There are two spectacular vistas just 1.5 miles into this hike after the Massanutten Trail levels off on the ridge. Once you have passed the vistas the route is an uneventful loop with a nice swimming hole on the Bird Knob Trail. Don't forget to stop at Pack's Custard Stand on Rt211 in New Market on the way back!
Start out the hike near the FRONT of the parking area on the white blazed Wildflower Trail. NOT the paved Nature Trial at the end of the parking area. Follow the white blazed trail downhill for 0.3 miles where you reach a bench and the intersection of the orange blazed Massanutten Trail.
Turn right uphill on the orange blazed trail for the steepest section of the hike as it winds around the mountain and climbs through a bolder field before arriving at the ridge line in 0.7 miles from the last intersection.
Follow the ridge uphill and in 0.4 miles arrive at the first of two great vistas. Then in another 200ft the second great vista comes into view. This section of the hike is where you are most likely to run into other hikers.
Continue on the trail for another 0.8 miles to the intersection of the white blazed Bird Knob Trail. Turn right on the white blazed trail. Shortly pass an un-maintained trail on the left, then in 0.8 miles from the Massanutten/Bird Knob intersection stay right as you pass another un-blazed trail that connects from the left.
In 1.0 miles the white blazed trail makes a sharp left downhill through a small clearing then veers left again. Stay on the trail as it descends, then ascending before passing a Forestry Service (FS) road on the left that leads to a swimming hole. Continue up the white blazed trail for another 300ft where you pass a closed gate and turn left on a FS road that is also the orange blazed Massanutten Trial.
Head uphill for 0.4 miles on the orange blazed FS road before the road makes a hairpin right. Stay straight passing a closed gate and continuing on the orange blazed trail. In 0.4 miles from the gate reach an intersection, stay right remaining on the orange blazed trail. Then in 0.7 miles pass through a small clearing and arrive back at the Bird Knob Trail intersection.
Now turn right downhill retracing your steps back past the two vistas and descending back to the white blazed Wildflower Trail where you turn left to return back to the forestry service visitors center and parking area.