So yeah, I had never been to Flagpole Knob in Virginia. Well, that was until last weekend, when after hearing so much about this “awesome” place to go wheel’n, I tossed a sandwich and drinks into the Tacoma and took a Sunday drive.
To be honest, I was just looking for something to do on Sunday and wasn’t expecting much in the way of off-roading. Sure, the roads in George Washington National Forest are not paved but in my experience most of the roads in the National Forest are just good old fashioned bumpy dirt roads rough enough to make you drive slow and bounce around but not 4×4 worthy.
With that in mind, I left Northern Virginia and headed south on route 81 toward Harrisonburg, VA. Once there, I topped off the fuel tank, set the camera on the passenger seat and headed for the mountains. Some friends suggested a route beginning on Union Springs Road then turning of onto a Jeep trail that would wind along a ridge and take me to Flagpole Knob. The knob on top of the Allegany mountains sits 4190 ft above sea level and offers a great view down into the vallies below. Or so I had heard. Once I reached the top of Flagpole Knob, the snowy conditions clouded the view. But even with that, it was worth the drive and was a nice picnic location. Even if I ate inside my truck due to the brisk cold breeze and falling snow.
Winter time can be a difficult time to photograph the woods, but I gave it a try.
The drive up to flagpole Knob turned out to be a worthy opponent for my Tacoma. While the main forest roads were just as I expected, nothing more than aggravating bumpy rides, the Jeep trail provided some fun uphill climbs and required 4×4 to continue forward progress. Was it the gnarly rock climbing and deep mud holes of Rausch Creek or other such places, not really, but it was enough to provide some 4×4 action on a Sunday drive.
Coming down the mountain, I traveled the main route normally taken to Flagpole Knob via FS85A then to Briery Branch Rd. This track was the standard forest service type road and with smart and cautious driving could be traversed in almost any type of vehicle. With that said, I would strongly suggest something with some kind of decent ground clearance and maybe even 4×4 for that just in case scenario.
So yeah, I’ve been to flag pole and while the area does seem to get a little busy during the summer from what I have heard, I’d be willing to head back to camp for a weekend and explore some more of the area.