Big Schloss Hiking, George Washington National Forest
The George Washington National Forest offers moderate hiking and camping close to the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia area, with an array of plants and animals and enjoyable hikes that have rewarding panoramic views.
Destination Distance From Downtown
The first .7 or so of the Big Schloss Trail consists of uphill switchbacks, that shares its start with the orange-blazed Mill Mountain Trail. If you take your time, it can be physically rewarding. Be careful though, it is mostly loose rocks for the start that can roll your ankle, or make you slip if you're not planting your feet correctly.
Time To Complete
Give 2-4 hours to hike Big Schloss. If you take your time on the first mile, then stop for small breaks for views along the way, this time should be accurate. You will also gain a little over 1,000 feet in elevation. Bring lunch or snacks as well, you'll want to hang out at the top for a while. There are spectacular views of both West Virginia, and Virginia. The trail runs along both state's borders.
Big Schloss is part of George Washington National Forest, which is assimilated with the Washington and Jefferson National Forest system. Spring and fall are the best seasons to hike this trail. There are many varieties of blooming plant-life during the spring, and the autumnal views in the fall are unparalleled. Summer is fine, but plan on sweating! When it's the hottest, the views aren't the clearest due to humidity, and there's a slight smoggy undertone to the air.
On Leash Only