From my research it appears that this red salamander is found throughout the Eastern United States. It lives near springs and swampy areas. This little delight was in the middle of our hiking path (a utility road) just above the the Blackwater River and I was amazed when I really saw it. It was like a lovely jewel that someone had dropped on the path.
There was a small ditch filled with water from several mountain springs on the uphill side of the trail and that side was also covered with deep green and lime green mosses and ferns growing lushly to accompany the lyrical sound of the gurgling water. He was only 2.5 inches in length and initially I mistook him for one of the new maple leaves that were starting to fall in the Canaan Valley mountains. It was the alert observation of my husband that brought our hike to an abrupt halt for photos and insured we would not step on him/her. He lay very still much like some of the wild snakes I have encountered. I am sure he was thinking "I am a red leaf. Move on. Please, just move on!" which after a few camera clicks, we did. This red color has not been enhanced or photoshopped although I did do some sharpening of the photo. Amasingly, this is the true color. I think he/she is a young specimen as the spots are supposed to blend into the back when they are mature. (Click on photo for a slightly closer look.)
Even though I am not here I look forward to any comments on this when I return. I love comments!