Blue Ridge Parkway | ROCKY KNOB HIKING TRAILS (MP 167-169)

Rocky Knob Hiking Trails (click to enlarge)

Rocky Knob Hiking Trails (click to enlarge)

Black Ridge Trail

This 3-mile loop trail overlaps with part of the Rock Castle Gorge Trail. You can begin the hike at either the Rocky Knob Information Station or the Twelve O’Clock Knob Overlook.

Rock Castle Gorge Trail

This 10.8-mile loop trail circles Rock Castle Gorge. It crosses Rocky Knob at 3,572 feet in elevation and descends into the gorge to Rock Castle Creek. The lowest point is at 1,700 feet, where the Rock Castle and Little Rock Castle Creeks merge. The Blue Ridge Parkway Outdoor Guide rates this as moderate to strenuous and recommends hiking it in a counterclockwise direction to avoid the steepest climbs. I did not hike all of this trail, but a portion of it overlaps with the Black Ridge Trail (which I did hike), and this section was one of my favorites in the park. I definitely would have liked to hike the entire trail, but I simply did not have the time.

You can access the trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Rocky Knob Campground, the Saddle Overlook, the Rock Castle Gorge Overlook, the Rocky Knob Information Station, and the Twelve O’Clock Knob Overlook. You can also get to the trail from outside the Parkway at either end of Rock Castle Road. In the north, this is located off of VA-8 on VA-605/CC Camp Lane/Rock Castle Road. In the south, take VA-726/Rock Church Road south to near the intersection with VA-758.

There is a primitive backcountry campground where the two creeks meet. Permits are required, and you can get one at the Rocky Knob Campground or Rocky Knob Information Station during regular business hours.

Picnic Loop Trail (aka Rocky Knob Track Trail)

This 1-mile loop circles the Rocky Knob Picnic Area. The Blue Ridge Parkway Outdoor Guide rates it as easy. Trailheads are located at various places at the picnic area and at the parking lot behind the Rocky Knob Information Station.

Back to the Top | Rocky Knob Recreation Area | Hiking Trails

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Last updated on December 11, 2023
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