We camped at Delaney Park (which is beautiful) with our scout troop. We hiked the Delaney park loop the first day and the Spurgeon Hollow Loop the second day. Both loops were great hikes. The rating of 'Hard' is accurate. There were many downed trees and muddy spots which added to the adventure! There was a section on the southern part of the Spurgeon Loop that was as beautiful a place as I have ever seen! Would recommend this to experienced hikers. Looking forward to hiking the rest of the KT sometime!

2 months ago

My wife and I are beginner backpackers and decided on the Knobstone Trail for our first experience.....FAIL!!! This trail is a great trail...but very challenging. You need to be in good shape. We did not prepare well enough. On our way to the trail we cached water at Elk Creek and at Oxley trail heads. We stayed the night at Delaney Park the night prior to our hike and had a shuttle ride to Leota in the morning and then preceeded to hike back north to Delaney. Day one was punishing... constant up and downs...I mean CONSTANT. We were hurting. We only made it from Mile Marker 25 to about 31 1/2. We found a killer established campsite overlooking ElkCreek Lake. Got up the next morning and headed towards Oxley for our next water cache. We were hoping for easier time...however 2nd verse same as the first... UP and DOWN... climb -descend and repeat. It was painful. My wife was ready to give up. We finally got to our cache at Oxley and someone/something had messed with one of our jugs so we only had one. We decided to keep going for a while and made it to another awesome campsite at about Mile Marker 40. Our bodies were broke by this point. woke up in the morning and headed out to complete our hike at Delaney. The 3rd day was perfect hiking for us. There were a couple of ups and downs...but there was alot of flat walking which we really enjoyed. WARNING!!!!! There is a reroute around 40 1/2ish mile where you have to walk down a gravel road. There is a house on this road and there are 4 dogs that will come out barking and growling. Just keep walking...don't look at them and don't mess with them... we just walked right on through them and they left us alone. Funny story short... we had been passed by 3 DNR officers before the dog issue and then we ran into the same officers later and they said... "see you survived the dogs" What the ****!!! you guys could not have warned us. Anyways... great hike the rest of the way to Delaney and bam we were done. This was soooo hard...but I feel awesome now. I loved it and I plan on finishing the trail soon. My wife, well she says she will never step foot on the trail again :). FYI... if you buy the Knobstone guide book off Amazon.. it is old and the mile marks are off. There was also plenty of water for us to filter if we needed to.

Very challenging hike but worth it.

3 months ago

Great trail. We hiked from Deam Lake to Spurgeon Hollow approx 45 miles. Parts of the trail could use some up keep due to fallen trees but overall great conditions.

I hiked this trail counterclockwiase on a Saturday afternoon in early April. The trail was only wet in a few spots mostly near Spurgeon Lake. There was quite a variety of wild flowers: Jacob's Ladder, Trout Lily, White Trillium, Prairie Trillium, Phlox, Violets and Wood Poppy. There were a few trees down across the trail, but all had been made passable.

The terrain is pretty rugged and there were a few good vistas as the trees had not leafed out yet.

The trails is generally well maintained and marked, but there are two places where the trail runs straight down hill and the trail is severely eroded.

I spoke with a local fisherman after I got back to the trailhead and he said there are hills out there a billy goat wouldn't climb. He was referring to the second of the eroded spots, near the end of my route, where reinforcing bars that had held landscape timbers were protruding several inches out of the ground on steep, eroded slope. I wished I had my trekking poles.

4 months ago

4 months ago

Parked at the Deam Lake trailhead and hiked north to the Oxley Memorial trailhead on E. Banes Hollow Rd. 4 days 3 nights on late March. This trail was no joke with how steep the climbs were. Had some weird areas of what looked like an abandoned logging site for a few miles so there were just a whole bunch of cut down trees everywhere but for the most part it was good. Some good view as well. Also if you plan to do this trail, there are established campsites along the trail that i wish were marked somewhere. Most of them are at the tops of climbs and some have some amazing views for sunsets and sunrises. Not an easy trail.

I'm down to about 16 miles of this trail left.

5 months ago

Backpacked between Pixley Knob Road and Deam Lake Trailhead. There had been some really nasty storms go through so we were not suprised to find several downed trees. Most could be climbed over but several required hike arounds. Trail was very clearly marked. Some significant climbs on this stretch. 2012 tornado damage area was spectacular to see.

it was a good trail, harder than I expected but still not too bad, I went after a couple hard rains so most of it was flooded, but not impassable, as long as you don't mind a little wading