OverviewOpechee Peak is the highest point on the Green Mountain ridge of the northern Massanutten Mountains. Although the summit is wooded, there are good views of Fort Valley, the eastern and western ridges of the Massanutten Mountains, Kennedy Peak, Duncan Knob, and Short Mountain from side trails. Opechee Peak is only accessible by ATV trails.
Getting ThereFrom Front Royal, drive west on I-66 to I-81. Go south on I-81 until reaching Exit 279. After exiting, make a left onto SR 675 and follow it to Edinburg Gap. Turn right and park on the side of the road.
Cross SR 675. The Peters Mill Run ATV Trail will be in front of you. The trail is wide and in generally good shape, but there are a few sections that are somewhat rocky. After about 0.8 miles, you will see a side trail on the right that leads to a subpeak of Waonaze Peak. After another 0.4 miles, there is a second side trail on the right that leads to excellent views of Fort Valley and the surrounding mountains. To the north and east, the main eastern ridge of the Massanutten Mountains can be seen. To the south, from left to right, the main eastern ridge, Duncan Knob, the main western ridge, and Short Mountain are visible. A third side trail is on the right after an additional 0.2 miles. From a clearing on this trail, views of Opechee Peak to the north and Kennedy Peak to the southeast are available. After another 0.5 miles, reach the junction with the Green Mountain Trail.
The Green Mountain Trail climbs away from the Peters Mill Run Trail towards the right; this trail has a justified reputation for being very rocky. Follow the Green Mountain Trail for 0.8 miles; the trail is at its steepest and rockiest as it approaches the summit. At the junction with a side trail, turn right and continue for about 200 feet to the summit of Opechee Peak.
Red TapeOpechee Peak and the entire route to its summit are on public land in the George Washington National Forest. No permits are necessary for hiking or camping except at Camp Roosevelt.
When to ClimbAlthough hikers are permitted to use the Peters Mill Run and Green Mountain Trails all year round, it is also open to ATV traffic except for a period from the fourth Monday of January to the third Monday of March. This route is therefore inadvisable for hikers for most of the year. Even during the closure to ATV traffic, the trail can turn into thick, goopy mud when wet. The window of opportunity is pretty narrow.
CampingFree camping is permitted in most locations throughout the National Forest. Camp Roosevelt is a large campsite with restrooms, picnic areas, and water faucets on SR 675 a few miles to the east of Edinburg Gap. The fee is $10 per night; contact the Lee Ranger District for further information. There are good campsites on the previously mentioned side trails off the Peters Mill Run Trail, the first and second of which have easily visible fire rings.
External LinksGeorge Washington National Forest- Lee Ranger District
The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club maintains the trails in the Massanutten Mountains, and provides maps, guidebooks, and other information.