Alleghany County Highpoint Trip Report
Big Knob (4,072 ft)
Date: April 29, 2005
Author: Don Desrosiers
Started with Fred Lobdell's directions which should get you there. The pavement
on Dolly Ann Road ends at 2.2 miles and the good gravel road widens a bit.
There is an interesting series of cave formations on the right at 5.0 miles
(walk through first one to find the others) and the trailhead is at 6.4 miles
(with nothing else in the neighborhood).
Unless you are in possession of a VERY high clearance vehicle, park at the
bottom of the hill (a little over 2,400 feet). Walk up the ungated road on the left,
not the gated one on the right as suggested by the NGS map (#788), and by
the locals who were positive you can't get to Big Knob. The dirt road
(a.k.a. where beer cans go to die) rises easily enough and is a pleasant walk,
intermittently blue-green blazed. Theoretically, it should have been gated
about 3900 feet but the gate was open.
Walk to the saddle between the peaks and take Bob Packard's route up the ridge.
Much easier than the full frontal approach taken earlier. Work your way up and
around to the north side of the "peak" and you only have to deal with underbrush
for the last 20 vertical feet. I believe the predominant plant is mountain
laurel, not rhododendron, which tends to grow in wetter areas.
I saw much evidence of Fred's "friends", but no actual sightings.
Hike was 2 hours 45 minutes round-trip.