Flagpole Knob

Total Miles
12.9

Elevation

1,330.81 ft

Duration

3 Hours

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Flagpole Knob is located in the George Washington National Forest, along the border of Virginia and West Virginia. Open year round, access to Flagpole Knob can be from Switzer Lake Road, Union Springs or Briery Branch Gap. The route shown, begins on Switzer Lake Road off of Hwy 33, 20 miles west of Harrisonburg, and ends at Briery Branch Gap. This easy, stock-friendly 12-plus mile ride will take you past numerous camping spots, beautiful streams and offer great views from Flagpole Knob. Along the way, there are a few mud holes and obstacles just off the main trail. For another great view at the end of the run, when exiting at Briery Branch Gap, go straight across and up to Reddish Knob. For those wanting a more challenging route, Union Springs is an option. Generally not much cell service at lower elevation, but usually okay at Flagpole. Don't forget to download maps before heading out.

Photos of Flagpole Knob

Flagpole Knob
Flagpole Knob
Flagpole Knob

Difficulty

Although rated as easy, you're still covering more than 12 miles, with more than 2,000 feet of elevation gain, on a mountain trail. Much of the trail is just one-vehicle wide, being mindful of where the occasional pull-off spots are will be helpful when encountering approaching vehicles. During certain months of the year, overgrowth can make parts of the trail tight and vehicle pinstripes are likely. During winter, snow and ice can make this normally easy trail almost impassable. Please check conditions before heading out.

Technical Rating

2

Status Reports

Andy Thomas
Mar 31, 2024
2003 Mitsubishi Montero Sport
Open
Either from the top down where union springs meets up or from Switzer lake up this trail has degraded badly over the last few years. lots of rock has been exposed and the creeks in the switchbacks have 12"+ drops to get into and out of them but very little water. there are sections with cross ruts close to 2' deep. add to how narrow the trail can be in places with exposures and very few places to pass this trail should be at least a 3. lots of downed trees from early spring storms can be very tight the closer you are to the lake.
Jake Chavis
Mar 30, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
Muddy/Wet
Be careful of fallen trees on the trail. Most were properly taken care of, but it’s been windy and trees have fallen over so we had to move some smaller ones out of the way
Joe Price
Mar 24, 2024
4x4
Open
Muddy/Wet
IMO this should be at least a 3. We’ve been exploring a lot of GWNF lately, and most the 2s we’ve come across much easier. We took it slow, made it to the end, but the last obstacle up hill was impossible. Again, maybe a 2 for most Jeeps, but do not think it is consistent with other 2s we’ve been on. Thanks to the Jeep bro for the warning about the rough section! Really enjoyed the trail until I couldn’t go any further!
Philip J
Mar 04, 2024
2023 Jeep Wrangler
Open
Muddy/Wet

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