Furnace Mountain Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grottoes, VA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
Hiked this today and it was cloudy and cool! Great hike, though it is a bit rocky! I had never hiked before and this was definitely a good start! Would recommend following the trail marks from Shenandoah, this park map isn't accurate. Also parking was a little confusing, it is in front of a chained-off private property. Overall loved it, definitely will go back.
I've edited the description to better reflect the facts: "Furnace Mountain Trail is a 3.4 mile low traffic trail located in Shenandoah National Park that is very steep and rugged and is rated as strenuous. The trail is accessible year round, and runs between Madison Run Road and Trayfoot Mountain Trail. Furnace Mountain is so named because of the Mt. Vernon Furnace located on Madison Run (not to be confused with the one in PA) which was used to process iron ore from circa 1830-1880." I hiked this trail yesterday as part of a circuit beginning on Skyline Drive at Browns Gap parking area; Madison Run Road - Furnace Mountain Trail plus a trip to the summit which adds nearly 1 total mile to the hike - Trayfoot Mountain Trail - Appalachian Trail, total distance by GPS is 12.2 miles for the circuit.
Great technical trail on the left about a mile in. I ran 4 miles up hill then 4 miles back down the same trail due to a bear. Fitbit says 178 floors. Mile 2 to 3 is majority rocks. Great run plenty of snakes, poison ivy, only 1 bear.
Definitely go back again for a for good technical rock running.
Great hike! The comes about it being a bit strenuous are no joke though. I suggest doing it on a cool spring day, there are plenty of beautiful flowers to see on the way up and seeing the mountains covered in a blanket of green is gorgeous! The trail is also well marked and I bit rocky in some parts so wear some sturdy sneakers or hiking boots.
A pretty intense climb up, but well worth it!! It's rocky so make sure you have your hiking boots on. :)
Tough hike going up as it's pretty steep all the way up. If you take the spur trail it will take you to the summit of Furnace Mountain which is a beautiful sight especially in the fall. I've been up it three times so far and it's the trail I'm using to get back into shape.
I've hiked this one three times. You can start this hike from two points. Either Brown's Gap on Skyline Drive or the parking lot near the base of Furnace Mt. in Grottoes which is what I would recommend . Travel up the Madison fire road and cross the stream at the trail head. Big rocks across the stream so you shouldn't get your feet wet. The hill is fairly steep and rugged and not much of a view at the top but there is a spur trail to an over look that is well worth the effort. From the top it's a fairly flat walk to Skyline drive where you can get on the AT, head north and get on the Austin Mt. trail to complete the loop. The Austin Mt. trail has a lot of talus fields near the end so good shoes are a must. Or you can start on the Austin Mt. trail and take the Furnace Mt. trail back. It's a loop so it doesn't matter but I would start from the Grottoes end since you get the major uphill part out of the way at the beginning. I don't know about doing any part of White Oak Canyon from Furnace Mt. White Oak Canyon is about 40 miles to the north.
Did this with my family- husband, two daughters 9 and 11 yrs, and two small dogs in late July. We toughed it out but it was both a mental and physical challenge for myself and my 11 year old. We felt it was a bit of a let down at the top but really enjoyed finding tons if wild blueberries on the way up! Lots of rocks so watch the footing and bring lots of water in the summer.
Nice hike, but hot. Not much shade which i believe is where the hike get its name from. Completed as part of a loop we made up conisiting of this and whikeoak canyon. Did a couple othe branch offs to summitt and enjoyed the streams and waterfalls along Whiteoak trail.