Knob Mountain-Jeremys Run

  • Highlights: Shenandoah National Park, wilderness, stream crossings
  • Distance: 6.0 mile loop
  • Elevation change: 1,100 feet
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Trailhead Parking: Elkwallow Wayside Parking Area, Skyline Drive mile 24
  • Website: Shenandoah National Park
  • Beer Pairings: Bald Top Brewery—Springhouse Session IPA & Roasted Dry Irish Stout

The Hike:

Shenandoah National Park has many spectacular hikes. Most of them are very popular and can be crowded with other hikers. The Knob Mountain-Jeremys Run hike doesn’t have amazing views or waterfalls. It’s a great walk in the woods and smaller crowds result in better wildlife watching opportunities. Like all hikes in Shenandoah, the trail is well marked and well maintained. 

Begin this hike at the rear of the Elkwallow Wayside near the rest room. A short spur trail leads to the Appalachian Trail. Turn left on the AT. This will be the only left turn on this loop. At all other trail junctions, you will turn right. Follow the white-blazed AT as it gradually descends. In .2 miles at the next trail junction, the AT will sharply go to the left. This hike bears to the right on the blue-blazed Jeremys Run Trail. 

The trail continues to make a gradual descent passing through a section of trees that came down many years ago during a storm. At 1 mile, turn right on the blue-blazed Knob Mountain Cuttoff Trail which crosses Jeremys Run on a series of stepping stones. We made this hike in April and while the water level was high, we easily crossed on the stones. The trail begins a steep ascent to Knob Mountain as you climb 350’ in less than half a mile. A series of switch backs help with the climb.  

At 1.5 miles, turn right again, this time on the yellow-blazed Knob Mountain Trail. The trail soon reaches the ridgeline. Wildflowers dot the forest floor and we saw several deer just off the trail. The hike along the ridgeline is a pleasant walk as the trail begins a gradual descent. At 3 miles, turn right on the paved Mathews Arm Campground Service Road. The service road connects to the parking area for the campground. Follow the road to the right past the Mathews Arm Campground registration station.

A sign post for the Elkwallow Trail is about 100 yards past the registration station. Turn right on the blue-blazed  Elkwallow Trail. The trail once again crosses Jeremys Run. This time a wooden boardwalk helps span the stream. More opportunities to see deer may be found on this part of the trail as nearby clearings and the open forest are excellent deer habitat. Skyline Drive looms off the the left and the junction with the AT will soon appear. Turn right on the AT heading south for .3 miles. The spur trail returning you to the Elkwallow Parking Area will be on the left. Turn left here and return to your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

Bald Top Brewing in Madison is a great place to stop and enjoy a cold beer after a hike. Located about 30 miles from the Thornton Gap SNP entrance, Bald Top has a beer garden with great views near the summit of Bald Mountain. They grow five varieties of hops on the farm and food trucks visit most weekends.

On a recent visit, we enjoyed the Springhouse Session IPA, with just 4.1% ABV and 47 IBUs. As with all session beers, the reduced alcohol translates to fewer carbs and calories. It was lighter and less robust than some IPAs, but it was a nice balance between lower carbs/calories and the hoppy taste we enjoy. Pete really liked the Dry Roasted Irish Stout. It has 5.7% ABV, which may qualify as a session beer status, it has fewer carbs/calories than a double IPA. It has nice notes of roasted coffee with a bit of a smokey taste.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe and be responsible.