Some of the best vistas in the mid-Atlantic. The new Strickler Knob trail is a challenging rock hopping/scramble that has beautiful views of New Market Gap, the Luray Valley, and a 360 degree picture perfect panorama from the Strickler Knob summit. A nice hike with a great little rock scramble on the ridge.
The Strickler Knob hike is now one of our favorites. The rock scramble on the last 0.2 miles of the Strickler Knob trail is just as much fun as Old Rag and Duncan Knob, requiring several 12ft climbs over and between the cracks of the boulders. You can also shorten the hike by two miles and park at the Scothorn Gap trailhead on Crisman Hollow Rd/VA211.
Note: The Strickler Knob trail is not a maintained or official trail, and is considered a bushwack. This hike is not suitable for young children or dogs.
From the Massanutten trailhead on Crimson Hollow Rd/VA211 start east towards Waterfall Mountain on the orange blazed Massanutten trail, immediately passing a campsite on the left. In 0.2 miles there is a vista of the Luray Valley. Continue for 0.3 miles at which point the trail turns steeply downhill. Make several switchbacks, then the trail becomes less steep before reaching the intersection of the white blazed Massanutten Connector trail in 0.6 miles from the ridge.
Turn left on the orange blazed Massanutten trail as it begins to climb alongside Big Run, passing a campsite in 0.1 miles. Cross the run where the trail becomes steeper, then re-cross the run, make one large switchback, then level out and arrive at the intersection of the yellow blazed Scothorn Gap trail 2.0 miles from the last intersection.
Now the fun starts. Firstly, thank you to the trail builders! This used to be a formidable bushwhack. The Strickler Knob trail was marked with both pink and red blazes on the rocks, but they have been removed. The trail will also appear to end in a couple of places, but keep heading along the ridge, and you'll pick the trail back up. You'll know when you get to Strickler Knob :)
The main summit is accessed through a rock crack on the left. Continue for another 30ft to the southern summit overlook. A hiker has left a trail journal in a waterproof bag here, add you thoughts! Climbing to the main summit provides a 360 degree view of the Luray Valley and New Market Gap.
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Reviews For The Strickler Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
Overall, a great hike, although we had some difficulty keeping on the trail. In particular, after getting through the 3 boulders, we weren't able to find where the trail picked up and so weren't able to reach the summit. Very pretty hike, although for those (like myself and my companion) a little less familiar with hiking, I'd suggest going carefully when looking for the pink trail (we passed by it the first time). After finding it and, until the three boulders, I thought that the pink trail was better marked than expected. Even though we didn't reach the peak, we saw some very pretty views.
I'd say it was a difficult hike, but more in terms of keeping on the trail than the hike itself (although the hill coming back is killer)!
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 05, 2013
I did this in conjunction with Duncan Knob, reviewed separately. My approach was via the Scothorn Gap Trail, which is considerably shorter than the described route. I found the path to Strickler Knob from the Massanutten Trail (which the Scothorn Trail runs into) easy to find. There is is a small red disk on a tree at the beginning of the route but you can also very clearly see reddish blazes on the the trees and rocks leading almost all the way to the summit. Although these were ostensibly removed by park rangers, and do look like someone tried to erase them at some point, they are still clearly visible. There is also a definite path cut through the brush almost the whole way which is impossible to miss. I say almost the whole way in both instances because I did not make it the whole way. The reason? I encountered a timber rattlesnake just off the trail not far from the end. This is the first one I have encountered in 35 years of hiking in the area. I could have bushwacked around it but was afraid I might not see it in time on the way back so I turned around and left the summit rocks for another day. Maybe I was being overly cautious but you never know.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Hiked this one for the third....fourth? time. To whomever decorated the woods with bright orange duct tape your efforts are neither needed or appreciated. Leave the construction cones for the beltway, and keep the woods natural. If you cannot see the red / pink trail markers that already exist, you should not be on the trail anyway. I have contacted the park service and they will be removed asap.
Other than that, it was a solitary and enjoyable hike! The wildfire came up the the trail, so it's a contrast of blackenend forest on the one side and lush greenery on the other.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Mel - the orange markers could have been left there by scientists who are studying something where they need to be able to go back to certain locations.
Date of Hike: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Great hike. A lot of people will probably be curious as to how it compares to Old Rag.
Difficulty: More. if you start at the Massanutten Trail Head and return the same way. Scothorn parking would make this much easier than Old Rag. The Massanutten parking spot is very difficult because you have to end your hike up hill, regardless of which way you return (road or trail).
View: Better. The view at the summit is awesome. You can view in all directions and see mountains both East and West. You get a great view of the valley and Luray.
Solitude: Much better. Old Rag is ridden with groups of people who don't know how to rock scramble. Especially on a Saturday afternoon. Goodness! Not this hike.
Rock Scrambling: worse/different. If you get an opportunity to scramble around old rag without any people around, then that would definitely be more enjoyable. If there were more treacherous drops on Strickler Knob, then it would be the obvious choice. The rock types are considerably different. Strickler has edgy, step like rocks and Old Rag has round boulders. They are both totally enjoyable and I recommend Strickler's for people who like to scramble for the sake of scrambling.
Trails: better. The Massanutten trail is more secluded, forestry and near a small running river most of the way. Once you are on Scothorn's trail, it's more or less a fire road. It's also has a good amount of loose, small rocks. Right now, there's a lot of burned area on the side of the trail. They are easier to walk than Old Rag, but, due to the uphill battle at the end, these can be much more difficult. If you want the scramble and views without the thigh pain, just stick with Scothorn's trail up and back. Also, it's more fun to have to keep an eye out for changing markers. Don't worry, you won't get lost (print the map, though). It adds an extra dimension of outdoor fun.