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Kerns Mountain / Duncan Knob / Strickler Knob - 21 miles - 5000 feet elev gain

This hike has been modified from one posted in December 2012 to include an additional 1000 feet in elevation gain. At the conclusion of the hike we will again ascend the Massanutten trail (1000 feet in .05 miles) resulting in an overall elevation gain of about 5,000 ft and a total of 22 miles.

December 9, 2012 Hike:

This hike is a combination of the Kerns Mountain and Strickler Knob hikes from the Hiking Upward site with the addition of an out and back to Duncan Knob. It is approximately 20 miles long with 3875 feet of total elevation gain. It starts with a gradual ascent up the Massanutten Connector Trail and then turns onto the Massanutten trail and ascends 1000 feet in 0.5 miles. It is not a long ascent but it is one of the steepest I know of. It will be a good warmup to get our hearts pumping at the start of the hike. Please click the below link for the route map, print a copy, and bring it with you to the trailhead.

Kerns Mountain / Duncan Knob / Strickler Knob

You should only sign up for this hike if you are looking for a good workout. If you are training for the Presi Traverse and other extreme hikes, this will help you get ready. If you have any concern about being fit enough for this hike's combination of distance, elevation gain, and pace, please feel free to send me a message and we can have a conversation to answer this concern. I may also contact you if I have not hiked with you in the past and have similar concerns.

We will start the hike at 7:30 am. It will take about 1 hour 15 minutes to get to the trailhead which is located on US-211 at coordinates[masked],-78.589947. We will meet at the Centreville Park & Ride early enough to coordinate car pooling and depart that location by 6:00 am.

Be sure to bring enough trail food and water for this hike. I suggest a minimum of 3-4 liters of water. I plan to bring two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a pack of Fig Newtons for trail snacks. You should bring what you know works best for you and enough of it for a 22 mile hike.

Dress with layers so that you can adjust what you are wearing to suit your effort level and the weather conditions (TBD). Bring an extra pair of boot laces just in case you need them.

Also, always bring a headlamp in case you are caught out on the trail after daylight.

I will be doing a dry run of this hike either this Sat or Sun (Feb 23 or Feb 24) if you want to tag along.

Finally, the metro isn't open this early on Sat and some folks may not have a car. Folks coming from DC and surrounding areas may need a ride to Centreville.

Finally, finally, I'm supposed to hike Old Rag on Sun so may camp in the area -- there are good campsites in the area for car camping.


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  • Neal

    Had a great time with everyone; you all missed a great fire by the campsite next to the parking lot! Hua, thanks for taking all the pictures! You all are a great bunch to hike with and I hope we can do it again soon.

    2 · March 3, 2013

    • Hua D.

      Can not wait!!

      March 4, 2013

  • Hua D.

    Here is the number: 20.31 miles, Average speed 3.1 mph. Maxmum speed 17.2 mph. Total ascent 4327 ft, total descent 4331 ft. Thanks Neal! A lovely hike.

    3 · March 3, 2013

  • Hua D.

    Great Work out!!

    March 2, 2013

  • Rosie

    Had a great time wiith great people. Thanks Neal for arranging the hike.

    2 · March 2, 2013

  • Vince

    Sorry. Can't push this one. Feet have not fully healed from last weekend.

    March 2, 2013

  • Molly F.

    Hi Neal, I will join you at the trailhead at 7:30am.

    March 1, 2013

    • Neal

      Great, see you there.

      March 1, 2013

    • Neal

      I don't have your number so[masked] if issues

      March 1, 2013

  • Neal

    Will likely need a volunteer to be a dedicated sweeper for the group as I don't want anyone to get too far back. I'm willing to sweep if no one else wants to. I plan to wait all the trail intersections and if others lead I expect the same. I would expect maybe a 3.0 - 3.5 mph average pace for this strenuous (very strenuous perhaps) hike but will ensure that everyone is accounted for especially at the designated trail intersections.

    1 · February 28, 2013

    • Vince

      I'll sweep with some emergency spare supplies. This one is no joke. I ran into your group out there last time. People should be aware of what they signed up for. Panic and freakouts is just scary.

      March 1, 2013

    • Neal

      Thanks for offering, safety and accountability come first. i have some personal first aid supplies that I will bring with me.

      March 1, 2013

  • Neal

    Weather looks good - looks like a high of 41 degrees. If you are going to be late to Centreville let me know by 0610 as I'd like to depart NLT than 0615. http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=38.67478920520597&lon=-78.57009887695312

    February 28, 2013

    • Rosie

      Hi Neal, I'll meet you guys at the trailhead

      1 · February 28, 2013

    • Neal

      Thanks, Rosie. So far it's you and julio that will meet us at 0730 at the trail head.

      February 28, 2013

  • Guillermo V.

    Anybody meeting at Centreville and coming back? I am willing to help with gas money.

    February 26, 2013

    • Jenne World T.

      Need a ride from Centreville to trail head, and see you all there.

      February 28, 2013

    • Hua D.

      Hi guys, it looks like I will probably be the driver. Hahaa.....

      1 · February 28, 2013

  • KingsleyC

    looks like a good work out..have fun!

    1 · February 27, 2013

  • Tom

    I’m going to give up my spot in the group. Studying the terrain along the proposed route has given me some ideas, and I am now inspired to do a different variation. So, I’ll be solo on Saturday. I might see you somewhere along the way, though. Have fun!

    February 27, 2013

  • Vince

    I can help with gas and need a ride from Centreville. Also need a return ride.

    February 27, 2013

  • Neal

    Thus far the weather for Sat looks good, about 43 degrees in Luray. Make sure you bring a copy of the map . I'm camping in the area on Sat night so won't be driving back to Centreville. Suggest people figure out the carpool situation prior to Centreville so we can leave promptly. I do plan to start the hike as scheduled at 0730 so make sure you on on time at Centrevile or the trail head. My number is[masked]

    February 26, 2013

    • Ginger Q.

      Neal, can I hitch a ride with you at Centreville since I will camping Sat night with ya? I will chip in for gas money.

      February 27, 2013

    • Neal

      ok

      February 27, 2013

  • Tom

    Neal, did you do the dry run?

    February 25, 2013

    • Neal

      Tom, Didn't get a chance to but I've done the route before - the climb up to the top of the Crisman hollow rd is killer - we'll do it twice (on the way back too).

      1 · February 25, 2013

  • Tom

    Because of where I live, I won't be taking 66, so I'll meet the group at the trailhead.

    1 · February 23, 2013

    • Neal

      66 to 81 is probably longer but quicker. I'll be taking 211 (though the valley) to the trailhead but will meet at Centreville.

      February 24, 2013

  • Neal

    Looking forward to Sat. FYI, If you haven't hiked at least 15-20 miles at a 2.5 - 3.0 mph pace within the past 6 months this probably isn't the hike for you. If you have any doubts you can contact me or I will contact you. I'll post more later in the week when the weather conditions are more definitive.

    February 24, 2013

  • Kelly B.

    Wow hike sounds awesome but I'm unable to make it saturday. Thanks for posting Neal! That 1000ft sounds like a total bonus-love it. Enjoy!

    1 · February 19, 2013

  • Neal

    FYI, the metro is not open this early and if you are driving through DC let me know as i know at least one person who needs a ride from DC to Centreville. We can further coordinate carpooling at Centreville.

    February 19, 2013

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