GET Guidebook 6b

Edition 1/25/2013

Section 6b
Benson Run Road to VA 627
15.5 miles


The field near Wallace Peak

Parking

 1.  North end of section: From I-81 Exit 225, take VA 262 south to US 250, west 17 miles, left on VA 629 (Deerfield Valley Road), go 5.9 miles, turn right on FDR 173, and go 4.8 miles on FDR 173 (Benson Run Road) at a sign saying "Entering Highland County", on north side of road.  The final 2.5 miles is difficult driving, with frequent puddles, but passable to most cars. 
 on FDR 173, Benson Run Road at a sign saying "Entering Highland County", on north side of road. 
 2.  South end of section: From I-81 Exit 225, take VA 262 south to US 250, west 17 miles, left on VA 629 (Deerfield Valley Road), go 19.7 miles, turn right on VA 627, Scotchtown Road, go 2.6 miles, parking off right side of road

Shuttle

 South to north: Go back down VA 627 2.6 miles to VA 629, left 13.8 miles, left on FDR 173 (easy to miss), and go 4.8 miles. 
 North to south: Go back down FDR 173 4.8 miles to VA 629, right 13.8 miles, right on VA 627, and go 2.6 miles. 

Maps

 USGS 7.5 minute Quadrangles: Deerfield, VA; Williamsville, VA; Green Valley, VA
 National Geographic Map 791 - Staunton Shenandoah Mtn
  Note - distances in this section are measurements on these topographic maps, which are about 10% greater than those given on the signs and on the USFS Guide to Shenandoah Mountain Trail (1981). 

Useful Information
  Emergency - In WV or VA, Dial 9-1-1

Multi-use - Horses and mountain bikes are allowed.  There is not sufficient room to turn around at the trailheads, but there may be room on the approaches to the east or west. 


 
Trail Description, North to South

Miles   Data
 0.0 North end of this section, FDR 173, Benson Run Road (elev. 3060').  A sign says, "SHENANDOAH MTN TR/ NELSON DRAFT TR  4 ¼  / JERKEMTIGHT ROAD 10 ½ ".  Great Eastern Trail follows yellow-blazed Shenandoah Mountain Trail south, first as a forest road, becoming a foot trail after about 0.2 mile. 
 0.7 Trail reaches main ridge crest (elev. 3380'). 
 0.9 Trail follows the top of the ridge.  About 800' (distance) down the mountain to the west is Phillip's Spring (elev. 3180'), a small spring with a low volume.  In dry weather, this spring may not supply enough water to be usable.  There is no trail leading to Phillips Spring.  Stay in the middle of the hollow down the mountain. 
 1.5 Begin descent for 0.5 miles (3350' down to 3070').
 2.6 Trail leaves ridge top, traveling to the west side of The Bump (elev. 3634', trail stays below 3360'). 
 4.4 Trail intersects yellow-blazed Nelson Draft Trail, descending the west side of the mountain.  Nelson Draft Trail is a mile long, ending at Sugar Tree Road, Forest Development Road 394.  About 2.1 miles northwest from there is VA 614.  This trail may be used to shorten a hike along the Shenandoah Mountain Trail.  The trail leading east descends into private land and should be avoided. 
  Over the next 6.5 miles Shenandoah Mountain has 7 knobs which the trail skirts.  The only one named is the final, Northeast Peak. 
  9.8 Trail shifts from east to west side of ridge, with Northeast Peak (elev. 3811') ahead.  Trail elevation stays below 3480'. 
 10.8 Trail enters the west side of clearing (to left) with spruce trees on other side.  Use caution as other trails are also yellow-blazed.  The Shenandoah Mountain Trail skirts the west side of the clearing and continues southwest around the mountain below Wallace Peak.  Jerkemtight Road descends the east side of the mountain from this point for five miles to VA 629.  This road is passable only for trucks and jeeps due to rough road conditions.  Water is available a short distance from the clearing along Jerkemtight Branch.  This is an untested water source, and water should be treated before use. 
  A road intersects the trail running 0.4 miles south to Wallace Peak, the site of an old fire tower.  The road runs along the north side of the clearing.  On the east side of the peak, a blazed trail travels east 100 yds to a boxed-in, dry weather spring located on the south side of the ridge.
  To the right, yellow-blazed Marshall Draft Trail leads 1.3 miles down the west side of the mountain to Sugar Tree Road, FDR 394, going almost parallel below the Shenandoah Mountain Trail.  High point of section, 3560'. 
 12.9 Trail skirts the east side of North Sister Knob (elev. 3292'), high elevation at 3140'. 
 14.2 Trail starts around the west side of South Sister Knob (elev. 3088').  From this point (elev. 2740') the trail descends evenly to VA 627. 
 14.6 In a shaly area, a panoramic view toward the southwest is just above the trail.  On a clear day, the view includes Cowpasture and Jackson River Valleys to the Clifton Forge area. 
 15.0 Trail crosses a ravine with an intermittent stream. 
 15.5 Trail reaches and crosses VA 627; south end of this section.  Elev. 1957'. 


