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Hiker Reviews for the Robertson Mountain Hike - 1 to 41 of 41   
Review the Robertson Mountain hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: O'Mals Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, December 21, 2016
This is a great hike. Easy approach on the fire road. Great views through the bare trees along the ascent. Excellent panorama at the summit. Took Corbin Hollow on the way back to mix things up. My only complaint is the $20 parking fee at the Old Rag parking lot, and that's really my own fault for not getting a pass! The hike might not be as popular as its neighbors, but fewer people make for a more enjoyable day.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 23, 2016
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 didn’t 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.

By: Baygirl Rating: 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.

By: sanjida Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Nice views and great workout on Robertson mountain trail, though the fire road isn't that interesting. The gps coordinates are wrong, this hike starts at the Old Rag parking lot. We somehow also logged over 10 miles following these directions from the main parking lot in about 4 hours.

By: sanjida Rating: 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.

By: Rating: 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!

By: Rating: 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!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 01, 2015
Being generally familiar with this area and how crowded the fire roads can get in the summer near Old Rag, we did a variation of this hike.  From the Old Rag parking area, we hit the Weakley Hollow Fire Road to Robertson Mountain Trail to Old Rag Fire Road to Corbin Mountain Trail to Nicholson Hollow Trail and then back to the parking area.  GPS indicated it was 8.61 miles, though it did have some connection data point/connection issues in two deeper forest canopy zones, so I'd estimate a bit over 9 miles would be more accurate.  It took us 6hrs, which included about an hour's worth of combined scenery/wildlife photography stops along the way.  We hit the trail at 0730.

The fire roads are both gradual to moderate inclines, but easy trekking in the shade of the woods.  Robertson Mountain Trail does not require any all-fours scrambling, but it is a very steep trail all of the way to the summit (the summit overlooking being a very short side trail that branches to the left at the top).  If you have kids along and/or you're not in reasonably good shape, avoid it.  Otherwise, go totally worth it!  The summit is much smaller and limited in view in the summer compared to Old Rag (which you can catch a glimpse off to the far left from the overlook), but it's worth the haul to see!  The hike down the other side to Old Rag Fire Road is not nearly as steep as how you got up there, and no portion of the circuit ahead will come anywhere close in difficulty level.  Corbin Mountain Trail varies nicely with a variety of forest surroundings/densities, though it was a little grassy in areas.  Once you hit the junction with Nicholson Hollow Trail you've got the Hughes River to accompany you all of the way back to the parking lot, which makes for some nice scenery and a soundtrack (if you like the sound of running water, of course).

We encountered ZERO ticks, three white-tailed deer, one timber rattlesnake (on the trail watch your step), and a ton of different butterflies, moths, arachnids, beetles, caterpillars, and other interesting arthropods along the way.  No harm caused by any of them.  The ascent to Robertson summit and the first half of Corbin Mountain Trails did have a fair abundance of spider/webs across the trail, but carrying a small stick made moving them easy enough.

We saw 6 people on Weakley Hollow Fire Road after passing the Ridge Trail to Old Rag, and had the misfortune of a group of about 15 hikers that caught up to us while we were enjoying the view on top of Robertson Mountain.  Fortunately, they were speed hikers and moved on ahead in a hurry and were never seen by us, again.  The only other people encountered were on the final half of Corbin Mountain Trail all 3 of them were lost, having thought they were heading along the Ridge Trail to Old Rag.  We donated a map to one and taught the others how to read their map and the trail head/intersection markers if you're not familiar with the area, the trails are well marked on the concrete pillars with the metal bands around the top.  The park maps are also pretty helpful and are free at the ranger stations.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 25, 2015

