Explore the most popular trail running trails near Grottoes with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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!

Great hike and lots of swimming options, especially for us since we chose a weekend of torrential downpours. This made fording the rivers a bit of an adventure. Started at Turk Gap and, on the recommendation of a buddy, hit the trail counter clockwise. It was mostly down hill or level for the first 12 miles or so. We started climbing right when we were looking for a spot to camp for the night. Unfortunately, the northern portion of the loop is bordered by private property on either side (as noted by signs and barbed wire) and lacks much level terrain. We ended up hitting the AT and heading north another .8 miles up and then down to black rock spring where there was a shelter and ample camp sites. May have been due to the several days of rain, but the camp site was pretty packed w/ thru hikers. Finished the second day heading back south down the AT, where we experienced some moderate climbs intermixed with gradual climbs. Only regret is that we didn’t go on a warmer day when the mandatory swimming (ie river fords) would have been recreational, vice a challenge to surmount. Hike would be much more scenic during spring or fall. Clicked 21.4 miles over the two days. Over all a great hike!

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

3 months ago

Great day hike. Fun river crossing. Not too heavy on the elevation change.

Hiked it this weekend. Great river fordes!

Didn’t expect the Moormans river section to be partially two-tracked, but it was still a beautiful trail with plenty to see!

4 months ago

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.

It was long trail but good.

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.

Did this whole route. Followed the NPS recommendation and started at the Turk Gap parking lot. Did part of the AT then turned onto the North Fork Moorman's trail. Spent the night after 10 miles. I was visited by 2 black bears while filtering my water. As soon as I stood up they took off like lightning, not to be heard of again. Make sure to bring a bear bag and hang your food. After talking to the ranger on my way out he said there are about 400 hundred bears in the park. Not aggressive, but still hang your food.

Hiked 8 more miles to finish back to the Turk Gap parking The last 2.5 miles coming back on the Turk Gap Branch Trail was about 1000 feet of elevation gain in that short trek. Was definitely doable but challenging.

The leaves were changing colors and the river was really low. It was a beautiful hike.

10 months ago

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.

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

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Followed the NPS recommendation for this loop. Start at Turk Gap parking, north along AT, over to North Fork Moorman's, then picking up South Fork Moorman's trail for a very beautiful final 7ish miles. There's some great secluded swimming along this loop, but maybe I shouldn't say exactly where? Have fun!

Oh, and while parts of the trail are easy as noted by AllTrails, the full loop is moderately strenuous, especially the final elevation gain.

Monday, July 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.

We did 4 miles out and and back for the sole purpose of swimming. Falls were low at the end of June, but there are plenty of beautiful spots to plunge in along the way.

Sunday, June 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.

Easy hike. The watering hole is great for kids and pets.

Thursday, November 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

Monday, September 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.

Monday, August 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.

We did a shorter hike. It was about 2.5 miles from the parking lot near the reservoir. 3 river crossings, lots of beautiful swimming holes (including one at the bottom of Big Branch Falls.)

trail running
Saturday, June 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.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

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

Wednesday, October 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.

Wednesday, August 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.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

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.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

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.

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