This is a terrific long day hike, or two day backpack trip. It is roughly 12 miles as a backpacking trip. Approaching Big Schloss from the opposite direction would shorten the distance to seven miles round trip, but would be a very steep ascent on a very rocky trail.
The focus is on Big Schloss--a large rocky outcrop from where you can enjoy 360 degree views of the Great Northern Mountain area. The word "schloss" is German for castle, and that is pretty much what this rocky outcropping looks like.
For either hike, take route 42 from Woodstock, and take SR 675, Wolf Gap Road. You'll have to make several turns to stay on Wolf Gap road. Two miles after the junction with SR 717, (a "Y" intersection") you need to go slowly and look very hard for the sign for FR 92. The brown sign for it is no bigger than a dessert plate. You can also look for the stop sign that will face cars coming out of FR 92. Someone has painted 92 on the back of it.
Take a right onto FR 92, and go about 4 miles. You should cross one river, but find the parking lot on your right before you hit the next river. The orange blazed trail runs along the river, if you want the longer 12 mile hike. For the shorter hike straight to Big Schloss, you will need to hike back along the road the way you came for about .5 miles. You should see hiking signs directing you into the forest--the trail is well blazed.
I highly recommend the maps and trail notes available for free at midatlantic hikes.com
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