Big Schloss - Rockgeist
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Big Schloss

Woodstock, Virginia


Developed by Nick Curren

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29 miles, 4,745 ft elevation gain,  163 ft/mi.  -Clockwise direction suggested.


Intermediate due to elevation gain and technical trail sections.

Terrain, Bike Choice

Singletack, double track, gravel. Preferred bike rank: hardtail, full suspension mountain bike


Primitive, backcountry camping at (or near) the overlook.

Number of Nights

1 night.

Food & Water

No resupply options, pack all food and bring a water filter.

Bikepacking Big Schloss

A great sub-24 hour overnight (S24O) with the highlight of camping near or at the Big Schloss overlook. There a number of great vistas along the way with rocky singletrack, creek crossings, and plenty of primitive campgrounds to choose from.


  • Big Schloss overlook camping
  • Ridgleline singletrack
  • Creek crossings

Trip Beta

To start the ride there is parking along Judge Rye Road (there’s some dirt parking lots north of the trail head). You’ll start of with a descent onLong Mountain Trail for about 8 miles, a lot of fun with tons of rocks that are typical for the area. After crossing trout run road start the climb up Bucktail Trail which was nice easy double track for the climb.
To gain the ridge, the route has you going up Tuscarora Pond trail which some has some hike-a-bike. Alternatively, you can go up the German Wilson trail which is a little bit shorter and you can add the half moon look out. Either way, some form of hike-a-bike up seems unavoidable though to get up on the ridge. Once on the Mill Mountain Trail it’s nice ridge line riding and a lot of fun with some great vistas. You can stop at Sandstone spring to get water before pushing to Big Schloss Overlook. There’s numerous back country campsites along the ridge and with a few just shy of Big Schloss for a more private camp. Big Schloss has awesome 360 views of both West Virginia and Virginia; a great place to catch both the sunset and sunrise.
The second day is an easy ridge along the ridge until the steep switchback descent to Wolf Gap recreation area. You’ll cross Trout Run Road again and cut through a primitive camp site to get to the Elliot Knob Trail. The Elliot knob trail is “bike-able” till a point, then it becomes more pushing the bike for a half mile, then two 50 yard stretches of hike a big up some good sized rocks to get to the top.
The trail then descends back down the other side to Judge Rye Road, a gravel forest road that you’ll ride back to the parking area.  The road gets steep at times but its ridable all the back to the cars.


Photos: Nick Curren


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Terms: Routes on are partial planning resources only, primarily for providing potential locations and initial mapping, and may not cover trail surface and challenge details. Please complete your own research before starting your trip. These routes are often remote and require proper knowledge of safety; including bike repair, bail out options, navigation, and resupply locations.  Additionally, because of the remote nature of these locations, you may not have access to wireless or cellphone when onsite.  You should also be aware of and prepared for weather and conditions.  Users are required to obey all road, land, and trail rules, while practicing Leave No Trace principles.  While all routes are diligently prepared and presented, Rockgeist does not guarantee accuracy of routes, trail conditions, or any points of interest detailed herein. It is your intention to fully assume all risks when following these routes. Rockgeist LLC, its collaborators, partners, or volunteers are in no way liable for actions, personal injury, damage to property, or any events that arise directly or indirectly from the routes presented on