Hiking Strickler Knob | Old Dominion Wildlife

Hiking Strickler Knob

July 29, 2009

View from Strickler Knob

For years, I’ve been interested in hiking Strickler Knob in the Lee Ranger District of George Washington National Forest.  My 2000 PATC Guide to Massanutten Mountain describes the hike as a “very difficult bushwack” mentioning that the last rocky top cannot be reached without a rope.  I was curious, but never made the trip.

More recently, someone built a new pink blazed trail connecting Strickler Knob with the Massanutten Trail.  I’m not sure if rocks shifted at some point, but now the summit stack is now accessible to hikers without rope.

Hiking Strickler Knob / Wildlife

We began our hike at the Scothorn Gap trailhead on Crisman Hollow Road.  The yellow-blazed Scothorn Gap Trail passes some interesting scenery through an area previously impacted by wildfire.  In addition to some mushrooms and moss, we also noticed pink fumewort wildflowers.  We spotted some raccoon tracks, but my photograph did not turn out well.  The only unpleasant factor was an abundance of toilet paper near the trailhead.  If you use toilet paper in the woods then please bury it.

At a trail intersection we went straight onto the orange-blazed Massanutten Mountain Trail before turning off on the pink-blazed Strickler Knob Trail.   On the Strickler Knob Trail, we passed by some ripening blueberries and used caution when passing some bees flying in and around a hole in a tree.  Someone left a journal at the summit; however, the watertight bag containing the journal had leaked.

Hiking Upward has a detailed description with a map of a longer version of the Strickler Knob hike starting at the Massanutten Trailhead at Crisman Hollow Road.

Rock Scrambling and Views

Some have compared hiking Strickler Knob to hiking Old Rag Mountain.  While Strickler Knob is a great hike with a bit of scrambling at the end, in my opinion the Old Rag rock scramble is more fun than Strickler Knob.  However, Strickler Knob was definitely less crowded (we saw just three other groups of hikers) and the views are perhaps even better.  Of course it didn’t hurt that we made the hike during June 2009 when we had unusually fine weather with low dewpoints and relatively little haze.   Click here for additional photos.

Directions from I-81

Take exit 264 (New Market) and follow U.S. 211 east.  As the road climbs up to New Market Gap, make a left on Rte 274 Crisman Hollow Road.  The Scothorn Gap trailhead is on the right after several miles.

Directions from I-66 (Scenic Route)

Take exit 13 (Front Royal) and follow U.S. 340 south to Rte 55 west.  Turn left on Rte 678 at Waterlick.  The road passes through beautiful Fort Valley.  Bear left at Kings Crossing onto Rte 675 and proceed straight onto Crisman Hollow Road where Rte 675 turns left toward Luray.  The Scothorn Gap traihead is a few miles down on the left.   We took this route on our way home and were fortunate to see a bear.

PATC’s Map G shows the area roads and trails; however, the new Strickler Knob Trail is not marked on my 2002 edition.

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