I decided to do a different variation of this hike, starting at the Old Rag parking lot at the end of 600 in Nethers because I wanted to do most of the hiking off of fire roads.  We went from 600 to Weakley Hollow Fire Road, then up Robertson Mt., down Old Rag Fire Road, across Corbin Mt. trail, before coming back down Nicholson Hollow trail.  Total distance 11.1 miles, with about 3400 feet of elevation gain.  Arrived at the parking lot by 830, and already it was filling up! I couldn't believe that some people were hiking without even a pack.  Left most of the crowds behind on the Robertson Mt. trail, and didn't really see anyone the rest of the day besides a couple on the summit.  I've hiked a lot of 4k footers in NH, and let me tell you that the hike up Robertson was not easy!  Well worth the view and the solitude though.  Corbin Mt. trail was gorgeous and relatively easy (a nice reprieve), although because it isn't hiked too often there were lots of spiderwebs to run into (like every ten feet, it was crazy).  Didn't see anyone on that trail at all, except for one bear cub (!) towards the beginning.  Overall, a great hike that I will do in the fall/winter again.  One of my favorites in the area so far.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, April 30, 2015
First hike of the season for us seniors so we chose this for the relative ease of fire road walking and a decent climb to a magnificent view. We opted to avoid the steepest part and went counter clockwise to the top and then retraced our steps for the return. The mileage was about the same. Beautiful day and a few wild flowers, large trees and an occasional squirrel and only one other couple of hikers. Climbing the backside of the mountain is a challenge but not heart stopping. We will be back!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, April 30, 2015
We did the hike clockwise to avoid the steep climb not counter clockwise as in my review.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 05, 2015
This was an interesting hike.  I did Robertson mountain as the middle leg of a grueling 26.7 mi. 3 summit day hike (starting at White Oak Canyon parking lot, hiking Old rag, Robertson Mountain, and Cedar Run/Hawksbill/White Oak Canyon).

The hike up Robertson as described is quite rigorous.  The little side trail to the summit isn't too hard to find and you'll quickly know that you missed it as you start to descend.  With no leaves on the trees, there is a rock outcropping that provides a decent, slightly obstructed view of Old Rag.  But, the real beauty of this hike is the solitude and the view to the West-SouthWest of Skyline drive and Hawksbill.  This was especially exciting for me knowing that I was headed there next.

I think I saw a pretty large bobcat scurrying down a tree on the Weakly Hollow fire road...it was either that or a small mountain lion...or the largest squirrel ever seen by man.  But, I only saw it about 50 yards away out of the corner of my eye coming down a tree right next to the trail and then bounding behind a little embankment and out of sight. 

Anyway, Robertson Mountain is a decent hike.  It was quite peaceful at the summit and there is something charming about the gnarled pine tree right at the summit.  If you want something fairly quick, but steep and physically taxing with some solitude at the top, it's a good bet if you are in the Old Rag area.

As for the 3 summit hike, it was a great challenge, but I don't know that I'll ever do that again.  Not the same route anyway.  Towards the end it was more of a chore than a joy and I was ready to be done.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 14, 2014
This is the second time I've done this hike and I decided to go clockwise. I actually think it was more difficult clockwise than the way the map above suggests, as the ascent is much longer. What a great workout. I also added another star to this because the views were absolutely beautiful with the trees bare. In summer you can see quite a bit but there's SO MANY people coming off Old Rag - there were way less "Old Raggers" to encounter this time (and actually, once you're on Robertson Mountain trail, there's maybe one or two other hikers). I'm looking forward to going back again this summer, maybe add on Old Rag? Now that would be a great workout!

By: Irene Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 19, 2014
The trail was definitely great! We arrived to the parking lot around 11:30AM, and we luckily parked in the very last spot. There is a pretty steady slight incline on the first fire road, but is barely noticeable. The work does not really start until you turn off onto the significantly steeper Robertson Mountain Trail. We foolishly kept thinking we were close to the summit because of the consistently great mini overlooks. But the work really pays off when you arrive at the summit (like the other reviewers mentioned, don't miss the left!), where there is a panoramic view of the mountains and plenty of room to spread out. You'll know it when you see it! We were at the summit for a significance period and did not see anyone else there. The only small downside to this hike is that a lot of it is on fire roads, but very scenic, lovely, and easy fireroads (much of the latter half of the hike is downhill fireroads). Additionally, the park ranger alerted us that they post rangers further along the trail to check for payment or the annual pass, and they would force you to walk back down the trail if you didn't have proof. Just a warning! We didn't run into anybody, but this may be more true for the Old Rag hikers.

By: aldikuma Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 24, 2014
Under threat of rain, my dog and I went on this hike anyway, looking for a great workout (and a great workout we received!). The Maps app on my iPhone took me to the small upper closed parking lot for Old Rag, passing many, many hikers along the way. Ugh! So if you're using Google Maps, plug in "Berry Hollow, Robertson, VA 22743". Maybe I'm the only one who had this trouble LOL.

