Loading...

Distance:
1.0 Mile / 1.6 km
Type:
Out-and-Back
Difficulty:
Easy
Time to Hike:
~30 minutes
Features:
Surface Type:
Dirt
Park:
Monongahela National Forest
Town:
Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia
Directions:
38.995291, -79.328687
Added:
July 16, 2018
Updated:
October 25, 2018

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

Explore 31 trails near Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV
  1. Parking

    38.995291, -79.328687
  2. Main Trailhead

    38.995558, -79.328486
  3. Campsite for 2 tents 0.14 miles in

    38.997258, -79.327744
    Campsite for 2 tents 0.14 miles in
  4. Deteriorating lookout tower next to campsite

    39.000197, -79.323364
    Deteriorating lookout tower next to campsite
Explore other trail routes for this hike, added by the MyHikes Community via Trip Reports.
No community routes found. To add your own route as a Community Route for this Trail guide, please leave a Trip Report with a GPX file on this Trail.

Hazards

Ticks - Lyme Disease More Info (CDC)

Seasons

Spring, Summer, Fall
Loading...
Loading...
107 '

Total Change
120 '

Ascent
120 '

Descent

Photo Albums

3 Trip Reports

No Star-Ratings
Write-up by:
Admin user profile picture
1.0 mile / 1.6 km
Trail added
July 16, 2018
Hiked on
July 14, 2018
Updated on
October 25, 2018
0.4 miles / 0.6 km
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 / 0.6 km
October 06, 2018
Camping Dogs Hiking

Weather Forecast

In Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV

Explore Hiking Trails

New Hikes

Cathedral Pines Trail
0.1 Miles
0.2 km
Easy
Out-and-Back
Congaree Boardwalk Loop
2.5 Miles
4 km
Easy
Loop
Jamestown Falls
0.5 Miles
0.8 km
Easy
Out-and-Back
Almond Lake Overlook
0.1 Miles
0.2 km
Easy
Out-and-Back

Before you leave...

MyHikes is an indie web platform aimed to make exploring public trails easier for everyone. The site has no investors and is owned and operated by one person, Dave Miller (Founder & Admin). As the Founder, main contributor, and doer-of-all-things for MyHikes, I share my trips with over-detailed write-ups for fun on a volunteer basis and I believe that public trail information should be available to everyone.

It takes a lot of time 🕦, money 💰, and effort (including espresso shots ☕) to run MyHikes, including hiking , mapping , writing , and publishing new trails with high-quality content... along with building new features, moderating, site maintainance, and app development for iOS and Android . I simply ask that if you find MyHikes' trail guides helpful to please consider becoming a Supporter to help keep the site, iOS, and Android apps available to everyone.

Supporters unlock website and in-app perks with a one-time payment of $25 (you renew) 😎👍. Or you can simply make a Donation of your choice without a MyHikes user account. Otherwise, telling your friends about MyHikes is the next-best thing - both quick and free 🎉

Thanks for visiting MyHikes and have a great hike!️

Admin user profile picture

Dave Miller
MyHikes Founder & Admin