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Furnace Mountain Trail

MODERATE 58 reviews
#61 of 195 trails in

Furnace Mountain Trail is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Grottoes, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,493 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

This trail was more interesting than I was expecting. Had thought it was going to be mostly in the trees the whole way up, but was nice narrow / curvy / rocky terrain most of the way with couple spots where it was open to see view outward. Once you pass the short trail to the summit and continue up, it can seem like a slow never-ending ascent. Although this trail ends at the Mt Trayfoot / Furnace Mt trail intersection, I would definitely recommend continuing over to Black Rock overlook if have not done so before which would make this a more worthy ending and the .7 mile connector trail is rather easy.

hiking
rocky
23 days ago

I loved this trail. Fallen leaves added an extra challenge - slips on the inclines. The turnaround point of this trail isn’t particularly exciting; I was expecting another summit but it was just a trail junction. The view of Furnace Mountain was beautiful... still good foliage yesterday. Loose rocks are also a challenge but overall the trail was easy to moderate in difficulty. The sunset was a great addition to my hike yesterday.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
4 months ago

Definitely no trail anywhere near where the All Trail GPS says. Trekked through thick brush for 2 hours trying to find anything resembling a trail, but found nothing. I am thinking people who reviewed this trail either hiked up the fire road, or hiked from a different trail head. Also, covered in ticks. This is the only trail in my life I wish I never came near. Please stay away, or upload new GPW coordinates if there's a trail maybe a mile away from here that is blazed.

hiking
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

The trail itself is definitely full of rocks and overgrown but it was still a really nice hike! As long as you spray some bug spray on you won't have any issues. We took our 70lb dog with and he loved it, only found 2 ticks on him after the hike was over. Really clear markings on the trail so you know you are still going the right way and overall a good trail! Go early in the day to avoid the heat in the summer. We got there around 8am and it was perfect weather for the hike.

hiking
5 months ago

I'd recommend this trail in cool weather. We were vacationing in July and it was hot and humid--so the fact that you're basically climbing a staircase that never ends makes it pretty uncomfortable. Very rocky terrain. Nice views but you have to stop to look or risk tripping over rocks. If you want a good workout, though, you'll enjoy it.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Moderate incline most of trail. Some views available would be awesome in late fall or winter.

6 months ago

This trail rocks! As in, it's 80% rocks. It's a fun time, about a mile-and-a-half to the peak, but be prepared for nonstop rock action. Great views and a nice creek at the trailhead to cool off coming or going. GPS may try to take you left immediately before the trail parking area. Just ignore it and continue straight. Park by the chained "Private property" sign or parallel across from there, then walk to the trailhead (which is easily located on the right before some stepping stones leading across the creek).

6 months ago

Though it is like climbing several light house stairs, the views and reward at the top are worth it. Plus the second half is all down hill! My elementary school daughter and I (her out of shape Dad) love this hike. Be sure to bring towels as you may want to cool off in the stream once done.

hiking
9 months ago

This was a great trail! The reviews on here had us confused though, people said you had to cross the stream by a fallen tree, but if you walk further down the road past the sign you will eventually find a little path that has a perfect row of rocks in order to cross the stream. We had dogs with us and one crossed it no problem the other needed to be carried across. The view at the summit was incredible.

Sun Oct 07 2018

Parking near trailhead is tricky. Don’t park on gravel road next to gate/chain. Park about 159 yards before there in area at side of the road. Access to trail requires crossing a stream - over a fallen tree.

Sun Sep 02 2018

Awesome trail! Very scenic!

hiking
Thu Aug 02 2018

Pleasant hike! Steady incline but not treacherous! Woodsy & pleasant along the way with okay views! Traveling w 2 others (ages 24 athletic but not experienced hiker & 9 year old, fairly experienced hiker) and both traversed it fine! We had to turn around about 2/3 in due to impending storm! *PARKING NOTE! Stop and park about 1/4 mile short of gps destination! Park on the right side where the road widens or a chained area on the left that says private property! If you continue straight one the one lane - it stops at a chain across the road & you have to back up to the widened area!

hiking
Tue May 22 2018

Great hike, if it is the rainy season be warned there is a stream you will have to cross

hiking
Tue Apr 03 2018

Loved this hike. Super easy straight shot on Port Republic from Harrisonburg. I went to the top of Furnace and then headed back. Took an hour to get to the top, and a little less to get down. Dog love it.

Tue Oct 17 2017

Great fall hike for the wife and I. Nice beams of sunlight peaking through this morning. Came down the mountain a lot quicker than expected.

hiking
Sun Oct 01 2017

We did this as part of a loop circuit starting at the Blackrock Summit parking area, down the AT, left around the ridge through the rock slides and down to Browns Gap fire road. From there after the creek crossing the Furnace Mtn. Trail is a long 1100' mile and a half constant uphill to a left turn that takes you another 200' elevation gain in a half mile to a tight overlook at the top of Furnace Mountain. The spot fills up at lunchtime on the weekends as it is a good picnic destination with a great 120 degree view [trees on both sides]. While we enjoyed this part of the hike, the Blackrock Summit was much more spectacular and gives you much more bang for your effort. Still, it's less crowded than Blackrock and gives you a great workout.

hiking
Sat Sep 23 2017

steep incline...take breaks cause of the slippery slates..view at the summit is so relaxing and peaceful...still had phone service to stream friends live

Fri Sep 08 2017

Nice trail with a rock on the summit! Had service on the path which is always nice

Mon Jul 17 2017

Fun hike - challenging for me but doable! Great day- had lizard and bear action. Drank all my water at the top but the trip down was fast.

hiking
Sun Jun 11 2017

I enjoyed the trail and summit very much. I completed it twice even. it has wild life encounters and a nice waterfront to start you off and end you well. It gets rocky at points but my senior dog and I managed just fine. we are not regular hikers and were able to handle this trail with moderate speed.

hiking
Thu Nov 10 2016

when I travel that trail it was full of bear poop and blueberry's you can see Austin mountain and skyline drive from the top

hiking
Mon Sep 26 2016

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.

hiking
Mon Aug 01 2016

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.

running
Sat Jun 18 2016

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.

hiking
Sun Apr 10 2016

A pretty intense climb up, but well worth it!! It's rocky so make sure you have your hiking boots on. :)

Wed Oct 28 2015

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.

Wed Aug 27 2014

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.

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