The first part, up Berry Hollow Fire Road, is a slight incline and maybe one or two other hikers. But the minute you turn right onto the Weakley Hollow Fire Road, you join probably 40-50 other people coming off Old Rag. Since I had my dog with me, I got a few glares and comments from people that dogs are not allowed on this part… they are allowed - just not on Old Rag Ridge and Old Rag Saddles Trails. I was so glad to turn left onto the Robertson Mountain Trail!

The decent up Robertson Mountain was not crazy steep, but it was relentless. The views at the top are well worth it and as a previous hiker stated, don't miss the short trail up to the summit - it'll be off to your left at the top. It was so pretty with almost 360 views in August. I can't wait to see what it looks like in the fall and winter. When you're at the top, there's a flat, slanted rock to the right that you can scramble over to get to the views.

After you come off the summit and back onto the main trail, the trail hits a T-intersection and you'll want to go left (you'll see a blue blaze shortly after). The decent is quick to the Old Rag Fire Road and an easy downhill all the way back to the parking area. I finished this in 3.5 hours with a short break for lunch at the top. An excellent hike. I've never done Old Rag and honestly, I have no desire after seeing the crowds. Maybe on a Tuesday in February at 7am!

By: Frank Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 16, 2014
We hiked this after a big snow fall last winter -- broke the trail up and it was a killer. Just getting around to writing this up now (7/01/2014). The hike from the fire road to summit is steep enough but breaking knee-deep and higher snow really made the climb a chore. We've hiked this many times when Old Rag has been too crowded and it is a great alternative. You won't get the views but you'll get just as much exercise. With snow on the ground and no previous tracks the trail can be difficult to spot. there seem to be far fewer blue blazes on this trail than in others in SNP. Took some photos and hope they can get posted. There's a metal marker on the top of the very top rock.

By: Paul Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Pretty simple...Up then down... Not a very long hike but a steep one... Once at the summit, plenty of nice views. The directions do not mention the short trail to the summit. Don't skip this it is your payoff for the hard work on the ascent. Climb up the boulder for a panorama. A nice valley view and many of the Blue Ridge peaks you can see from Old Rag. Two fellow hikers joined me at the top and plenty at the Saddle Trail intersection. Otherwise solitude. Great views of Old Rag as you glide down the Fire Road. Parking lot was full as expected on such a nice November day.

By: MarshMudMan Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 27, 2013
I parked at the Old Rag parking lot and walked up the Weakley Hollow fire road before starting up Robertson Mountain. As promised, the hike up the mountain was steep. And long. And quiet. I didn't see anybody else on the ascent, or the descent. Instead of following the directions provided here, I turned right on the Old Rag fire road and took it uphill to the Corbin Mt. trail. Basically, from this point on I did most of the loop described on the Corbin Mt. hike page (but in reverse). Corbin Mt. trail to Indian Run Trail (much easier hiking down this trail than it would be going uphill!), past Corbin Cabin, and then down the Nicholson Hollow Trail back to the road and parking lot. This was a pretty enjoyable hike. After the challenge of ascending Robertson Mt., the rest of the hike was literally a walk in the woods. Not counting the initial walk up the road to the base of Robertson Mt. (a dozen or so Old Raggers and some overnight campers along Weakley Hollow road), I saw fewer than 10 hikers. The highlight of the day was seeing a black bear, which was running down toward the Hughes River (right toward me!) where I had just finished having lunch. It didn't see me until I noisily splashed to the other side of the river, after which it stopped, looked at me for a few moments, and disappeared back into the woods.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 28, 2013
This was a great hike, beautiful. The summit was awesome and the leaves were starting to change colors at the top of the mountain. I love the forest the new growth and vegetation. I actually like this hike better than Old Rag. Very few people! Yes, it was steep but not like "oh my gosh I'm going to die steep" lol. I hiked the steep part at 2 hours an hour, but I also hike a lot. Great camping spots at the summit.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 20, 2013
It was kind of a crummy day, but overall this was a pretty good hike. I didn't see any other people, which surprised me some, considering how busy the area usually is in the summertime. The steep uphill is a bear for sure, but I think I'd have rather gone up it than gone down it.

