Big Schloss

Wardensville, West Virginia

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13 Reviews
4 out of 5
In German, schloss means “castle.” In Virginia, schloss can only refer to one geologic wonder, a towering outcrop of sandstone on Mill Mountain. Big Schloss is a popular day trip from Wolf Gap Recreation Area, a primitive camping site 2 miles south. A more strenuous trip begins far to the north, in a quiet river valley better known by hunters than hikers. The hike begins at Wilson Cove Wildlife Management Area, a 5,200-acre piece of the national forest designated for muzzle-loader buck hunting only, in late November and early December. Along Pond Run, old-growth hemlocks stand out from the smaller trees growing thick along this stream. Rock slides, steep inclines, overlooks, and quiet views off Mill Mountain follow in succession.
Hiking Virginia

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Virginia

by Bill and Mary Burnham (Falcon Guides)

In German, schloss means “castle.” In Virginia, schloss can only refer to one geologic wonder, a towering outcrop of sandstone on Mill Mountain. Big Schloss is a popular day trip from Wolf Gap Recreation Area, a primitive camping site 2 miles south. A more strenuous trip begins far to the north, in a quiet river valley better known by hunters than hikers.

The hike begins at Wilson Cove Wildlife Management Area, a 5,200-acre piece of the national forest designated for muzzle-loader buck hunting only, in late November and early December. Along Pond Run, old-growth hemlocks stand out from the smaller trees growing thick along this stream. Rock slides, steep inclines, overlooks, and quiet views off Mill Mountain follow in succession.

© 2013 Bill and Mary Burnham/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Cross-Country Skiing, Hiking, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Wardensville
Distance: 19.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 12 hours
Season: Year round; deer season runs from November through early January
Additional Use: Hunting
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Lee Ranger District, Edinburg (540) 984-4101 www.fs.usda.gov/gwj
Local Maps: USGS Wardensville, Woodstock, Wolf Gap
Driving Directions: Directions to Big Schloss

Recent Trail Reviews

9/24/2016
0

This is a great hike for a family with kids, or anyone looking for relatively quick access to a gorgeous view. The initial half mile is a steady, relatively strenuous climb up some sandy and cobbly switchbacks to the top of the mountain ridge. The ridge hike is an easier portion with a nicely packed, well maintained trail. You hike the ridge until the turn off for Big Schloss. The surrounding vegetation on the ridge is thin enough that you can see views on the left and right. The climb up to Big Schloss is again a bit more challenging. The views from the carved sandstone formations of Big Schloss are stunning and the rocks themselves are pretty special. The beautifully weathered, white, almost globular formations are pretty unique. Be careful at the top! There are lots of places where you can fall to your death while modeling for Instagram photos. We enjoyed that the trailhead was in Wolf Gap campground and was well marked! Great hike.


3/26/2009
0

I enjoyed this hike with my Boy Scout troop. We used it as a warm-up and preparatory hike for the hiking merit badge, as we did NOT take the full hike. We only did the shorter hike from Wolf Gap Campground up to the top of Big Schloss. It was a very pleasant 4.4 mile hike, though a bit challenging for the first mile climb. But the view was spectacular and the boys really enjoyed it, too.


11/4/2006
0

We met several hikers later in the day when it warmed up (like 25 or so), trail conditions were good and the leaves were well past their peak color change. Views were spectacular, and parking was great and easy to find. A shorter hike than we normally aim for, but still a good one.


8/19/2006
0

Day hike loop from Wolf Gap to Big Schloss, down the Cutoff Trail and back along Forest Road 92 and Wolf Gap road. Warm and hazy - upper 80s and a little humid. I found the trail easy to follow out of camp, moderately steep until you reach the top of the ridge. A few smaller, nice views can be found as you hit the ridge before a slight decent into open forest. The views from Big Schloss are excellent - I spent close to an hour eating lunch, taking pictures, and relaxing (photos online at randomplat.blogspot.com, August '06.) No wind on the mountain, so the bugs were out in force. I do not recommend the Forest Road/Gap road combo for a day hike, as it is extremely tedious going for 6-8 miles after the Schloss.


4/11/2006
0

Beutiful trail with a free state park for a base camp. Bring your own water, even thought the water at the park is potable it does have a high iron/sulphur content and does not taste that good



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