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High Rock/Shockeys Knob - Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
7.0 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
4.5 hours with 1/2 for lunch
1,010 ft
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Turn right off the gravel Historic Packhorse Trail road onto a forestry road. Continue 0.1 miles to the parking area and closed red gate. 39.39073, -78.20875

The Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia has a robust trail system. This 7 mile circuit passes several highlights of the area, including the High Rock Overlook eastward towards Virginia, as well as a beautiful view to the west from the Tuscarora Trail of Morgan County WV. There are no views from tree covered Shockeys Knob, however it does have one of the best shelters around with a spring close by. The hike also makes for a great backpacking weekend by camping at the shelter.

If you're looking for a shorter hike, the out and back to High Rock Overlook using the white blazed High Rock Trail is a great option. That route is a total of 4.9 miles and 690 feet of elevation gain.

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Hiker Reviews For The High Rock/Shockeys Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the High Rock/Shockeys Knob hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 03, 2018
Hello- my girlfriend and I hiked this from 3/3/18-3/4/18. She is not an experienced backpacker so it was a bit of a testing operation. It is generally a very nice hike, but the major ascent in the beginning is very steep! There are few switchbacks, so just be aware.

Also, the directions could be more clear upon arriving on the ridgeline by High Rock. It may be more clear in the spring/summer months, but it was difficult to locate the Tuscarora trail there are a couple of potential old fire/logging roads that lead to no where. We ended up hiking/bushwacking on the western side of the rock ridge for a while and then climbed over in a gap in the rock formation thus finding the Tuscarora (blue blaze) about 75 yards down on the eastern side. It ended up not being a big deal, but if we had a problem, others may too.

We spent the night at the Shockeys knob shelter. The shelter it self was great clean new and well maintained. The issue we had was identifying where the spring was. The sign on the shelter and in the directions here state that the spring is just above the shelter. IT IS NOT!!!! NOR IS IT CLEARLY IDENTIFIED OR MARKED. A very nice backpacker drew a map, to the best of his ability, which we followed. it was pretty difficult to find. The Logbook in the shelter indicated that pretty much everyone had an issue with its location. Just be aware- the directions to water here are incorrect.

The rest was a quick trek down to the parking area.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 15, 2017
Four of us enjoyed this hike. Saw more Stick Bugs than people. Three Stick Bugs (our last Stick Bug sighting  was in ca 2012 along the Sky Line Drive). Only two hikers. One Small Salamander. Small fish in Little Bush Creek.  Always good to see living things in the streams. Not always the case.

The trail is well blazed which is good because as the leaves fall, some of the trails might not be so easy to follow.

One hiker in our group has a knee that objects to steep descents that slowed the hiking speed. No trouble going up. In our case, hiking it in a clockwise direction rather than counter clockwise would most likely have worked out better.

Take a road map along to help identify landmarks from the overlook. We were not quite sure what we were looking at from the overlook.

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, October 02, 2017
A review below from May 2017 expresses concern about nearby shooting range activity. Let me comment on that first, then I'll get to the review of the rest of the hike. I heard shooting range (or informal target practice) activity from two separate locations. (I call it shooting range activity as it was prolonged -- for hours, intermittently. Unlike hunting. I know shooting ranges and I know the sound.) One source was audible on most of the hike. It was distant and muted, and not too concerning. I think this is what the reviewer calls the Peacemaker shooting range in Gerrardstown, WV (according to the post office) or Glengary, WV (according to the range). It features a 1,000 yard range. By my reckoning, it is roughly two miles from the closest point of the hike and not a safety concern. Much more concerning is the VERY close target practice activity I heard along the yellow-blazed Millrace Trail, peaking in intensity where the trail crosses the Little Brush Creek. The park boundary is about 300 feet away there, as is the state line with Virginia. On the trail, you are down low a bit from the boundary, which provides some reassurance, but not a lot. I ultimately felt safe enough to proceed, but it was quite disturbing and disconcerting (i.e., LOUD), and certainly not enjoyable. I would never bring my family there. I have a feeling this close shooting activity is backyard informal stuff -- there doesn't seem anything that would keep someone from entering the park to shoot at some other targets. The rest of the hike was enjoyable. Climbing on High Rock is fun with a great view, but be careful. You are on a fin of rock and it is a long drop on either side. The other overlooks on the Tuscarora Trail are nice. The trails were generally well blazed. At several locations trees had fallen with their crowns blocking the trail and taking some exploring on the other side of the crown to find the trail again. Where I didn't see blazes I saw orange ribbons in the trees. I became disoriented on the short white-blazed section around the Shockeys Knob shelter, and relied on my GPS device to get back on track. The description says the trail is "just uphill" from the shelter but I never found it, even following a sign with an arrow. Way uphill from the shelter is a long and low outcropping of rock where I saw some stones arranged as in a basin form, that you might see at a spring. It had not rained for two weeks when I hiked so maybe the spring was dry. Maybe I overlooked the spring, but I would not rely on it for water. Returning to my car, dozens of mosquitos came out of nowhere to swarm around my head -- really weird. They didn't bother my on the trail but you might bring some insect repellent or netting just in case.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 30, 2017
Great hike! The description and pictures above were very helpful. Most of the white and yellow blazed sections looked to have been recently maintenanced as the path was well marked! Great job by someone! The loop is a good hike for anytime of year, but late fall/winter may be best to see all of the great views. I'm only surprised this trail is not more widely known. I plan to explore more of this area for hiking opportunities.

By: Paul Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 07, 2017
This is a good loop. Light traffic, nice view. However there are 2 significant jeep trail sections that get tall grass in the summer. And lots of ticks. The real problem lies in the Peacemaker long distance shooting range situated literally right beside the millrace trail. When the range is open, there is significant shooting and it is VERY VERY LOUD. I'm not an anti gun guy but it is a deal breaker for me. I called the DNR to ask if it was safe. They claim it is. I'm not convinced.

Early July
Drone Video - High Rock Overlook
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