By: Julie Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 21, 2013
This was the steepest hike we have been on! Hiked Old Rag last year and others in between. Today we saw 1 person on Robertson. We started at 9:15 am from Old Rag parking lot, made it to the summit with LOTS of breaks for breathing, on the trip down my trusty hiking partner assured me we should do a loop. So we took the Old Rag fire road down to Weakly Hollow fire road where found the "interstate traffic" of Old Rag and we were never alone again. Funny enough we split from a group who went Old Rag in the beginning and my goodness, when we turned onto Weakley Hollow Fire road, there they were! Took us the same time. We were beat, but it was a great hike, total solitude, great views. Got to the lot at 3pm.

By: MattandSarah Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Wow, what a hike! I am not sure if it was the time of year we did it, or not, but we really enjoyed this hike. It was a cool 30 degrees when we reached the parking lot,  that was empty! We gathered our things and headed up the yellow blazed fire road, starting at 9:15 am. We read the reviews of this hike, stating it has great views of Old Rag, but never knew we could get to the Old Rag trail from here. We were pretty stoked to be that close to it. ( We have yet to conquer Old Rag for the fear of long lines and tons of people) After reaching the Saddle trail and going straight to head towards Robertson Mountain, it started snowing. The blue Robertson Mountain trial was no joke. It was steep, but had great views and was a great work out. The snow became deeper as we got further up the mountain. Really enjoyed doing this in the snow. We reached the first small overlook to the right and we stopped for lunch, froze our butts off with the huge looming clouds, gusty winds, and snow falling. After hiking up some more, we realized that we had not reached the summit. The rocks at the summit were slick with snow (and the fact that a group of people walked on the snow to make it turn to ice for us). The hike down was good, pretty gradual but slick again with ice/snow. The hike along the fire road was a nice reprieve from the steep Robertson Mountain trail. It was quick and easy walk out, ending at 3 pm. We only saw 5 people the whole day. No one on the Robertson trail. Definitely one of our favorites.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 09, 2012
This is only the second mountain I've had the pleasure of hiking and the first single-day I've ever done. My girlfriend, my friend, and I went from the Skyline Drive, down Old Rag Fire road (in the pouring rain due to some bravado on my own part), and into Corbin Hollow on the first night, which took all of an hour and a half, maybe two.

When we woke the next morning, we hiked up the last of the Corbin Hollow trail and crossed the creek to march the 20 yards up to the Robertson Mountain Trail. The initial push is really awesome and demanding. About 1/3 of the way up there is a great boulder face to rest on for lunch/pictures. Then it's just a hard, hard push the rest of the way.

This hike is demanding, but not awfully so, and the summit is beautiful and rewarding with three separate "glades" to rest and take pictures from. The third, which is to the right as you climb the last few feet to the summit, wound up being my favorite. It looked out to the North (I believe) of the park and was absolutely fantastic on a beautiful, very early Fall day.

By: Jedneck Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 01, 2011
Great hike away form the crowds of Old Rag.  We found the summit overlooks wonderful and not too difficult to find once you reach the summit.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 11, 2011
Well this was an adventure.  Robertson is one tough steep climb up a densely forested ridgeline, with fairly steep dropoffs on either side that would likely afford great views if there weren't so much vegetation.  It was way too hot for this hike today and I got pretty dehydrated but slogged it out to the summit.  About halfway up I saw a bear cub climbing a tree not 30 feet away.  Before I could draw a bead with my camera I realized its mother was real close by.  Talk about an adrenaline rush.  I didn't have so much as a good walking stick on me.  After backing down the trail a ways and letting a few tense moments pass by, I was able to finish the hike and make the summit.  Yea the hike down is all on fire roads and not that exciting but pleasant enough.   If you want to avoid the crowd on Old Rag this is a good alternative. 

By: William Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, February 18, 2011
Overall it was a nice hike, I brought the wife, dogs, and a daypack. We ate lunch on the summit and then went over to the rocks and soaked in the scenery. Spectacular view from the rocks! Other then the summit there weren't many views, I'd say mabe only 1 more, a gap in the trees on the way up. The hike up had a huge elevation change in a short distance, so expect to get very sweaty even in cold weather, once it finally plateaued it was smooth sailing for the rest of the hike.  

