OverviewRed Spruce Knob is one of the highest mountains in the state of West Virginia. According to Allen de Hart's Monongahela National Forest Hiking Guide, Red Spruce Knob is the 9th highest point in West Virginia. However, America's Roof has generated a list of West Virginia Summits over 4,000 feet and Red Spruce Knob ranks in at number 8. The knob is located very close to the Highland Scenic Highway, a spectacular road that traverses a portion of the national forest and provides easy access to trails in the area. Because of this, Red Spruce Knob is easily hiked in an hour or two, allowing time for more terrain to be explored during the day.
Red Spruce Knob provides easy hikes amidst a beautiful forest in the spring, summer, and fall, and forest skiing in the winter. Access to the mountain during the winter may involve skiing or snowmobiling the Highland Scenic Highway, as it is not maintained in the winter. More challenging cross-country hiking may be found by beginning a trip at the Handley Public Hunting and Fishing Area south of Red Spruce Knob. Trail-less hikes gaining 1,500' may be found by starting near there.
It should be noted that these high red spruce forests are home to the Virginia Flying Squirrel, an endangered animal. These unique animals and the forests they live in are well worth a visit to the area.
Getting ThereDirections to the Red Spruce Knob trailhead on the Highland Scenic Highway from Marlinton, WV:
From the town of Marlinton, WV, head North on Route 219 to the top of Elk Mountain. Turn left onto the Highland Scenic Highway, Rt. 150 heading west. The Scenic Highway begins here at milepost 23.0. The trailhead will be on the left at approximately milepost 17.7.
Directions to the Red Spruce Knob trailhead on the Highland Scenic Highway from Richwood, WV:
From the town of Richwood, WV, head east on Route 55. Turn left onto the Highland Scenic Highway, Rt. 150 heading north. The Scenic Highway begins here at milepost 0.0. The trailhead will be on the right at approximately milepost 17.7.
It should be noted that the Scenic Highway does not have winter maintenance and is snow covered for most of the winter.
Red TapeThere are no special restrictions. Standard National Forest regulations apply.
CampingCamping is available at the nearby Tea Creek and Day Run Campgrounds. Camping in the Monongahela National Forest and the Cranberry Wilderness is also permitted as long as the regulations for each area are followed.
Summary of Trailheads and Routes
Red Spruce Knob Trailhead
The Red Spruce Knob Trailhead is easily accessed from the Highland Scenic Highway, WV Rt. 150. The trailhead provides access to the Red Spruce Knob Trail, as well as Old Gauley Road and FR115.
Red Spruce Knob Trail
The Red Spruce Knob Trail (TR405) is a 1.2 mile long (one-way) trail that leads from the Red Spruce Knob Trailhead to the top of Red Spruce Knob. Along the trail, one will pass through beautiful red spruce forests, past the remains of an old fire tower, and to a pleasant view - all while hiking to West Virginia's 9th highest point.
External LinksA summary of links is found below.
Monongahela National Forest
Monongahela National Forest Hiking Guide
Highland Scenic Highway
List of West Virginia Summits over 4,000 feet
Handley Public Hunting and Fishing Area
Current Nearby Weather Conditions