Strickler Knob Hike; Massanutten Mountain Va
Mileage: about 5.9 miles from the Scothorn Gap Trail Head
Hike time: 5 hrs with 3 kids (9,5,3 in the backpack) and 1 adult, 2.5 hrs of actual hike time
Total Rise: 1014 ft THE All FIRE TOWER PAGE
Significance: Big rock scrambles and superior views.
Here is some of what you need to know. This (the Scothorn trail head) is the shorter route for this hike; if you want to add 2 miles and some views to your day look for the Massanutten trail head which you will pass on your drive to the Scothorn trail head. My kids loved this trail with all the little rock scrambles, the only part that worried me was with the Knob itself, it was potentially dangerous and I had to keep the kids close.
1. Scroll the mouse over the altitude line to see where it lines up on the map
2. Click on the flags for more information
3. Click on the pictures to make them large
One of the reasons the kids loved the trail was because the up hill part was not a killer. Their were steep parts but they were not prolonged. The first 2.3 miles were almost without any obstacles. After some of our more recent hike this was a gift.
Their were 3 land marks on the way to the Knob that are worth mentioning.
1. The campsite @ 1.3 miles. When I say campsite, I mean it is big enough that the entire 101st Airborn division could camp here (not really but you cannot miss it). This is a large open field with a fire ring. Behind the fire ring is an orange arrow, follow it. It is important because here the trail splits, you want to go Straight not left. Follow the orange arrow.
2. The 4 way intersection @ 1.6 miles. This is where you would end up if you took the Massanutten trail head. To get to the Knob take the Gap Creek Trail.
3.The rock pile, about 2.3 miles. Just before the top of the mountain on the right hand side we came across this rock pile and almost walked past it. You want to make a right into the rock pile. You will now see red blazes and are on your way to the Knob. If you get to the top of the mountain and start going left then you have gone too far. The problem is that this part is not an official trail, so it is left unmarked.
It is just under a mile from the small pile of rocks to the large pile of rocks at the end. The trail is rocky but relatively flat. This part of the hike along the top of the mountain you will come across about 5 vistas on the way to the end.
My kids love climbing on rocks and their are plenty of them on this hike. It seems their is something for all skill levels. Don’t let the thought of rocks discourage you from coming, the rocky part of the trail is not that bad and none of the rock scrambles are mandatory. The knob at the end is the most difficult, but you can get a view without climbing to the top.
As we walked along the ridge I kept wondering if we were at the knob, or maybe we had passed it, but when we got there we knew it. It was incredible, these three giant rocks sticking up out of the ground towering over head, they were as impressive as the view of the valley below. From the tops of these rocks you are permitted 360 degrees of viewing pleasure. The pan at the top of the page is what you will see.
We spent a lot of hours driving to get there, and everyone in the car agreed it was worth it. We had a sunny 55 degree day in December, a trail that was a joy to hike, and then vista after vista leading up to a grand finale. We loved Virginia and hope to be back soon.