A Cold Day on Elliott Knob

This is a cross-post with EveryTrail.com. See all of Keith’s EveryTrail hikes there.

I headed out on Tuesday to tackle Elliott Knob in Augusta County.  The temperature was a crisp 16 degrees at the start of the hike.  The trail followed some logging roads up the mountainside until the roads gradually turned into a trail as it moved alongside a fast flowing creek.  The creek produced several small waterfalls.

IMG_2500The first fall was about 8 or ten feet high.  The water spilled over the rocks quickly, engulfing several small downed trees.  The trees had icicles hanging from them, truly a beautiful sight.

I crossed the stream three times after the first waterfall (not an easy feat considering the lack of stepping stones and the icy conditions).

I continued up the trail IMG_2514past a 15-20 foot cascade (that was mostly blocked by trees) until I arrived at the largest of the falls.  This fall was about 20 foot high and flowed over a rock overhang that made a very small natural cave behind the fall.  To the right of the fall, the splashing water created many icicles in the cave-like overhang.

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The trail turned to the left and gradually continued upward through a forest until it arrived at the cell tower access road.  This road was much steeper than the rest of the trail, but provided great views the rest of the way up (over a mile).

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A small pond lay alongside the access road just before the top.  The pond was completely frozen and looked like it would be perfect for ice skating (if I only had brought my skates).

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The access road ended a tenth of a mile before the summit and a small spur trail took me the rest of the way to the summit.  The wind picked up and the temperature, still at 16 degrees, felt much cooler.  An old watch tower was perched atop the summit.  The views were excellent.

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The hike down was much quicker, however the steepness of the access road and the loose gravel made the descent more treacherous than the climb up.

Elliot Knob, 8.7 miles, 2425 feet elevation gain

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