By: Mark Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 25, 2010
I hiked Robertson mountain with a friend on a longer loop of about 12 miles. We hiked down White Oak canyon and up Berry Hollow and Weakley Hollow fire roads to Robertson mountain and then back up to Skyline Dr on Old Rag fire Rd. It's a fantastic hike. Descending the steep White Oak canyon trail really works the quads and affords spectacular waterfall views. The hike back up Robertson mountain is one of the most challenging I've undertaken. Solitary and more pristine than the frequently hiked Old Rag. There is a very nice view of Old Rag about half-way up, and there is a near 360-degree view from the summit. There is a short summit spur trail to the left when the trail levels off that is not difficult to find. Just off this spur trail is a fantastic camping spot for anyone who carries sufficient water up the mountain. Very rewarding, and harder than Old Rag because it is steeper. I'd recommend this hike to anyone, but it may not be ideal for a beginner.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 29, 2010
I hiked up this trail with a group of friends and we actually were thinking that this was the old rag trail. Stupid me, I didn't have a map so we kept on going and going. We soon realize how tough it this trail was! This trail is definitely not for the novice hiker or anyone that is not in good condition. The ascent was steep and difficult. There were no signs or indicators on the summit, so we didn't realize that we had reached the summit until we were descending on the other side of the mountain. There also wasn't any signs when we got to the end of the trail on the old rag fire trail. We decided to go downhill on the old rag fire trail by instinct and luckily we hit the Weakley Hollow fire trail that took us back to the old rag parking lot. Despite getting lost, the worse part was that there was not much of any view at all. The trees obscure everything, so we didn't see anything and didn't even realize we were even at the summit when we got there. I certainly learned my lesson of not being prepared.

By: Ras Fred Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 22, 2010
This is the next door neighbor to the Old Rag mountain trail, but they are very different.
The Robertson Mountain trail is lightly traveled.
Old Rag provides beautiful views of the area year round, but this time of year the views on the Robertson Mountain trail were limited.
The Robertson Mountain Trail is much more primitive. It was also LOADED with Poison Ivy. On the other hand the Old Rag Fire Road which completes the loop is more gradual and better kept.
If you are looking for some solitude and a really aggressive climb, then this could be the trail for you. I posted some pictures from the climb at http://hikeva.blogspot.com/2010/05/robertson-mountain.html

By: Sam and Thunder Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 02, 2010

We took my wife along today and she would like to point out that's its very cold and windy.  Although with some short spikes the trails were pretty good.  Overall nice short hike and accessible when the Skyline Drive is closed.  Clear day and pretty good view of Old RAG.  Its a good work out to climb up, like the description says mostly fire roads.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 06, 2009

Robertson is one of my favorite hikes in the area - only 80 miles from DC, free from the crowds that swarm up Old Rag, and one of the steepest trails around.  I use it as a training hike, but it's also a beautiful trip.  The views are less-than-stellar, but the clearing at the summit and some rock scrambling are nice.  If you take the trail beside Robertson trail (both are about 1.5 miles out on the fire road, as measured from the Old Rag upper parking lot) it skirts the summit and goes past some old stone cabins.

If you hike to the summit and over the mountain you're on the fire road and have a long 4-5 mile trip back down to the Old Rag upper parking lot.  If you're trying to train and do multiple ascents, then just go back down the trail and climb back up it again (1.6 miles from fire road to summit, 1700 ft).

By: Mothers Day Hikers Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 10, 2009
we started at the parking lot past white oak falls lot. drive to the top of the hill until the paving ends. climbed with the kids and wife for mother's day. tough hike for a group that doesn't hike too much. you go downhill after you reach the intersection with Old Rag Trail. if you go to the left up the Robertson Mt. Road it is a much more steady climb until you reach to the blue trail head. if you follow the direction given and go to the right, you go downhill only to then have to gain the altitude back when you hit the blue trail head. tough going but not so tough you can't do it. the hardest part is keeping the kids going when it is difficult to see where you are going to crest the trail at the top. the views are good but seen better and as more leaves come out, the views will be limited. long downhill when you come off the back side of the mountain back to parking lot. took 5 hours.

