Monument Knob via Bartman Hill Trail on the Appalachian Trail

Feeling our oats after last week’s Triumphant Return to Hiking on the rollercoaster section of the AT, I cruised AllTrails for “hard” trails within a tolerable drive, glared suspiciously at the elevation maps, and made a list of the ones with no apparent Hip-Killing Flat Spots.

Thus we landed on Monument Knob via Big Red and Bartman Hill Trail. At 12 miles, we were not up to the full distance, having been off the wagon for two years. but half of it is on the AT going up to Monument Knob, and half is puttering around in Greenbrier State Park, which is undoubtedly lovely, but flatter. So we went for the jugular — climb up to the AT on Bartman Hill Trail, then straight up the AT to Monument Knob (aka The Milk Bottle).

Total distance: 7.01 mi
Max elevation: 1549 ft
Min elevation: 866 ft
Total climbing: 1694 ft
Total descent: -1696 ft
Average speed: 2.60 mi/h
Total time: 03:23:31

Greenbrier State Park has excellent clean, modern bathrooms down by the lake shore. Automatic flushing toilets, hurricane-force hand dryers. Five stars. Don’t be fooled by the portapotties near the larger picnic areas! Entry is $3 per person, and the bathrooms are #worthit.

From the South parking lot, you can cross the road directly to the Bartman Hill Trail and climb 0.6 miles up to the Appalachian Trail. Turn right at the AT to head south to The Milk Knob. There is nothing notable to photograph on the trail, just miles of blissful trees and mostly-up-and-down trail. On a lovely May day, we passed many through-hikers headed north. They were all chipper and friendly.

Glowing Milk Knob! We are very happy to be hiking again!!!11!!1!!
The Milk Knob overlooks .. something scenic.
On the way back, I endeavored to photograph the ferns growing next to a small rock in the path as if they were towering trees next to a gargantuan rock outcropping.

Despite appearances on the elevation map, this section of the AT turned out to have too much flat for my hips, but it was delightful to be back on the trail.


Distance6.91 miles
Elevation Gain417 feet
Moving Time3 hours, 05 minutes
Total Time3 hours, 11 minutes
Average Pace27 minutes per mile / 2.2 mph
Water Consumed0.75 liters
Food Beforeoatmeal with berries
Food During2 Clif bars
Temperature Range66 to 74°F


PackCamelBak Blowfish hydration pack
NavigationiPhone 11 with AllTrails Pro
ShoesHoka One One Speedgoat 4 Gore Tex trailing running shoes
Used Poles?No
ClothesSocks: Wigwam Ironman Triathlon running socks
Gaiters: Outdoor Research Thru lightweight summer gaiters
Bottom: cotton capri tights
Shirt: short sleeve wicking tee
Shirt: long sleeve wicking tee


See my current gear, clothing, and thoughts about it on the Hiking Gear page.