Explore the most popular mountain biking trails in George Washington National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Would be 5 stars if there was a better view. Lightly trafficked, easy to follow trail

off road driving
13 days ago

Definitely fun, bumpy, and challenging! This was a lot tougher than I anticipated however. Some puddles and rock structures seemed very intimidating. About 2-3 puddles actually came all the way up to my half doors. I drive a TJ with a 2.5" lift on 285/75r16's for height reference. (Also I went about a day after harsh rain) I would be very hesitant to bring a bone stock vehicle up this trail. From deep puddles, deep ruts, and some helacious rocks to conquer, this would be quite the impossible task. At the bare minimum you NEED upgraded/stronger tires. This trail will devour stock tires. Also a trail buddy is advised, as always. This trail is very secluded and lightly trafficked so if you get stuck or injured, you're pretty much beat. I was fortunate to never get stuck or hung up, but take the extra precaution... So in summary, *If you're looking for an aggressive challenge and have upgraded your jeep's suspension and tires, this is for you*. (Also beware the GPS, it took me down several private driveways where I had no business being, I drove 1.5 hours to get to this trail)

This is an interesting place. The history behind the "furnace" is kind of fascinating as is how the USFS gradually took over and restored the area. There are a number of trail heads here and there throughout the area. It was overcast with a light rain when we went but the trails were easily passable. We took the Botts Trail (white) which goes down by Passage Creek and it was easy to follow. You could tell from the branches and other debris that at times that creek must get flooded out. Good hike. If you have the chance, stop by and see the suspension bridge, restored buildings and the furnace.

backpacking
15 days ago

Crosses river many times, but a great first backpacking trip.

I did well with my 2004 F150 XLT 4wd. No mods, all stock. Only came out with minor marks from leaves in a few spots. Super fun trail and really pretty! Plenty of obstacles and always a way around larger obstacles for the hard out Jeep guys. I'll be hitting it again for sure.

trail is okay but what's the difference between this and big levels

off road driving
1 month ago

Mostly stock friendly, there's a couple rocky areas and mudholes that are not stock friendly. You will have pin stripes at the end. It's a good 3 hour trip. This was my second time out with HMMWVs. Trail is narrow with brush but no trees are in the way.

I did not go full length of trail, but the first third is mostly fairly level with only mild grades. My out-of-shape husband did fine. :) Occasional short stretches where trail very rocky but otherwise pretty good footing. Be aware the trail crosses the North River - bring water shoes or prepare to get wet!
Entire trail in the woods, about 1/3 in dense growth (like walking through a tunnel), rest open enough that you can see around you.
A little tricky to find the trail head, and parking is not necessarily at the trail head - we had to walk up the road a bit to get to it.
Trail shared with bikers and horses so stay alert.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike. We wanted to finish going down hill. If you want to do it this way, follow the driving directions AllTrails gives you. After you park on the right side of the gravel road, you’ll have to walk down the gravel road in the direction you just came (about a quarter mile) and turn right at the white bar or Oak Knob fire road. The sign was overgrown with weeds and we missed it. It’ll be in your left when driving in, or on your right walking down from the upper parking area. The gradual elevation change wasn’t too bad.
The pond is very small and we laughed when we saw it. This is where 3 trails come together. Tricky, but if you’re coming from the upper parking area, take a sharp turn left at the pond, if you start at the oak knob trail head, make a sharp right at the pond. Do not go past the big number “8” on a tree. There are big open fields filled with wild flowers, that are numbered with huge numbers painted on the trees.
No views when the leaves are on.
If you want to start at the upper parking area, just cross the road and walk to the white bar and start your hike. It’s only a .2 walk up hill on the gravel road to your car at the end. We didn’t see any bikes just their footprints. Two dear.

off road driving
1 month ago

I was out with a group of jeepers For my 1st Ever Jeep trail run. This trail is A-blast. It is challenging but not so much to the point That is frustrating. I was the only Jeep Liberty in a group of Wranglers and had no problem running with them.
On a side note though. Beware the water crossings if it's been rainy they can get rather deep... Fun but deep. Happy trails y'all.

This trail would be really awesome... if the majority of it weren't along the road. We supplemented the lack of mapping on this trail with the map at the parking lot (the first one when you enter this section of national forest) - it seemed super clear until we got to the trail that the majority of the route was supposed to follow ended up being the road for about 4 miles. We decided to keep following the track, made it up to the beautiful dam, and decided to take Hanley Mountain Road up to the Ridge trail and follow that back to the parking lot. Hanley Mountain Road is an adventure... I have no idea why you would just go up it and back down it consecutively without any other gain than adding the miles and elevation change?? Skip the retracing and just take the Wild Oak (716) Trail back to the parking lot.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great hike for families with kids. My family loved playing in the water. Wear shoes with the expectation of getting wet. This is an easy hike in my opinion with very little elevation change.

