Concept

Dolly Sods Wilderness

Summary
The Dolly Sods Wilderness – originally simply Dolly Sods – is a U.S. Wilderness Area in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, US, and is part of the Monongahela National Forest (MNF) of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Dolly Sods is a rocky, high-altitude plateau with sweeping vistas and lifeforms normally found much farther north in Canada. To the north, the distinctive landscape of "the Sods" is characterized by stunted ("flagged") trees, wind-carved boulders, heath barrens, grassy meadows created in the last century by logging and fires, and sphagnum bogs that are much older. To the south, a dense cove forest occupies the branched canyon excavated by the North Fork of Red Creek. The name derives from an 18th-century German homesteading family – the Dahles – and a local term for an open mountaintop meadow – a "sods". Dolly Sods is the highest plateau east of the Mississippi River with altitudes ranging from 2,644 ft. (806 m) at the outlet of Red Creek to 4,123 ft. (1,257 m) at the top of the eastern edge mountain ridge on the Allegheny Front. Much of the high plateau section lies at nearly 4,000 ft.(1,220 m) elevation. Prominent summits within the Wilderness are Coal Knob (), Breathed Mountain (), and Blackbird Knob (). The highest point in the immediate area (just outside the Dolly Sods Wilderness area in the Roaring Plains West Wilderness) is Mount Porte Crayon (). The summit area around Mount Porte Crayon is the largest flat-topped plateau in Eastern North America containing 5.5 square miles (14.2 square kilometers) above 4,500 ft. (1,372 m) elevation. Dolly Sods is on a ridge crest that forms part of the Eastern Continental Divide. Most of its area is drained by the North Fork of Red Creek, which is a tributary of the Dry Fork River. Via the Dry Fork, Black Fork, Cheat, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, it is part of the Mississippi River watershed. South of Forest Service Route 19 is the adjoining Red Creek–Flatrock–Roaring Plains area, which is drained by the South Fork of Red Creek.
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