Bear Rocks Preserve
While I was in West Virginia shooting waterfalls and sunsets in Blackwater Falls State Park, I heard about Bear Rocks Preserve. I was told it was a great location to shoot a sunrise. So, I did some Internet research and sure enough, the location looked like it was close and would make a great location for a sunrise shot.
Bear Rocks is a body of land owned by The Nature Conservancy. It lies high above Canaan Valley, in the Dolly Sods wilderness area. Looking at a map, Bear Rocks appears to be close to Blackwater Falls State Park. However, we found it surprisingly difficult to get there and very slow going. The road to Bear Rocks is treacherous, including miles of single lane roads in remote forest and miles of unpaved, dirt roads on a high plateau. Once you arrive at Bear Rocks, there are no amenities and no marked trails. Bear Rocks is true wilderness.
Visiting Bear Rocks was a real adventure for someone like me, who lives in a city. Fortunately, my car has all-wheel drive. My wife and I made two trips. We made the first trip in the afternoon to scout out the location and see what we were in for. The second trip, we drove before dawn, in the dark, so that we would arrive before daybreak.
Bear Rocks is surrounded by beautiful, red blueberry bushes. Unfortunately, thick cloud-cover made for dull, diffused lighting, which doesn't work well for shooting vegetation. So, while I didn't get any great shots of the blueberry bushes, I did get some nice sunrise shots. The cloud-cover left a small gap on the horizon, just large enough to let through a bit of sunlight.
It was a fun trip. We really enjoyed visiting Blackwater Falls and Bear Rocks. I hope to return some day.
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