View Full Version : Crowds on the Fourth

07-01-2009, 19:59
How crowded will the SNP be on the fourth? I was thinking of hiking Knob Mountain/Neighbor Mountain Trail, but I really don't want to fight crowds and traffic. Am I better off heading to the George Washington National Forest?


07-01-2009, 20:18
The 4th on a weekend - add good weather ....maybe everyone will head to the beaches.:sun
I will be amongest the hopefully smaller crowd going to SNP.
I'd still go but stay clear of the more crowded central district , ie; Big Meadows , if throngs of people bum you out.

07-01-2009, 20:57
Beach like traffic is what I'm afraid of. Sitting in traffic on 66. Lines to register for your permit. That kind of stuff will ruin my whole attitude.

Lemni Skate
07-01-2009, 21:14
You're safe. The park won't be empty like a week day and you probably can't drive up and get a room at one of the lodges and you don't really want to try and buy food in one of the restaurants, but it won't be crazy and 66 won't be at a stand still or anything.

Fall leave looking season is worse. Get more than 1/2 mile out on a trail and you'll have plenty of solitude.

07-01-2009, 22:24
Should be fine on those trails, good choice, though there will likely be people at Jeremy's Run.
Watch out for ticks.

Ridge Rat
07-01-2009, 22:52
I will be in SNP this weekend also. Hiking in up Tuscarora to click off a couple more sections and hiking around mathews arm the rest of weekend.

07-01-2009, 23:22
Knob and Neighbor Mt. Trails are a good choice. You may see a few people, but unless some DC hiking club chooses one of those routes with their busload of dayhikers you probably won't feel crowded.

The portion of that hike you spend connecting Knob and Neighbor on the Jeremys Run Trail and/or AT may be a little busier but I think you'll be OK.

The trails you would want to avoid are those that go to popular viewpoints and waterfalls, plus those close to the resorts. Oh, and Old Rag.

As for traffic, there may be brief backups at the Skyline Drive entrance stations but nothing like October leaf-peeping season. Re: I-66 or other roads, I live out here and avoid the city like the plague! Meaning: I dunno.

07-01-2009, 23:40
Thanks I guess I'll I give it a go. I know it's tick season. I have to decide whether to use Deet on my legs or where long pants.

07-02-2009, 09:31
Thanks I guess I'll I give it a go. I know it's tick season. I have to decide whether to use Deet on my legs or where long pants.

I'd go with the long pants. Less toxic.

Heads up:

Your best water source will be Jeremys Run. AFAIK Knob Mt. Trail has no springs. The water fountain at Byrds Nest #4 day shelter (eastern terminus of Neighbor Mt. Trail) hasn't worked for years. And "Dripping Spring" on the NMT is aptly named. Not worth the aggravation unless you're really desperate.

07-05-2009, 21:56
I did my hike and there were people around but it was manageable. Didn't see any ticks and I was the only one who seemed worried about it and wearing long pants. The highlight of the trip was being chased off Rocky Branch Trail by a bear. I'm hiking and I come up behind a big bear about 10 yards ahead of me. I stop. He then turns around and sits down and looks at me. I take a couple of steps back and he turns around and goes on his way. So I wait till he's out of sight for a couple of minutes and start hiking up the trail whistling. I figure he'll hear me coming and get off the trail. I come round the bend and there he is sitting listening to me whistle. So we stare at each for a little while until I give in and back up to where he's out of sight. But I'm curious so I head off the trail to where I can see him through the trees. He sitting there and sees me watching him and starts coming towards me. So I walked backwards back to the parking lot. Later that day when I'm driving home he's on the other side of that parking lot in a culvert next to Skyline drive with all these cars parked and people taking pictures of him. This bear had no fear of people.