Duncan Knob, Massanutten Mountain is a 7.9 mile loop trail located near Luray, VA and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from September until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
SOLITUDE, fun rock scramble, great view, shaded trail The high point, literally and figuratively, of this hike is Duncan Knob, a rocky peak with an uninterrupted view, located along the ridge of Catback Mountain. The circuit begins in Crisman Hollow and climbs to Peach Orchard Gap. Before the trail begins to descend, a short easy scramble leads to Duncan Knob with exceptional views from its rocky ledges. From here the trail descends into Duncan Hollow where it follows the stream south, then turns to cross Middle Mountain.
Very pleasant hike although I would agree with others assessment. The trail, even on October 22, was pretty muddy in spots. I also don't quite understand what the attributes are of the east side of the hike, it was narrow, weedy, and either burnt or cut over forest with nothing to see. I would definitely recommend doing this as an up and back trail, not a loop by staying on the trail as it turns left at each intersection.
Nice hike. Gnats & ticks are pretty bad. Large sections of the trail were muddy, probably from the high water table from all the rain over the last month. However, most appear to be spring fed and may be wet year round. Follow pink blazes to Strickler Knob and white blazes to Duncan Knob. Both locations are awesome with great rock scrambles and views. Neither knob is dog friendly although the description indicates that the hike is. Having said that, the trails are very dog friendly but definitely not the knobs. I had to tie my dog to a tree while we did the scrambles at the knobs. I'm planning to do this trail again but next time I will not do the back side (orange blazes - Massanutten Mountain Trail). This section of the hike was very muddy with tons of ticks, also the views and forest are not very attractive. Most of it is regrowth from an old forest fire; on a sunny day it would be brutal. I'll also do it late fall/winter so we can see more scenery, no bugs and no snakes. Several of the hikers we ran into had seen a rattle snake. Another reason to me for a late fall/winter hike for the knobs is that I'd hate to come face to face with Mr. Rattler while doing the rock scramble. I'd give it a 3 - 3.5 overall, the knobs are a 5 but the hike in between was marginal, especially the backside. Skip the backside and it's easily a 4 - 4.5.
Its along 1.8 uphill but overall we had so much fun... We will definitely going back again...
A nice hike, but wayyy overgrown with about 2 miles of walking through a plethora of thorns, and also LOTS of ticks.
I thought the trail was very overrated. Majority of the trail was a slight incline with the worst bugs I've experienced hiking. Throughout a majority of the hike, we had to stop and pull the nats out of our eyes even with wearing a hat to block them. The trail was overgrown for about 2 miles with thorn bushes that you had to walk through. There is also a part of the trail on the map that doesn't exist even after we spent an hour trying to find it. We ended up taking a detour. The only reason I didn't give this trail a single star was because the rock scaling section and the view from Duncan knob was pretty awesome but I definitely will not be returning to this trail.
The hike up to Duncan Knob starts out pretty challenging with steep, switch-backing inclines. Once you make it to the knob, the scramble up is definitely fun, but it is a challenge. We encountered some boyscouts leaving camp, but they went the other direction. Otherwise, we had the trail all to ourselves. You definitely need a good map and trail directions as the loop is tricky and made up of different trails.
Duncan Knob was a perfect afternoon hike. We got a relatively late start around noon, and we were done by late afternoon with a nice lunch in between. The views were spectacular although the circuit hike could get a little tricky at times. Be sure to have a map or directions with you as it's easy to take a wrong turn.
Would highly recommend! Some fun scrambling too.
Wow up up up! Good trail to test out your boots we hiked it with a one year old on our back and our just turn 4 year old. Camp ring 3/4 of the way up, we made a fire for the kids and had lunch. Then went on to play on the rocky top. Down hill was fast and there was some Bear scat on the trail as so for horse dung. Lots of water and a snack were nice to have.
Did this as a loop trail with Strickler. Parked the car at Scotch Horn Gap and took the trail up to Strickler then followed the Massanutten Trail towards Duncan then back down to Chrisman Hollow. Pretty much had the trail to myself. When I got to Chrisman Hollow lots of trail runners where just ending their runs.
It had just snowed so the ride in was a little rough, make sure you have FWD to avoid any car troubles. The trail is beautiful and has many different features. I suggest eating lunch at the top of the mountain, if you do a little rock scrambling you can get some amazing views of the surrounding mountains and the town below. There are a few campsites along the way that would make fun and easy overnights. The one thing about this trail though is that there are many other trails around it with different color blazes, so you have to make sure you are keeping track of where you are and not just following what seems to be your path.
Overall, I had a great hike time on this great day hike. I plan on doing this one a few more times.
Trail was actually pretty fun. The scramble was worth it. The views were breathtaking.
The 2 mile incline to get out was a little unexpected. I assumed, by looking at route, I would have a pleasant walk through the valley. They can be just as fun as the summit to me.
I camped at the small site at the top of the Knob several times, betwwen 1990 and 1996. Nice place to have a fire, toast some marshmallows, and watch the Sun set. In the Fall, furry critters will chew up anything they can to make their nests in the rocks. Be advised. My favorite route to Duncan Knob is from the south, near the town of New Market, at the Strickler Knob trailhead. Lovely Spring, Summer. and Fall