Reddish Knob (Virginia) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Reddish Knob (Virginia)


Tough and peaceful climb to 360 degree views at the top.

Page Contributor(s): John Summerson, The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike), 2nd Edition.

Explore this Climb

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Climb Summary

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - aerial panoramic view of hillsides covered in bright fall foliage, bright blue sky

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - #2 Virginia Top Bike Climb

Ride 8.9 miles gaining 2,740’ at 5.7% average grade.

This climb begins in northwestern Virginia and ends on its border with West Virginia.

“Reddish Knob is a challenging and scenic ascent up to the very top of Reddish Knob Mountain in western Virginia.  The road is narrow over part of the route and the grade is shallow to start but gradually steepens as you ride west.  Eventually you pass a dam on your left.  Beyond the dam the climb averages 7% grade and at a big switchback at mile 6.8 the road gets very narrow (only one vehicle can pass at a time in places) as it enters thick trees.  There are several short flats in this section before a steeper stretch just prior to the top which greets you with 360 degree views.  Reddish Knob is also an interesting descent as well.” (This quote is provided with the approval of John Summerson from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 118.)

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - photo collage, NPS sign for George Washington National Forest "Land of Many Uses", bright fall foliage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

The term “knob” refers to a prominent rounded hill or mountain.

This is a very peaceful and fun ride up Shenandoah Mountain to one of the highest points in Virginia at 4,411’.  Shenandoah Mountain is part of the Alleghenies, which are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains.

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - bike parked against road sign at climb's start, signs for Reddish Knob, etc.

Climb’s start.

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - views along the climb during fall colors season, bright red, orange, and yellow foliage

This is a pleasant climb, most scenic during fall colors.

The first 2.7 miles of the ride are very tame, averaging just over 2%.  The next 4.6 miles are a very challenging 8% average grade before a one-third mile descent, leading into the final 1.2 miles at 7%.  The steepest quarter mile of the climb is within the last 1.2 miles and averages 10.6%.

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - bike parked in grassy area overlooking hillsides covered in fall foliage, sign for Briery Branch Reservoir

Briery Branch Reservoir at mile 2.4.

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia -  photo collage showing views along the climb, fall foliage, forestation, panoramic views over hillside, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - road forks, keep right, fall foliage

Turn left onto Route 85 (Reddish Knob Road continues to the right) at mile 6.6.

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - Sugar Grove NSA listening station

Sugar Grove NSA Listening Station four miles northwest of Reddish Knob Summit.

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - PJAMM Adventure App shows climb grade and profile

PJAMM Adventure App showing gradient of climb.

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - informational park signs

Worn park sign a quarter mile from the summit.

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - aerial view of two PJAMM Cyclists standing at summit, on the border of Virginia and West Virginia, bright graffiti painted all over road, bright fall foliage on hillsides in distance

We are standing on the border of Virginia and West Virginia.

The roadway along the climb and the summit parking area is pocked with graffiti.  This rides rivals Wards Ferry near Yosemite, California (seen below).

road covered in bright graffiti at Wards Ferry, Yosemite, California

Wards Ferry, California

Cycling Reddish Knob, Virginia - climb finish at summit, parking area covered in graffiti, 360 degree views of fall foliage surrounding

Finish this climb at the parking area at the summit.

360 degree views from the top.

Traffic and Roadway Surface Report:  The roadway was in good shape as of October 2020 and there is minimal traffic on this route.

Parking:  There is minimal parking near the start of the climb.  We parked at the bridge over the North River on Tilghman Road just before the start of the climb.

That’s a wrap!