The Hone Quarry area is nestled in a quiet area of the GWNF just west of Harrisonburg VA. With two beautiful loop hikes, one up Oak Knob and Pond Knob with two overlooks, and the other on the opposite Hone Quarry Ridge also with a beautiful vista, makes this a great place to spend the weekend, and camp at the Hone Quarry Campground (vid).
From the second overlook the Cliff Trail will becoming increasingly more rocky. Keep an eye out for Timber Rattlesnakes, especially as you cross the multiple rock slides that pass over the trail, as rocky areas are their favorite sunning spots.
There are also several views of the valley and the Hone Quarry Reservoir along the upper portion of the trail. As you near the ridge, the Cliff Trail will become more obscure, be vigilant to follow the yellow blazes. The Cliff Trail will end at the Meadow Knob Trail just west of Oak Knob, 2.3 miles form the second overlook.
At the summit of Pond Knob, turn left down the yellow blazed Pond Knob Trail as it descends very steeply for 1.5 miles where it ends at Hone Quarry Rd/FR 62. The Pond Knob Trail was designed to be a mountain biking trail, and has no switchbacks.
Turn left on gravel Hone Quarry Rd/FR62 and follow it 1.6 miles to the Hone Quarry Reservoir. Continue on Hone Quarry Rd/FR62 past the reservoir where it becomes paved, crosses Hone Quarry Run, then in 0.5 miles crosses the run again before arriving back at the campground.
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Reviews For The Oak Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
A good workout hike with views and varied terrain from rocky areas to straight up and down heart, leg and toe testers! We enjoyed starting early but it was very cold and windy all day (30 that morning at the campground). The early overlooks are nice and some of the views through the budding trees on top were better. The rocky areas are a nice variation and you really have to be careful for loose rocks in several places. Blazes aren't too plentiful but the trail is generally easy to follow. The descent from Pond Knob really tests the fit of your boots s it is steep and straight. The walk along the road back to the campground was just a walk on a road with not much to see until you come to the dam.
Date of Hike: Saturday, April 10, 2010
I hiked this one (in the opposite direction as your hike) as a workout while testing out a new tent at the Hone Quarry Campground. I didn't think this hike would be on your site! Uphill on the Pond Knob Trail was very steep and I cannot imagine a jeep ever taking the Meadow Knob Trail, with its 27% grade. To this loop I added the top of Oak Knob and a stroll down towards Mud Pond Gap to add some mileage. Crossing the rock slide on the Cliff Trail after 8 miles was tough! Those rocks make this loop tougher than the elevation gain alone would indicate. I did not see anyone on this trail other than on the road and at the lowest overlook on the Cliff Trail. Nice hike for some solitude and good views.
Brian the Family Man
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 20, 2010
Hiked with my wife and dog this morning. Beeoootiful day!. saw one young couple at the second overlook but other than that didn't see anyone till we hit the road. there were some boy scouts camping near the reservoir.
Good hard hike. did it in 3 h. and 15 minutes. ran a bit when the mood struck us--we're going to peru this summer so we wanted to scope this out as a good training for inca trail. will take the kids on it a few times
Date of Hike: Saturday, August 02, 2008
Hooked up with Mr. Hikingupward and his wife for this hiking weekend with 2 separate hikes. For only 7.9 miles Oak Knob was an exhausting hike. There are 2 good overlooks and I am sure once the leaves are down in the Fall you will have continuous great views of the other ridges. As per the warning, watch out for timber rattlers, especially on the rock slides where they like to sun. My 10 year old daughter almost speared one with one of her hiking poles. Lesson learned for me, lead the way if you have kids hiking with you. I am normally not crazy about hiking on Fire Roads but I'll make an exception here due to the previous 1.5 miles straight down the Pond Knob Trail. The Fire Road back to the camping area was a reprieve. We didn't run into any other hikers the whole weekend.