Ascent of Mill Mountain on 2016-05-21

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Saturday, May 21, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mill Mountain
    Location:USA-Virginia/West Virginia
    Elevation:3293 ft / 1003 m

Ascent Trip Report

For this Shenandoah COHP (Mill Mountain) in the George Washington National Forest I used the route in Don Desrosiers TR - a good straight forward approach from the south side. All one needs is to read Don.
I visited a number of peaks while in the forest so this TR covers all of my activities while in the forest.

00.0M ... Woodstock VA. I-81, exit 283. WE went west on Hwy #42.
05.3M ... Turned right on #768 at cemetery. Sign points to #675.
05.6M ... turned right onto #675 (Wolf Gap Road)
06.0M ... turned right onto #608 (Johnstown Road)
08.4M ... turned left onto unsigned road (FR92)
09.2M ... small parking on the left (38.90777,-78.63972). This was the TH FOR HIGH HEAD.
10.5M ... large parking on the left (38.92345,-78.64829). This was my TH FOR SUGAR HILL.
11.7m ... parking on the left (38.93784,-78.64651). This is the TH FOR MILL MOUNTAIN.

MILL MOUNTAIN .. a trail hike ... 9.2 miles, 4:15 hours RT without the side trip to Sugar Knob
The yellow blazed Stony Creek Trail starts across the road from the TH (above)and climbs moderately northeast 3.6 miles to the unsigned 4-way JCT with the Tuscarora, about 100 yards past the Sugar Knob Cabin (a sign on the cabin "For Rental 703-242-0315).
I turned left onto Tuscarora (a wide track) and went northwest .5 miles to a signed Trail JCT, I turned left again onto the Mill Mountain Trail and followed it southwest .5 miles to a height-of-land where a small trail leaves to the right and goes 50 yards to the site of the old tower - a shed and foundations (Feb 1940) is all that remains.
As you turn onto this small trail the high ground is obvious to the right amid dense brush. After stomping the area I chose my spot at a large tree (38.97849,-78.63136) - 3 yards to the south is the BM "USGS MILL 1933".
I back tracked to the 4-way JCT and continued east on the Tuscarora 300M to the height-of-land south of Sugar Knob. My original plan was to bag Sugar Knob and add it to the PB Library for Greg's approval. The woods here are extremely dense with mountain laurel and with today's very wet conditions I would get soaked - not to my liking so I left it be.
The direct descent from the Mill summit to the TH took me 1:35 hours. I met up with a number of hikers, one a large group. This is a popular place.

SUGAR HILL ... a bushwack southbound in very open woods, 1.2 miles, 38 minutes RT
From the TH I picked up the ridge (a path of sorts) and followed it south .6 miles directly to the summit at a bunch of rocks (38.91768,-78.65228). All open woods, easy going. Interesting woods but no views.

HIGH HEAD .... a bushwach westbound, .7 miles. 35 minutes RT
From the TH I bushwacked west .35 miles to the obvious summit (38.90711,-78.64605). A steep slope with rocky/poor footing in very open deciduous woods. Partial views to the south.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1793 ft / 546 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.2 mi / 14.8 km
    Route:trail neb from FS 92
    Trailhead:Parking at FR92, Stony Creek  1500 ft / 457 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack

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