Strickler Knob-Duncan Knob Loop


Description: This is a pretty strenuous 10.1 mile circuit including two of the best vistas on Massanutten Mountain. For the longest time the hike out to Strickler knob was considered a bushwhack around, over and through the rocky ridge of Middle Mountain. Recently a crew has gone in and blazed a trail to the end of the knob. It can still be considered a bushwhack. Itís just harder to get lost now. On the other hand, Duncan Knob is a steep 200 foot high pile of rocks with some small trees on the top. You can attempt both or one or the other. Whatever you do bring sturdy hiking boots.

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Note: The last turn off of U.S. 211 is signed Crismon Hollow Road. This road is often closed in the winter.




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Trail Notes: From the parking area walk down the gravel road, cross a stream and walk around a forest gate. Climb the yellow blazed Scothorn Gap Trail, steeply at times, for 1.39 miles to the junction with the orange blazed Massanutten Trail (straight ahead and to the right. Scothorn trail continues to the left.). Continue straight on the Massanutten Trail for 0.67 more miles to the junction of the pink blazed (no sign) Strickler Knob Trail. (There is a view of the Shenandoah valley and National  Park to the left on top of a small rock outcrop.) Turn right onto the Strickler Knob Trail and weave in and out of the rocks for 0.75 miles. A little hand over hand work will be required to reach the highest point.


After taking in the view retrace your steps to the Massanutten Trail. Turn right and descend for 2.09 miles, passing through an area devastated by the Cardinal Forest Fire in 2007, to the junction with blue blazed Gap Run Trail on the left (No sign but blazed. If you turn right here and cross the stream youíll find a nice campsite immediately on the left.) Turn left on the blue trail and climb steeply to the Peach Orchard in 0.72 more miles. There is a nice but dry campsite on the left. Turn right on the white blazed Duncan Knob Trail. In 0.2 miles arrive at the base of the knob. Climb to the top for unrestricted views of the area.


Return to the Gap Run Trail and turn right. Descend for 0.26 miles and turn left on the yellow blazed Scothorn Gap Trail (No sign but blazed). The trail climbs very gradually for 1.57 miles to the first junction with the orange Maasanutten Trail you hiked to at the beginning of your hike. Turn right to stay on the Scothorn Gap Trail and descend 1.39 miles back to your vehicle.




Critique This Outing




Outing Critiques

Name: The Tick                                                                                                           Hike: Duncan Knob/ Strickler Knob
Date: 10/25/09                                                                                                          Rating: 4

Critique: This was a very nice hike. Started the hike at about 11:30 and headed up the Scothorn Trail which is more steep than is to be expected as soon as you get out of the car. After stretching the legs on the uphill for a few minutes, it became much easier. Got to the intersection of the Massanutten trail and took that to the intersection of the Strickler Knob trail and Massanutten trail. Went to Strickler Knob which was the highlight of the trip and well worth the 1.5 miles out to the knob and back. Spent some time out on the knob which was a lot of fun and not to be missed. Hiked over to Duncan knob next and climbed to the top for some great views. Could sit up on either of the two rocky outcroppings for a long time but it was getting late in the day. The trails between the rocks get a 3/4 rating but the rocks make this trip worth the effort. Would do again and I wonder how I missed this trail for so long.


Name: Robyn                                                                                                              Hike: Duncan Knob Circuit Hike
Date: 6.17.07                                                                                                              Rating: 5

Critique: Note: FDR 274 is Crisman Hollow Rd. & the Massanutten Visitor Center is easy to miss.  Its a brown building that looks like its closed (maybe it is?) We passed right by it twice :)

Once we arrived, we were very happy with this hike.  It is a challenge, but well worth it.  The view from the top is amazing.  I could have sat up there for hours. There's even a few small campsites at the very top if you can climb with your pack, just be careful on your way down.  Make sure you pay attention to  your route up so you can find the white blazed trail on your back down.


Name: Cham Green                                                                                                   Hike: Duncan Knob   

Date: 11/11-12                                                                                                          Rating: 4

Critique: Did this one as a backpack with expectations of camping at Peach Orchard Gap.  When our group arrived I was amazed at the number of people also at this campsite.  Since a parking area is so close to the Knob, many people view this as easy access creating a very popular place.  So if you are looking for a remote quiet area to spend the night, this isn't it.


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