By: ian Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 05, 2009

I have a love hate relationship with this mountain.  It's very buggy, the views aren't that great, but something about it makes me want to climb it.  My girlfriend and I climb it after Old Rag.  We hike the Old Rag circuit and then tie on to Robertson from the fireroad 1.3 miles from the Old Rag parking lot.  We then hike down Corbin mountain or Corbin Hollow depending on our mood.  It's a pretty steep trail, so it's a great way to build up some endurance.  I would not recomend this hike to someone if it's the only trail they are planning on doing that day there are too many other good ones near by.  However, it is an excellant way to tie on to other trails if you want some extra challenge and to knock out some additional miles. 

Also, we are thinking about hiking up to Nicholson Hollow trail using the route I described.  Has anyone done it, is it worth it, how many miles?


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, February 16, 2009

The only thing that bothered me about this hike was there wasn't a sign like Old Rag stating you reached the summit. I saw the pile of rocks in question but as cold was it was on this day and seeing snow on the ground, I didn't bother to attempt to get on these rocks.  I haven't hiked that many mountains, so maybe this is the normal thing.  For the most part I had the mountain to myself.  I ran across a few people on both fire roads, and two people and their dog on the summit after hanging out there for a little bit. 

I park at Berry Hollow which wasn't crowded at all, took the eight tenths of a mile walk to the path that goes up the non-rock scamble side of Old Rag, and then kept walking on the fire road which was flat until I saw the trailhead which was about a mile away to Robertson Mountain.  Right off the shoot, it is steep.  There are many good spots to take pictures of Old Rag.  That is a good berrier to see how high up are as the summit to Robertson Mountain is 5 feet higher than Old Rag.  The backside is only eight tenths of a mile and I must have walked that in 10 minutes tops.  The fire road though takes forever, and had I done that first, it would have been uphill.  I am glad I took the flat part first.  It took about 4 hours 25 minutes to walk it all, but it was worth it. 


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 08, 2009
Watch out!  the mapquest directions from this page to the starting point (parking lot) are wrong.  Some frustrated home owner -- on a very rugged road with a "private" sign on it, had written a plea for those trying to use the road to turn around.  We did but couldn't find the right parking lot and ended up at Old Rag Parking Lot.  So we did Robertson Mountain but from that lot -- which was just fine.  Dozens of people were going up Old Rag but we had Robertson to ourselves (and our dogs) -- a wonderful hike on a warm winter day. 

HikingUpward.com: Thanks for the note concerning the Google Driving directions. The Google driving directions program had changed to include private roads incorrectly marked as public. The driving directions on this page have been updated to include a waypoint so as not to include this section.

By: ckwhitman Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 23, 2008
This was a great hike.  I haven't hiked in over 8 months so this was a good one to get back in shape with.  There was lots of fog and it was a really cold hike.  The uphill climb after you turn off the main trail is no joke, I was huffing and puffing all the way up.  We were with more experienced hikers and the climb didn't slow them down too much.  Wear good boots because there were lots of potential ankle twisters on the climb up and down.

It was worth it one we got to the top and saw the view.  I recommend having lunch at the top and enjoying the view for 30 to 45 minutes.  Make sure to bring enough water (2L+) because you won't come across any water sources once you head up the mountain and won't see any until you are back.  We saw about 3 or 4 piles of bear scat so it may be a good idea to make sure you have a bell and pay attention to your surroundings.

By: jmgradon Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I did this hike on my 59th birthday.  Actually, I combined it with Old Rag, doing Old Rag first in the traditional way, but then continuing on the Old Rag Fire Road and coming up Robertson from the back.  This makes for a bit more sporting a hike than doing either Robertson or Old Rag on their own.  It took about five and a half hours, but I was pushing it pretty hard.  The top of Robertson Mountain is a wonderful spot.  There are some boulders to clamber up on and, particularly in winter, there are good views across to the main ridge and the valleys below.  I have always had it all to myself and I have done the Old Rag/Robertson circuit now about 6 or 7 times.  My guess is about 11 miles and 3,800 feet of ascent. 


