Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This trail is named after the notorious Robert (Chief) Benge who was greatly feared in the Central Appalachians in the late 1700's. The trail starts at High Knob Observation Tower where the hiker can view five states, and continues east for 18.7 miles to Hanging Rock Day Use Area. The lower section of this trail is also the Little Stony National Recreation Trail.

Trail Open To:

Trail HikingBicycle RidingHorse Riding

At a Glance

Fees No fee
Open Season: Open Year Round
Closest Towns: Norton, VA - SCOTT COUNTY
Water: No drinking water available. All water taken from natural sources should be purified before use.
Restroom: Flush at High Knob Recreation Area open may 15 - Sept 15.
Operated By: Clinch Ranger District: (276) 679-8370
Information Center: Trail is located on National Geographic/Trails Illustrated Map #793.  It is recommended that all trail users carry a reliable map at all times.  Maps may be purchased at some local District Ranger Stations, at outdoor retail locations or by visiting the National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated website.

General Information


From Norton VA: Follow SR 619 for 3.8 miles. Turn left onto FR 238 and follow for 0.5 miles to the entrance for the High Knob Observation Tower. The trail starts to the left of the steps that leave the parking lot toward the tower.

General Notes:
  • Trail Length:  18.70 miles
  • Blazes:  Yellow
  • Trail Difficulty:  Difficult
  • Connecting Trails:  FT # 120 - High Knob, FT # 401A - High Knob Lakeshore, and FT #211 - Bark Camp Lakeshore
  • Elevation:  1500 - 1900 feet
  • Trail Access Points (Approximate LAT/LONG):
  • Trail Etiquette:  Trail etiquette for multiple use trails calls for horses to have the right-of-way.  Hikers should yield to horses.  Bicyclists should yield to horses and hikers.  Horse riders are responsible for the control of their horse at all times.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Day Hiking