Bickle Knob is one of the many 4,000-foot peaks in West Virginia. For a state with a highest point of less than 5,000 feet, there seems to be a true wealth of peaks between 4,000 and 4,800 feet. This is due to the lay of the high country, which is in a series of very high, very long ridges running north to south along the Allegheny Plateau. So what one experiences in parts of the state are extremely long ranges of classic ridge and valley formations, with named peaks interspersed along these tremendous ridgelines.
Bickle Knob lies on a high ridge overlooking the Otter Creek Wilderness. A number of nearby trailheads descend into this 20,000-acre wilderness area from points near Bickle Knob and along the ridgelines that form the upper reaches of the bowl of the Otter Creek drainage.
Access to Bickle Knob is via Forest Service Road 91A, then a short footpath to the summit, which is home to an observation tower that was once a fire lookout before being modified for its present service as a
mere overlook. There is also a very good trail nearby that climbs toward Bickle Knob, the Middle Point Trail, which can offer a good 5+mile hike. In winter, road 91A is not plowed, and so access to the summit is strictly foot or cross country ski.
Although this entire area was logged about 100 years ago, the forests have recovered nicely and it is now a good example of a recovering native West Virginia forest. The uplands around Bickle Knob are home to spruce forests (especially in Otter Creek Wilderness), with hardwoods dominating in the lower reaches. Wildlife is also abundant with black bear, white-tailed deer, bobcat, and other mammals. The streams have a decent native brook trout population.
The view from the summit of Bickle Knob is exceptional, and if in the area to hike in the Otter Creek Wilderness or to stay in one of the nearby campgrounds, it’s well worth the effort to seek out the peak.
From Elkins, go east on State Highway 33 for approximately 4 miles. Turn north on WV Route 33/8 (old US Route 33) and travel approximately 2 miles. Turn north on WV Route 6 and
drive 1/2 mile just past the entrance to Stuart Recreation Area. Turn right on Stuart Memorial Drive (Forest Road 91) and go approximately 4 miles and turn left on Forest Road 91A.
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