trip Reports

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1.0 mile
Trail added
July 16, 2018
Updated on
October 25, 2018
0.4 miles
October 06, 2018
Autumn at Dolly Sods is a nightmare. We arrived on a Friday night to camp and decided to camp here since no one knows about this spot. At 11PM we setup camp with no one else around us or in this trail's parking lot. In the morning we woke up to find two other cars in the parking lot with five tents setup in the lot at the trailhead. Do yourself a favor and go to Dolly Sods during the off-season unless you like endless groups of people.
Camping Dogs Hiking
0.4 miles
October 06, 2018
Camping Dogs Hiking

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In Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV

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