Big Schloss

Wardensville, West Virginia 26851

Big Schloss

Big Schloss Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"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."

Big Schloss Reviews

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9/24/2016
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.
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3/26/2009
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.
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11/4/2006
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.
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8/19/2006
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.
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4/11/2006
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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3/13/2006
The views are tremendous, but the trails can be rocky so where good boots. Wolf Gap seems like a good campground.
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9/24/2005
Well worth the 10 mile hike in from FSR 92. Followed the Little Stoney Creek Trail to Sugar Knob Cabin turned west onto the Tuscarora Trail and the followed the Mill Mountain Trail to Big Schloss......Big View.....Big Rock.
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6/29/2004
I am rating only half of the hike (from pond run, across mill mountain trail on the ridge to big schloss). We parked one car at each end to cut the hike in half (to keep my dog from having heart attack) and hiked this beautiful trail in about 6 hours. Moderate grade, dramatic changes in vegetation, good campsites and incredible views made this a very enjoyable, relaxed weekend trip. Mill Mountain trail is gorgeous and Big Schloss is well worth it.
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6/7/2004
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9/30/2003
We didn't do the exact hike described here, but we still did about 19 miles and climbed Big Schloss. We started up the Stony Creek trail, passed Sugar Knob cabin, and then hiked over to Half Moon Lookout. Camped in a valley at a trail junction with another view nearby--the sunrise across the mountains was amazing! Climbed Mill Mountain and then Big Shloss on the second day. The view from the top was indescribably awesome, especially with the great weather we had--cool and breezy with blue skies and puffy clouds. The Big Schloss cutoff trail, at the end of the hike, is always longer than you think it will be.
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Trail Information

Wardensville
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
19.5
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
12 hours
Duration
Year round; deer season runs from November through early January
Season
Hunting, Camping
Additional Use
Views
Features
Lee Ranger District, Edinburg (540) 984-4101 www.fs.usda.gov/gwj
Local Contacts
DeLorme: Virginia Atlas & Gazetteer: Page 73, A6
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018