Great North Mountain

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For the similarly named mountain farther north in Virginia and West Virginia, see North Mountain (Virginia-West Virginia).
Great North Mountain
Elevation 3,293 ft (1,004 m)
Location Virginia and West Virginia, U.S.
Range Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians
Coordinates 39°02′08″N 78°34′03″W / 39.03556°N 78.56750°W / 39.03556; -78.56750Coordinates: 39°02′08″N 78°34′03″W / 39.03556°N 78.56750°W / 39.03556; -78.56750
Topo map USGS Wardensville
Easiest route Drive, hike

Great North Mountain is a 50-mile (80 km) long mountain ridge within the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians in the U.S. states of Virginia and West Virginia. The ridge is located west of the Shenandoah Valley and Massanutten Mountain in Virginia, and east of the Allegheny Mountains and Cacapon River in West Virginia.[1]


Great North Mountain runs northeast-southwest from its southern terminus at Cove Run Creek in Hardy County, West Virginia to its northern terminus at U.S. Route 50 in Frederick County, Virginia. A 14-mile (23 km) stretch of the ridge forms the border between Virginia and West Virginia, starting 2.25 miles (3.62 km) from its southern terminus.

The ridge reaches its greatest elevation, 3,293 feet (1,004 m), at the peak of Mill Mountain, on the border between Hardy County, West Virginia, and Shenandoah County, Virginia, in the George Washington National Forest.[2] The mountain is crossed by West Virginia and Virginia routes 55 between Wardensville, West Virginia, and Strasburg, Virginia.

Variant names[edit]

According to the Geographic Names Information System, Great North Mountain has been known by the following names:

  • Big North Mountain
  • Greater North Mountain
  • Greater North Mountains
  • North Mountain
  • North Mountains

The Board on Geographic Names handed down two official decisions concerning the mountain's name in the years 1941 and 1967. In 1941, the board decided upon the name Big North Mountain and in 1967, it chose Great North Mountain. Both of these name changes were made in order to differentiate the mountain from North Mountain to the north.[citation needed]

Local Sites of Interest[edit]

Part of Great North Mountain is within the George Washington National Forest, which offers many hiking and hunting trails, such as the Seven Springs trail, and those leading to an overlook on Big Schloss, a peak in the area.

The small town of Orkney Springs, Virginia, near the mountain, is the home of Shrine Mont, the Cathedral Shrine of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. This includes the Shrine Mont Hotel (the Virginia House), the Shrine itself, and the labyrinth.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Kohlbrenner, Wil (2001). "Introduction". Guide to Great North Mountain Trails (First ed.). Vienna, Virginia: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. p. 6. ISBN 0-915746-89-1. 
  2. ^ "Mill Mountain, Virginia/West Virginia". Retrieved 2009-04-28. 

External links[edit]