 
Trail Description, South to North

Miles   Data
 0.0 South end of section at VA 627, Scotchtown Road (elev. 1957’).  A sign on the south side of the road says, "SHENANDOAH MTN TRAIL -> / <- STATE RT. 678 2.5 / STATE RT. 250 25 ->".  Great Eastern Trail follows yellow-blazed Shenandoah Mountain Trail north.  The trail climbs on the west side of South Sister Knob (elev. 3088' at summit). 
 0.5 Trail crosses a ravine with an intermittent stream. 
 0.9 In a shaly area, a panoramic view toward the southwest is just above the trail.  On a clear day, the view includes Cowpasture and Jackson River Valleys to the Clifton Forge area. 
 1.3 Trail reaches high point (elev. 2740') on South Sister Knob, then descends to saddle before North Sister Knob. 
 2.6 Trail reaches high point (elev. 3140') as it skirts North Sister Knob (elev. 3292'). 
 4.7 Trail enters the west side of clearing (to right) with spruce trees on other side.  Use caution as other trails are also yellow-blazed.  The Shenandoah Mountain Trail skirts the west side of the clearing and continues northeast around Northeast Peak.  Jerkemtight Road descends the east side of the mountain from this point for five miles to VA 629.  This road is passable only for trucks and jeeps due to rough road conditions.  Water is available a short distance from the clearing along Jerkemtight Branch.  The road continues from the clearing 0.4 miles south to Wallace Peak, the site of an old fire tower.  The road runs along the north side of the clearing.  On the east side of the peak, a blazed trail travels east 100 yds to a boxed-in, dry weather spring located on the south side of the ridge. 
  To the left, yellow-blazed Marshall Draft Trail leads 1.3 miles down the west side of the mountain to Sugar Tree Road, FDR 394, coming up almost parallel below the Shenandoah Mountain Trail.  High point of section, 3560'. 
  Over the next 6.5 miles Shenandoah Mountain has 7 knobs which the trail skirts.  The only one named is the first, Northeast Peak (elev. 3811'). 
 5.8 After passing Northeast Peak, the trail shifts from west to east side of the ridge. 
 11.1 Trail intersects yellow-blazed Nelson Draft Trail, descending the west side of the mountain (left).  Nelson Draft Trail is a mile long, ending at Sugar Tree Road, Forest Development Road 394.  About 2.1 miles northwest from there, is VA 614.  This trail may be used to shorten a hike along the Shenandoah Mountain Trail. 
 11.9 Trail leaves ridge crest, travelling to the west side of The Bump (elev. 3634', trail stays below 3360'). 
 12.9 After passing The Bump, trail returns to ridge crest. 
 13.5 Begin 0.5 mile climb (3070' to 3350'). 
 14.6 Trail follows the top of the ridge.  About 800' (distance) down the mountain to the west (left) is Phillip's Spring (elev. 3180'), a small spring with a low volume.  In dry weather, this spring may not supply enough water to be usable.  There is no trail leading to Phillips Spring.  Stay in the middle of the hollow down the mountain. 
 14.8 Trail leaves main ridge crest (elev. 3380'). 
 15.3 Trail becomes a forest road. 
 15.5 North end of this section, FDR 173, Benson Run Road (elev. 3060').   GET continues across road, on yellow-blazed Shenandoah Mountain Trail north. 

Trail Condition Report

GET Guidebook Contents

Guide to Section 6a (north)

Guide to Section 6c (south)

 

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