By: Jiri Bouda Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 22, 2007
Nice hike, but the Fire Road is ... How to say it - I like small Footpaths than Higways. Be sure, way from west to east is much easier, but not so nice.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 17, 2006
Weather was great.  Mid to upper 50s, sunny.  We parked in the Berry Hollow lot.  We opted to follow the Old Rag Fire Road from the Berry Hollow Fire Road, after hearing about the steepness of the backside of the Roberston Mtn trail.  We were all feeling a bit slower this day.  The OR fire road was a bit boring but if you have any interest in the local history, this area was full of mountain families evicted by the Park Service in the 1930's.  There are a lot of old home sites on this route.  It is interesting to note most trees are not massive as in many other areas of SNP but rather moderately sized due to old farming.  There are some huge tulip poplars to be seen though.  According to a book I read on the Old Rag area, most of Robertson Mountain was farmed and covered in apple orchards.  It's sunny exposure provides a great place for apples, peaches, grapes.  The observant hiker will note evidence of these areas.  The heavy scrub affords food for assorted wildlife - we saw a huge buck, several pileated woodpeckers, a ruffed grouse and a variety of smaller birds.  Also, there is a moderate to significant amout of old fire damage on Robertson. 

For the photographer, there are some excellent, unobscured views of Old Rag from the OR fire road.  Nice places to take pictures for sure.

The summit of Robertson Mtn is nice...view of the surrounding valleys and mountains is good.  A nice place to eat your lunch.  We opted to return via the same route we came up.  The gravel road was very tough on the feet and knees, but it affords a more open view along the way.  Fire roads are bad and good in that regard.  I personally think they offer the chance to see more wildlife, as there is always something running across the road.  We found a lot of scat along the fire road from various animals, including bear and coyote.

All in all, I think I would do this hike again, after reviewing the book I read on Old Rag.  There is a ton of old history on Robertson Mtn so I recommend doing a bit of research to make the hike more meaningful.  When you think about the massive amount of labor involved in clearing a mountain of this size for farming, it suggests what kind of hardworking farmers the old mountain people were.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 23, 2006
First things first, I didn't park at the Berry Hollow Lot, I parked at the lower lot for Old Rag off of Rt 600 (Nethers Road?). It was a two mile hike to get to the trailhead. The first mile or there abouts was along Nethers Road to the upper parking area and the second mile was along the fire road. This was a good warm up but over all a poor experience. Although I will admit I knew this would be the case before I got out of bed this morning. Who likes hiking along fire roads? I digress... Once we started out on the trail, I got very excited for a few reasons. First the trail reminded me of the old Old Rag trail, before the switch backs were built. That is, it was narrow and quite nicely overgrown At some points it was like being in a tropical jungle, there were walls of green on either side. Second, it was evident that this was an underused, sparsely populated trail so we wouldn't be running into hoardes of hikers. After about 200 yards or less the trail started to climb. It is an awesome challegene, one that I wouldn't suggest if you are not fit. Think of the steepest climb on Old Rag (aside from where you scale rocks) and add 1.25 miles or so and that is what you have on the front side of this hike. Third, there were bear droppings all over the place. I don't recall ever seeing those on the Old Rag trail in 30+ years of hiking it. So after 15 minutes of hiking or so, you start to catch a view here and there of the surrounding countryside. They aren't great but they are better then nothing. You know when you are reaching the top when the trail starts to level out (level being a relative term) but be warned there is a section about midway up where the trail levels out for 100 yds. When you think you've reached the top look for a side trail on the left, follow it for 25 yds and you'll reach a grassy clearing. Look to the right and you will see another trail, follow it for 25 yds and you will come to a rocky clearing, like the top of Old Rag. The views are good, about 180 degrees worth. The hike down was a huge disappointment (my fault for not reading the full discription). You hike for .6 mile through the woods then hike down the freaking fire road back to the parking lot. BORING!!! From the bottom lot up and over and back down the fire road, it was 10 miles according to my handy-dandy GPS. We did it in about 4.75 HRS including a stop for 30 minutes on the top. We only saw two other people who thought they were hiking Old Rag (hello, can you read the signs???) We were lucky to have a very low humidity day and coolish temps (start at 70, end at 82).

By: Larry P Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, January 03, 1910
This was our first try at the Robertson Mountain.  It was the steepest hike we've done in the SNP, and the wind at the top was really fierce.  The snow was still deep in some areas, but the footing was relatively good.  I wouldn't try it without YakTrax on.  I look forward to doing the hike again when the weather is better.

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