Reviewed by ubernatureboy on October 12, 2014
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This spring (2014) we (myself and two sons) backpacked the knobstone northbound to the mm 17 (chapel hill trailhead) and this fall we backpacked southbound from the 45 (actually Spurgeon Hollow mm 43.5 then up to the 45) and back down to the 17 again.
So we essentially section hiked the entire trail. There are some additional loops on the north end of the trail beyond the 45 but it is closed beyond the 45 for reworking.
We were very disappointed with this trail for two main reasons. With such a long trail in such a beautiful part of the state we expected meandering valleys, grand vistas, and long ridgelines; but what we got was a lot of straight lines hundreds of feet up only to crest a hill with no view whatsoever, just to go back down in a straight line. Over. And over. And over. Again. We hated this trail. Also mile 36 was a complete screw up, it had two areas that were heavily logged and out of three groups trying to find where it continues we were the only one to get past the puzzle, the other two gave up and turned back. ( we found it because we split up and bushwacked into the tree line around the perimeter until the trail picked up.)
Notable exceptions were mile 21, which was a lovely meandering trail through a pawpaw valley along a stream. mm 25.5 had a nice view and est. campsite on a nice lookout. mm 7-9 had and interesting "peak" and a hill that looked like crap during the day, but was a stunning place to camp.
Through the 36. Southbound: first clearing is well marked until it goes down the hill in the clearing. Then the blazes stop. Make a straight line to huge (10' tall ) overturned tree stump/ roots. Go to the right side of the stump and look to the left side of the finger, it's at about 10 o'clock.
Second clearing: the blazes stop shortly after you cross the area under the trees where the stream beds meet. A trail continues along a stream and looks like the KT, but it's not.[ If you follow it anyway then you'll cross a bunch of logs. Straight up and slightly left you'll see three blazes but they don't come close to connecting with anything. Maybe you can whack your way further up and to the left to find the trail, but we went down into field and noticed a blaze very high up and that's how we found it. ] After the convergence of the streams look to the left. And way up high (what seems to be impossibly high in the treeline for a blaze. Maybe you'll see it, we didn't until we bushwacked for over an hour)
Good luck with this trail if you decide to do it.
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