George Washington National Forest!
(Our Shorter 12.3 Mile Version)
In German, schloss means “castle.” In Virginian-speak, schloss can only refer to one geologic wonder, a towering outcrop of sandstone on Mill Mountain.
On this 12.3 mile hike, the scenery is national-park caliber (Shenandoah NP is 10 miles east) and the views are all yours (GWNF has 90% fewer visitors than SNP). The Pond Run/Tuscarora Trail near Wardensville, WV (two hours west of D.C.), climbs to the top of Big Schloss, a towering, castle-shaped outcrop of Tuscarora sandstone. Starting in a forest of old growth hemlocks, you’ll gain altitude steadily but easily, eventually wading through waist-high ferns. Past Gap Hill and Half Moon Mountain, you’ll encounter open scenes of the sloping Great North and Long Mountains, all showcasing brilliant red-orange maples, maroon tupelos, and golden oaks. After the deep, unvaried greens of summer, it’s almost sensory overload.
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Wardensville
Length: 12.3 total miles
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: About 5 hours
Season: Year round
Trailhead Elev: 1500 feet
Top Elev: 3200 feet
Local Contacts: George Washington National Forest, Lee Ranger District
While we hike rain, snow, or shine.
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan with the hike leader from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.
DC Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, meetup at the Centerville Park and Ride. Click here for information and directions to the Centerville location.
If you can drive or want to carpool from an additional location, please post your location and needs in the comment section below. Click here for suggested carpool locations complete with directions. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike
Hike is at 9:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time at Savage is 6:30 a.m.
Carpool meetup time at Centerville is 7:30 a.m.
Fido is not welcome on this hike without leader approval
See you there and please take my number with you just in case...