backpacking
2 months ago

The displayed trail starts at Boone's run, and is about a 3 mile hike in before hitting the loop. There is a campsite right at the intersection of the trails, as well as an AT shelter about 2 miles in. The trail is VERY wet and involves a lot of stream crossings, and overgrown trails. The trail has many variations, one being the AT, another being a light blue blaze that will take you up to Massanutten Ridge. I would recommended starting this hike from
a little further down Cub Run road, where there is an access trail that is only a mile and will take you to the same campsite.

hiking
3 months ago

Very nice trail! Muddy, long ascent with some very pretty views of the Homestead Resort.

off road driving
3 months ago

the jeep trail was amazing for my first time doing a trail run, lots of fun, and definately stock friendly.

off road driving
3 months ago

Really fun trail, did it for my second time about 2 weeks ago. First time was dry and could go through the whole trail; really fun ride with small puddles and some rocks. Second time was after a lot of rain... most water was easily passable. After rain, most water was up past my bumper. No problems with a 4-inch lift and 33's.
Definitely recommend this trail to first-timers.

Fun to wade through the water as we crossed to follow the trail. A bit buggy with the standing water pools but overall fun and moderate hike with baby in a backpack. We took a nice dip at the end.

off road driving
3 months ago

One of the best trial i’ve tried so far.

off road driving
3 months ago

Did this trail a few years ago, was great. went back last fall. well marked and stil a good place to explore.

hiking
3 months ago

Mountain Laurel was in full bloom on Memorial Day weekend in 2018, surrounding and papering the well groomed trail surface. We clocked the distance for a bit under 9-miles and passed through or over mountain spurs to the peak. There were no other hikers on the Kennedy part of the trail (about 7 miles) on a holiday weekend. The view at the peak was excellent when we were there.

Parking is good and the trail (actually a circuit) is well marked by orange, yellow (or tan?) and brown blazes. There is camping at several locations.

We will definitely do this trail again.

off road driving
4 months ago

Our '91 XJ has a 4" lift and 33" tires
This trail was not very challenging for us but we chose it because we were traveling alone (no extra spotters or tow assistance) and had our 7yo kid and two dogs with us. We had a lovely trip and made it through in a 3-4 hours, while taking plenty of time to explore the creeks, puddles, and overlooks. Before we got there, there had been several days of rain, and a massive thunderstorm the night before, so the puddles were quite deep. Our XJ handled them all just fine, but there were a few I would not recommend trying in a stock vehicle; don't go right after it rains unless you have a lift! The 0.8 mile bypass/alternate trail on the north half of Bald Mountain trail was more challenging than the main trail, but not impossible (we were coming down the hill) for stock vehicles with drivers who have been wheeling before.
My husband's AT&T iPhone was able to get at least one bar of cell service for most of the trip, but there's very little connectivity on the way there.
Overall, this would be a fun trip for anyone who's been wheeling before, but probably not engaging enough for experienced drivers who are looking for a real challenge.
Camping at Sherando Lake Recreational Park was a dream, but there are a bunch of (free) campsites with fire pits near the Southern trailhead by the Blue Ridge Parkway where we will camp if we go again. 4/5 stars, will do again. :)

Love this trail. Great for the dogs. Some river crossing but enjoyable.

We camped at the campsite and enjoyed this hike the climb up was a challenge in a good way. There was a few trees on the trail but nothing that hindered the experience. I will say the trail markings are all the same color and it appears to be off shoots of the main trail, we didn’t go down any of them but could be very confusing.

hiking
5 months ago

While we had fun on this hike, the terrain varied like our emotions on the hike. The actual trail begins at the trail head of Boone’s Run which lead to some confusion. The trail is hard terrain and requires boots as it has insane changes in elevation, but amazing views and water scenery. There is no parking except on the street or by a shooting range.

hiking
5 months ago

This was great hike!

walking
5 months ago

Nice hike. It is a well maintained trail. Fair amount of horse droppings along the lower trail. Even after reading the previous reviews, I missed the turn down from the upper trail. The turn is marked with white survey tape on a branch and the trail markers Change from orange to yellow. I recommend using the apps gps function for this transition. Enjoy the views.

Lots of rocks on the trail, lots of debris and very little pay off.

We opted to check out Elizabeth Furnace since we had a nice break in the weather. We’d heard good things about the park so figured we’d give it a go but ultimately didn’t care for the trail we did. There are some pretty cool features and it was great to be outside but the trail ends in an intersection of other trails and doesn’t offer much else. If we ever do this one again it will be to link up with the Buzzard Rocks trail.

Side note: as someone previously mentioned, the trailhead is hidden away. It is directly to the RIGHT of the covered table area. Follow the light blue blazes.

off road driving
7 months ago

I've rode and hunted on this trail since I was a kid . I have even taken a car up it with minimal trouble on the new trail . the old trail that cuts in and out of the new is the rough one .

off road driving
8 months ago

This is a great trail with anything from rocks to mud. However if you are concerned about scatching your vehicle I would not recommend this trail. As others have mentioned it gets very narrow in places. I have a 2017 Toyota Tacoma and it rubbed on both sides in many places. Didn't bother me since this is what I bought the Off road addition for (and white). One of the few trails in VA available to the public.

Load More