|The very tip of the summit supports a distinctly alpine environment|
It was a stifling day in the Shenandoah Valley so I knew that I needed to get up high. Two summits had caught my eye- Reddish Knob and Elliot Knob. I went with the latter because it was higher and the view seemed better but I would have really liked to have done both. Reddish Knob is also a 4,000 footer and is an excellent mountain biking trip. Another time I suppose.
My route was the pretty standard route up Elliot with an easy side trail up Hogback Mountain. Here is an excellent map, and here is the map of my route along with the optional bag-
|At the lower elevations, the forest is dense and there are a few waterfalls|
The trail has two major sections- a pleasant woods walk which passes by two small waterfalls and then a dirt road walk. (You cannot take a vehicle up the road). The waterfalls were not flowing this late in the summer but the area was a nice cool off! The trail climbs steadily but not too steeply. After roughly 2 miles, it pops out on the road. From here, the road walk is very steep.
What makes this hike appealing to both serious and casual hikers is the fire tower at the summit. Expansive views in every direction are possible from the fire tower. It had no "no trespassing" signs nor any indications that climbing it was not permitted.
|One can appreciate the "Ridge and Valley" title given to the area|
I retraced my steps exactly and didn't have any trouble finding the signs or the yellow blazes. The trail is generally well marked and maintained. As far as the waterfalls go, during times of heavier rain, they have potential to be pretty but today they were just trickles.
The whole hike took less than 5 hours. I later headed over to Apple Orchard Mountain for another Virginia classic.
Read. Plan. Get Out There!