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Otter Creek Trail (TR 131)

Difficult
 4.8 (4)

This is a lush, deciduous 11.8-mile trail of waterfalls and wildlife with a constant companion, i.e. Otter Creek.


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.7

KM

99%

Runnable

3,051' 930 m

High

1,791' 546 m

Low

213' 65 m

Up

1,415' 431 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

8%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Fishing · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

This is a wilderness area, so federal rules apply: fs.usda.gov/recarea/mnf/rec….

Need to Know

There is parking and signs at both trailheads. The northern trailhead is Dry Fork off of Route 72. The southern trailhead is Condon Run off of Forest Road 91.

Description

For approximately the northern half, i.e. from Dry Fork Trailhead to the junction with Possession Camp Trail (TR 158) and Moores Run Trail (TR 138), Otter Creek Trail is relatively level with numerous crossings of small streams and several side creeks. The trail is not marked, but sufficiently worn as to be obvious. The leaf cover is near 100% in the summer.

There are two required crossings of Otter Creek which is up to 0.6 meters deep and 12 meters wide. Prepare to get wet, although it might be possible to stay dry crossing at low seasons with waterproof boots using the larger rocks. The vegetation is so lush you'll be in contact almost the entire time. There is a lot of dead fall so prepare to have to climb over or crawl under many trees. The rhododendron are abundant and gorgeous when in bloom.

There are many nice camping areas that are level and sheltered by Norway spruce with a few of note: 1) just east of the junction with Big Springs Gap Trail, 2) north and south of Moore's Run, and 3) near the junction with Possession Camp Trail (TR 158). There are numerous beautiful waterfalls and a few swimming holes in Otter Creek.

There is a cable suspension bridge over the Dry Fork of the Cheat River about 0.25 miles from the Dry Fork Trailhead, which provides a great view of the valley and Otter Creek. If you are in the area and have 20 minutes, this spot is worthy of your time.

Flora & Fauna

Eastern deciduous trees such as maple, oak, birch, and mountain laurel with Norway spruce. There is a lush understory of various plants dominated by ferns and rhododendron. There are deer, rodents, butterflies, and amphibians.

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Zianni with improvements by Joel Grey

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 4 votes

#6149

Overall
  4.8 from 4 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#57

in West Virginia

#6,149

Overall
40 Views Last Month
735 Since Jul 12, 2019
Difficult

0%
0%
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67%
33%

Photos

One of the many waterfalls to behold on Otter Creek. If you look closely, there is even the more numerous rhododendron in bloom.
Jul 20, 2019 near Parsons, WV
This is the Big Springs Gap Trail as it crosses Otter Creek. The crossing is about 15m wide and necessary to gain access to Otter Creek Trail.
Jul 12, 2019 near Parsons, WV
A brief visit from a beautiful local red admiral during a brief break.
Jul 20, 2019 near Parsons, WV
Feeling the natural sway of the bridge in a summer breeze and contemplating whether the rocks below or planks above are more slick.
Jul 20, 2019 near Parsons, WV

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