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Signal Knob Loop Trail

HARD 169 reviews

Signal Knob Loop Trail is a 9.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Fort Valley, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, bird watching, and horses and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,286 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Strasburg, VA: Take SR 55 east for about 5 miles to Waterlick. Then take SR 678 south for 5 miles to the Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area. The trailhead is at the Bear Wallow / Signal Knob parking lot on SR 678 approximately 1 mile north of the Elizabeth Furnace Picnic Area.

hiking
1 month ago

Short out and back on 1/4 the loop

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

The long, broad switchbacks can make these ascents/descents feel like there is no end...though at the same time they are so gradual it makes it pretty easy to keep a decent pace without losing all your energy. The trails are a great narrow/rocky ledge type of trails (some areas through pine). Had done while half the trees had already lost the leaves so was able to get views across to the other mountain pretty much the whole way up. The Massanutten trail gets pretty rocky the higher you get with some parts being completely rocks. The northern part of the loop on Massanutten Trail is just a wide gravel road up to Signal Knob. The trails are all well marked and in good shape. Had done loops including the Meneka Peak Trail, but there isn't any clearings/lookouts on that trail other than looking through the trees.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
blowdown
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Hard hike. Up to top, then down, then back up and over. But great views and beautiful terrain. Would do it again. Just humbling - I'm older than I thought I was. My dog thought it was a breeze. Damn dog!

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

Great hike, it kicked my butt and the views were nice. Might be better during the winter when you can see through the trees more. The uphill climbs are brutal and not for the faint of heart. Up by the tv station, there’s a blob of cement that someone poured, with what appears to be the imprint of a butt. I’m thinking a construction worker did it. I really appreciated the comfy spot to sit and drink my trail beer.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with some brutal climbs and very technical sections with a lot of loose rocks. Great views of the surrounding areas and woodlands. Plan on bringing 4 liters of water per person and would highly recommend doing with hiking boots. Overall a very challenging hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I did the loop, but I went to Signal Knob (view was ho hum) and then backtracked to the Maneka Peak trail to cut across rather than having to do another steep Ascent after Signal Knob on the Massanutten trail.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Very rocky so definitely wear your stiff soled shoes. Great views and would be really pretty when the leaves are off the trees.

hiking
5 months ago

I merged it with the Meneka Loop Trail, starting clockwise, cutting thru Meneka Peak with the white path to go to Signal Knob , going on counterclock wise to reach again the start of the white path, Meneka Peak and then down to the parking lot (it is adding 2.4 miles to this trail). Limited views at each top but quite interesting. Really impressed by 2 old ladies (surely in their 70s) that departed at the same time as me from the parking to do the Meneka Loop Trail counterclock wise that I finally met just after I passed the top of Meneka, specially after having seen the path on this side. Not really difficult but painful as stony and uneven.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

The hike, long on my to-do list, was a bit of a wash once we got to Signal Knob. The scenery was pretty, but unfortunately at the signal tower, the view was not that spectacular. In June, the trees had really filled out their foliage and obstructed what could have been a breathtaking overlook from the top. I’m glad I did it, but I don’t think I will be back. The trail had lots of rocky hills, and provides a great workout. We encountered 4 hikers, a trailer runner and a mountain biker on a Tuesday afternoon. Hiking counter clockwise, we made it to the tower in about 2.25 hours, and just under 3 hours continuing the loop along Tuscarora trail.

hiking
7 months ago

The previous reviews for this hike were accurate - go counter clockwise, wear hiking boots or your ankles won’t like you, and expect a long route with some good elevation gains and some nice flora. This was a nice long hike with a few okay lookouts, but there are definitely more challenging, fun, and less time consuming hikes in the Shenandoah/GW National forest area. It was a good workout, especially because of the length + decent elevation, but all in all I can’t say I’d highly recommend. It took us about 5.5 hours with an hour rest in the middle - and we’re mostly youthful/in shape :)

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

There are some good views on this trail, and it’s nice to have a longer loop. Definitely recommend hiking counterclockwise, as others have said.

hiking
8 months ago

The fire road made this hike feel less than spectacular. We went on a very foggy day and couldn't see much. Some parts can feel sort of steep, and the trail is super rocky. I didn't really love this trail, and probably won't be returning, but did enjoy the longer length.

hiking
rocky
snow
8 months ago

About sixty percent of the trail is rock-layered, so proper footwear is necessary. I wish I had worn trail runners instead of boots for maneuvering. I was expecting heavy streams, but instead there were only a few that were easy to traverse.There was a light, fresh snow that added to the challenge. Signal Knob overlook was fog-covered but still beautiful. Be careful of mountain bikers coming down the trail.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Cool hike, lots of parking available and not many people out there with you. You definitely need shoes you can navigate through tons of rocks with, but if you just watch your step and pick your knees up you’ll be fine. Heads up on that back stretch along the orange “Mennenka” or whatever trail - it’s a gravel surface road. I passed two dirt bikers and 4 people on horseback. Pretty boring stretch back there. Other than that it was cool.

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail with nice views. Very rocky, so it’s difficult to run. Ended up doing a 16 mile loop because we got lost - we did the counter-clockwise loop and missed the trail head (behind the map) at mile 4.5 when you’re supposed to get off the fire road. The markers at that point switch from orange to blue. If you do stay on the fire road (or the orange trail) for another half mile at that point, you’ll come across a beautiful lake.

hiking
9 months ago

Very empty trail on a Saturday morning! Rocky but peaceful and lovely

11 months ago

some fantastic views, but extremely rocky and uncomfortable hike. fire road is kind of a drag too. not sorry I did it, but not one I plan to repeat.

hiking
Sun Oct 14 2018

Great hike. However going counter clockwise thru the loop, after the first overlook (1.5 miles) there are several rock piles across the trail and rocks off and on for the next mile or two. Be sure to wear the proper shoes and take care. The overlooks are quite spectacular. I was however disappointed at Signal Knob overlook looking west as the small Maple trees have grown to block a lot of the view that was so breathtaking just a couple of years ago. I hope the trail maintenance crew in that area can trim those back as the view really has been compromised. Saw 4 solo's and 3 pairs of hikers all day. Temps in the 50's and cloudy.

Sun Sep 02 2018

Great Hike

hiking
Sat Jul 21 2018

I love this trail. It has decent views, rugged terrain, and decent elevation gain. I highly recommend doing this hike clockwise, as AllTrails suggests. A clockwise attack is not only easier, but you save most of the views for the end which is a good pay-off. The fire road portion is boring, but you only have to endure it for about a mile right in the middle of the loop. If you are super anti-fire road walking, you can always skip it via the Meneka Peak Trail that makes the loop a little shorter by cutting through right at the ridge line (also avoiding a 500 ft elevation loss/gain right in the middle of the hike).

Mon Jun 18 2018

god

Sat Jun 02 2018

This hike is absolutely wonderful when the mountain laurel is in full bloom. We didnt care that it was too foggy to see anything at the overlook today. The flowers made up for it. The initial ascent is very rocky. After you get up to the top, it's fine. Once you hit the Tuscarora, it was not rocky at all. Just dont go to the overlook as an out and back.

Sat May 26 2018

This is probably skewed because I had to carry two children the last mile but I just didn't enjoy it. There weren't really that many great views and it was so brutal on the feet with all the rocks. When I say rocks it's not fun bouldering or anything, just uneven and hard terrain that even really good boots can only stand up to for so long.

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