Robertson Mountain Trail Loop is a 8.6 mile loop trail located near Syria, VA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Front Royal, VA: Skyline Drive travels the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. Mile markers are placed along the right-hand side of the road heading south. They are numbered from north to south beginning at the northern terminus in Front Royal, Virginia. Facilities, trails and park features use the mile markers as points of reference. Park at the entrance to Old Rag fire road at milepost 43. Take Old Rag fire road past Whiteoak Canyon Trail, at which point the trails drops significantly. Continue on Old Rag fire road passing Corbin Cabin Trail and Corbin Hollow Trail which is about 2 miles into the woods. Within a short distance is Robertson Mountain Trail intersects on your left.
I intended to do this hike yesterday, but I didn’t realize we would be completely out of service and I only printed the Hiking Upward map thinking they were the same (they are not)! We drove to the end of Weakly Hollow Road (past white oak parking on a tiny 1 lane road to the end). Our hike started on the Berry Hollow fire road for .8 mi, followed by 1.2 miles on the lower Weakly Hollow road before meeting up with the Robertson Trail. I would say the Robertson Mountain trail was the only real trail part, and it was definitely challenging! Then we took the Old Rag Fire Road back down 2.2 miles where it meets the Berry Farm fire road again. As you can imagine - it was just too much on the fire roads (5 miles). All Trails route says it’s more mileage, but it doesn’t look like as much fire road. I will try it next time. I wish I read a few more reviews, because we didn’t realize how un-obvious the trail to the peak would be. There are many times you think you are at the top, and then it curves again. I would say the only thing that made us stop is that this last curve (marked with a blue blaze) was down the hill a little - so we took the unmarked trail to the left and around the corner saw another blue blaze - and there it was.
I did this Robertson with old Rag mountain trail. Total length around 15 miles. It very beautiful but it's hard, I started with Robertson first and than old rag.
This is the best time to do that kind of work out, summer it very hard. As you can see in the pictures, view is open all around, no or very few people on Robertson less place to rest but open beautiful view but Old Rag is crowded and finding quite place now is hard.
Initial approach via the fire road was deceptive- the trail definitely gets more difficult as you ascend. Taking the Corbin side would be easier, with a steep ascent only over the last mile or so.
Also, as with many of these trails, I don't know how they measure the distance. All Trails has 6.2 to 7.5, but I measured almost 10 by GPS from the Old Rag lot. I had the same issues with Nicholson.
Robertson mountain hike is a must if you are in love with Old Rag Mountain. When you are on old rag you see a big olde cone shaped mountain in from of you and you cant help but wish you were sitting up there looking back at the giant cliffs of old rag that you are sitting on. So one day my buddy and I went up there. It's a good day hike and the peak is quite small with a lot of trees blocking your view of old rag. SO I would recommend doing it during spring or fall when there are no leaves blocking your majestic view of old rag. I recommend a set of great binoculars and a telephoto camera lens to get amazing looks at the cliffs of old rag. But without a good lens you are quite a ways away from old rag, so sometimes it can be hazey. Bring a lunch and plan on eating at the peak which is actually hard to find. It is not well traveled
Great hike! Parking lot is small if you don't get there early enough there's a woman who charges ten dollars to park on her property. Most people are there for old rag but since that trail doesn't allow dogs we had to change our plans. Took the fire rd for about 2 miles to Robertson trail. Gradual incline in beginning but the last 1000ft of elevation was rather steep. Beautiful views from summit. The decline is steep in many parts and rather rocky. Wet leaves everywhere don't exactly help either. Total trip was about 8 miles, my phone died while recording trip. Beautiful scenery, lots of Aftermath from a previous fire which makes for so great pictures. Definitely would do this again
Actually took the Corbin Hollow Trail up, walked the upper Old Rag Fire Road a few hundred yards then took the Robertson Mountain Trail down. Was a good loop. Left the Old Rag parking lot around 12:30 and followed the Nicholson trail til the second crossing. The river was way too high and water colder than we cared for so we turned around and followed the Old Rag Fireroad til the Corbin Hollow Trail marker. We crossed the river several times and while it was high [for mid December] it was easier and more manageable than the crossing we tried earlier. The trail up is mostly gradual though there were some steep spots where we had to stop a few times. We hit the upper part of the Old Rag Fire Road after about 3.3 miles, followed the fire road a few hundred yards then got on the Roberston Mountain Trail
Roberston continues up to the Robertson Mountain summit for about a mile. We stopped for some food at the summit then continued on. Since it was mid December and all the leaves were off of the trees we had some pretty decent views of Old Rag not too long after leaving the summit area and for a good bit of the upper portion of the Robertson trail. The trail becomes pretty steep going down....probably harder going up than Corbin Hollow. Eventually we hit the fire road again,...not too far from where we got on to Corbin Hollow....and the followed the road back to the Old Rag parking lot. Got to the car around 5.
Except for alot of folks going to Old Rag from the parking lot, and a handful coming down the fire road from having done Old Rag and also a handful on Corbin Hollow, we pretty much had the upper portion of Corbin Hollow and all of Robertson to ourselves.