Overlooking Old Rag Mountain, the Robertson Mountain hike has one of the steepest trails in the central section of the Shenandoah National Park, with an elevation gain on the Robertson Mountain Trail of 1,700 feet in just over 1.5 miles. Directly to the west of Old Rag you have excellent views of the mountain, while avoiding all the crowds that flock there. Two sections of this circuit take advantage of fire roads which some may find boring, but after the tough climb up Robertson Mountain it can be a nice reprieve.
From the parking area, pass the closed gate hiking up the yellow blazed Berry Hollow Fire Road for 0.8 miles. Here you reach the intersection of the Old Rag Fire Road on the left, the Saddle Trail on the right, and Weakley Hollow Fire Road that continues straight.
Continue straight on the yellow blazed Weakley Hollow Fire Road (concrete post points towards Old Rag Parking Area) for 1.2 miles and arrive at the Robertson Mountain Trail.
Continue down the other side of Robertson Mountain on the Robertson Mountain Trail where it ends at the junction of the Old Rag Fire Road in another 0.6 miles.
Turn left downhill on the yellow blazed Old Rag Fire Road as it descends for 2.2 miles back to the intersection with the Berry Hollow Fire Road.
Turn right on the Berry Hollow Fire Road for the remaining 0.8 miles back to the parking area.
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Reviews For The Robertson Mountain Hike (5 Most Recent)
I would say the Robertson Mountain trail was the only real trail part, and it was definitely challenging! Out of the 6.8 miles it says the hike was, only 2.1 was actually a "trail." The rest was just fire roads and I think that is just way too much (~5 miles). I will try the All Trails route next time, as that does the loop north with Corbin Hollow Trail.
I also wish I read a few more reviews, because we didnít realize how un-obvious the trail to the peak would be. There are many times you think you are at the top, and then it curves again. I would say the only thing that made us stop is that this last curve (marked with a blue blaze) was down the hill a little - so we took the unmarked trail to the left and around the corner saw another blue blaze - and there it was.
Date of Hike: Thursday, March 31, 2016
Like previous poster Alan, I'm embarrassed to say that my boyfriend & I started hiking this thinking it was Old Rag. We should have looked at the map at the upper level parking lot. With that, this hike was pretty intense for me. I'm 38, heavyset & work out 4 times a week but would not consider myself in shape. After making many stops on the ascent, I did make it up. And again like Alan, not realizing we were not on Old Rag (although I started wondering where the rock scramble & all the other people were) we made the walk down without even checking out the summit view. All in all, I'm glad I did this hike.
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Nice views and great workout on Robertson mountain trail, though the fire road isn't that interesting. We somehow messed up on the driving gps and just started in the main lower Old Rag parking lot on 600. We also logged over 10 miles from the main parking lot in about 4 hours.
Date of Hike: Sunday, August 23, 2015
Lovely challenging day when done with Old Rag. Have now done it three ways, but up old rag and down to the start of the steep ascent on Robertson, and descent of Corbin Hollow is probably the best. Up Robertson and then Old Rag puts you on the Old Rag Ridge a bit exhausted, with long waits at the bottlenecks - at least on Sundays!
Date of Hike: Saturday, August 15, 2015
My partner and I used this as a training hike to prepare for an up-coming adventure. We've hiked Old Rag a couple of times and we were looking for an alternative rigorous and slightly longer trail. We began from the lower Old Rag parking lot on Nethers Rd, climbed up Weakley Hollow Fire Road to Robertson Mountain Trail to the Old Rag Fire Road to Corbin Mountain Trail to Nicholson Hollow Trail back to the parking lot. Overall distance was 11-12 miles and took 7 hours, including about 30 minutes for breaks and time at the summit of Robertson. The route we took was perfect for us--the ascent of Robertson was intense (great!), but once we reached the summit (about 2.5 hours from start) the rest of the trek was mostly flat or downhill (the Old Rag Fire Road section was uphill but quite moderate).
Likes: NOBODY on the trail! We met a solo hiker and one party of three on Robertson, no one on Corbin Mountain! Great view from the summit of Robertson lovely trail on Corbin (we passed through a section we dubbed "the shire"), and Nicholson follows the Hughes River (beautiful)
Dislikes: With no one on Corbin we encountered spider webs every few feet (a bit frustrating). Please, go hike this trail! We plan to go again a couple more times this fall, so keep the spiders off!