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Middle Mountain via Scothorn Gap and Massanutten Trail is a 8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Luray, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 8.0 mi Elevation gain 1,686 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

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.

Lee Ranger District (540) 984-4101

I-66 W to US 29 at Gainesville; West on US 29 to US 211 at Warrenton; west on US 211; cross Skyline Drive and continue on US 211 to New Market Gap. Directly across from Massanutten Visitors Center turn right onto Crisman Hollow Drive (FDR 274). Follow route 3.3 mi to Scothorn Gap Trail on right with small parking area. Note: FDR 274 may be closed for a week or so in the early spring time to avoid damage to road during the spring thaw.

Weather
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Reviews (57)
Photos (111)
Recordings (36)
Completed (126)
Gary Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScramble

Definitely bring your bug repellant! Most of the hike is rocky, but there are a number of muddy stretches and I must've passed 9-10 fell trees covering the trail so be prepared to step/climb over or through limbs or trunks. Most of the trail is shaded making the gnats and mosquitos awful. The beginning and end are wide and clear. The trail is blazed yellow, teal, and orange (clockwise). The teal portion at 3.3 miles to 3.7 miles is like walking through Jurassic Park. If I do it again I'll bring a machete. That segment is overgrown from the bottom and the top and very rocky. The ravine at 3.9 miles is great with a creek and camping space. The climb from 4-6 miles is a comfortable grade and well worn. I didn't see bears but saw plenty of scat along the trail. Be prepared for tired legs.

Thomas Robb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

I recommend this loop hike for its excellent views from the Duncan & Strickler Knobs. Duncan includes a nice bouldering section, whereas Strickler is a challenging set of knobs to summit. West side trail is great whereas the east side is buggy and a little overgrown in spots

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Patrick Northrup
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grownRocky

Really enjoyed this one. In addition to heading up to Duncan Knob, it's definitely worth your time to take a detour up to Strickler Knob, which has a fantastic 360 view. It adds about 1.5-2 miles. If you go counter clockwise in the summer, be prepared for a relatively steep, overgrown, and steamy hike back up to Duncan Knob.

Caroline Mohan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 12, 2020
Hiking

View was eh but a great workout nonetheless. Good spots for camping!

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Julz Marie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 13, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

wOWzers what a trail. the incline on the trail leading to the loop is pretty brutal. it’s not ideal to have to start AND end on it. i’d say the biodiversity and view at the top make it worth it though. we split the loop into two days and had a great time!

Cody Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 10, 2020
HikingMuddyScramble

Note the 8 mile loop doesnt include much of an overlook. Duncan Knob and Strickler Knob make it about 10 miles, but definitely worth it.

Melanie Heiges
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 25, 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Overall it was a decent hike! We came on a Saturday after it had rained most of Friday. The road to get there was unpaved with pot holes so take it slow, but my corolla did fine. Plenty of parking. You have to cross a stream to start the trail, and everything is well marked. We went counterclockwise at the loop, but I would go clockwise if I did it again. We got to see the view right off the bat once we started the loop, which was decent enough despite trees, but it also saved a really steep uphill that lasted a mile towards the end. I’d rather go down it! LOTS of rocks, quite muddy, and we didn’t pay attention to signs so we went out an extra half mile that took us across streams 4 times total. Not the most secluded trail, but I think people were just trying to get out of the house, what with a pandemic and all. My feet were quite tired afterwards after this one!

View Melanie's Recording
RIchard MIddlebrooks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 25, 2020
HikingFloodedIcyMuddy

My running watched ended up saying this was close to 9 miles. My friend and I did this after some serious rain so a few miles of it was pretty much a creek. Most of it has very nice gradual ups and downs, but there are still some serious steep parts that make your legs jelly. The look out is nice. A few camping spots along the way. It was a very enjoyable trail.

Jason Ropp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 21, 2019
Running

The trail in the east side of the mountain are pretty overgrown by the end of the summer. Great hard hike with views from two rock scramble knobs. Good workout!

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Jason Hollinger
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HikingBugs

Bugs. So many damned gnats that live their lives dedicated to landing on your eyes that it’s almost hard to enjoy the trail. The high points are the high points. Nice views on opposite sides of the mountain ridge.

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Geoffrey Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 16, 2019
Hiking

Fine trail. Not a lot of views, but there are some. Clockwise will be a fun mountain bike ride when dries out. In spring (April) when I did it there was a lot of spring streams which was nice for the dog. Definitely wear good waterproof hikers in spring but hear it dries out in summer. Two large streams for water along the way at trailhead and 1/2 way. Was nice to rinse the dog before ride home. Several campsites along access road if traveling a ways. Cheers

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Fran Mahoney Vth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 26, 2019
HikingMuddyOver grownRockyScramble
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