GET Section 3c Trail Report

August 30, 2009


CR 20/VA 691 (Judge Rye Road) to Wolf Gap (5.9 miles)

            This is the section (3c) just north of the section (3d) hiked on 8/28/2009, two days before, and it was partly reported on (road access) in the report of 7/5/2009.  To repeat those observations:

  • The parking in Wolf Gap is in the loop for the campground.  There is no trash pickup, it has pit toilets, and the water is from a hand pump.  There is a cherry tree which I remember eating from 35 years ago.  Across the road toward Tibbet Knob there goes through an area of campsites that overflow from the Wolf Gap Campground (and free, too). 
  • The intersection of Va. 691 and Sam Clark Road is poorly signed.  It tells you which way 691 goes, but does not tell you what its name is (Judge Rye Road, according to maps).  There is a street sign for Sam Clark Road, but does not give its number (789).  (This intersection is on the way from Wolf Gap to the south end of the Tibbet Knob Trail and the North Mountain Trail.) 
  • It's easy to find the south end of the Tibbet Knob Trail: it has a sign, it is at the top of a road hill, and a parking area.  There is a PATC sign, but it is out-of-date: Its contact phone # is for Wil [Kohlbrenner], who is dead now. 
  • The GET is to follow Va. 691 from Tibbet Knob Trail to North Mountain Trail, for 3.5 miles.  It's not a bad road walk, but it would be preferable to build a trail by it instead.  It looks like there is a path leading opposite the Tibbet Knob Trail that perhaps could be used.  The part along the ridge of Devils Hole Mountain is not too wide, but the undergrowth is light, and it looks like building a trail along there would not be too difficult.  Between North Mountain Trail and Long Mountain Trail, and on to the next (north) knob, would be a desirable place to put a new trail, but it looks like there has been a fire there, and the undergrowth would be difficult to cut a trail through. 
  • There is more and better parking just east of the North Mountain Trailhead than at the trailhead itself. 

            This was a clear, sunny day, with increasing clarity as the day went on.  I did this hike with 7 others in FOCAS, which included David, Susan, and my dog Sid. 

            Some observations:

  • No Gypsy moth damage noted. 
  • The intersection of Wolf Gap Road (VA 675) and Sam Clark Road (VA 789) does not have a street sign.  So the latter road has only a number at one end and only a name at the other (see 7/5 observations, above). 
  • The road walk went very quickly, as it was mostly downhill.  We completed the 3.5 miles in just over 1 hour.  Only two vehicles drove by in that time.  No one was seen camping near the road. 
  • There was one road leading off to the left and one coming back from the left about 0.9 mile later.  I suspect they are the same road, and this could be a possible alternate route, off the gravel road. 
  • The Tibbet Knob Trail was a challenge, and the 2.4 miles took us about 2 hours to finish.  There are several very rocky places, and some places are quite steep.  We had a few slips and at least one fall. 
  • The views were great, particularly on top of Tibbet Knob, and there were other viewpoints on the mountain as well.  There were also good views at places along Judge Rye Road. 
  • The Tibbet Knob Trail had some plants growing in--they should be trimmed. 
  • Almost no poison ivy was seen in this section--just one place by the road, and not within reach of where someone would walk.  None was seen on Tibbet Knob Trail. 

January 28, 2012

          This hike was done with Nancy Ruggles (with her dog Aslan), Chad Churchman, Mary Huffer, Christa Neher, Faith Schlabach, and my dog Sid.  Conditions were similar to the 8/30/2009 hike, not quite as grown in, but this was winter. 

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