The Signal Knob hike in the George Washington National Forest has spectacular views of Strausburg VA. in the Shenandoah Valley, as well as Buzzard Rock in Fort Valley to the east.
Signal Knob, at 2,106ft, gets its name as both Confederate and Union troops used it as a lookout during the Civil War. The Confederate Signal Corps controlled the outlook from 1862 until August 14, 1864, when Union troops defeated the 61st Georgia Volunteer Infantry and took control of the peak.
Mile 0.0 - Start the hike from the right side of the Signal
Knob parking area. The trail is blazed orange which designates it as part of the Massanutten Trail. Start uphill
on the orange blazed trail then shortly pass an old
stone house on your left, cross a small stream, then follow the trail around the
eastern section of the mountain.
Mile 1.5 - Arrive at the Buzzard
Rock Overlook. The trail will take a hairpin turn back to the south and becomes significantly more rocky. In 0.9 miles from the Buzzard rock overlook the trail turns back to the north passing another nice vista of Fort Valley. Continue to follow the orange blazed trail as it becomes less steep, then passes several nice camp spots just before arriving at the intersection of the Meneka Peak Trail.
Mile 3.4 - Pass the Meneka Peak Trail on the left, continuing on the orange blazed Massanutten Trail as it winds around the ridge to your
right and passes a transmission tower in another 0.8 miles.
Mile 4.3 - Arrive at the Signal Knob lookout area. The lookout has some nice views north of the Shenandoah Valley and Strausburg VA. The Massanutten Trail continues as a orange blazed gravel road now descending the mountain to the intersection of the blue blazed Tuscarora Trail the crosses the road.
Mile 5.5 - Turn left on the blue blazed Tuscarora Trail crossing Little Passage
Creek, then ascend Green Mountain/Meneka Peak where you arrive at
the ridge line, and white blazed Meneka Peak Trail.
Mile 6.3 - Cross over the ridge and proceed downhill remaining on
the blue blazed trail as it winds back and forth through the
Bear Wallow area.
Mile 7.1 - Pass the pink blazed Sidewinder Trail
on your right.
Mile 8.2 - Pass a white blazed connector trail for Elizabeth Furnace. Continue straight on the blue blazed Tuscarora Trail as it winds around
the mountain then arrives at a flatter area close to the valley,
and an intersection where the blue blazed trail turns right downhill towards Fort Valley Rd./VA678
Mile 9.3 - Continue straight on the orange blazed Massanutten
Trail (this section was formerly the the Tuscarora Spur Trail
and was reblazed in 2002) as it
descends slightly, then parallels Fort Valley Rd./VA678.
Mile 9.9 - Arrive back
on the left side of the Signal Knob parking area.
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Reviews For The Signal Knob Hike (5 Most Recent)
If you are looking for a workout or challenge, this is not the hike for you. This is more like 4 tedious hours of strolling through the woods. This is not a "hike". I'd give it a 2 on the difficulty rating, not sure who is giving it a 4 or why?! Wish I hadn't wasted my time.
Roscoe P. Coltrane
Date of Hike: Wednesday, December 31, 2014
This is a fine hike. Great views, varied terrain, and a good amount of elevation change.
Amy probably took the wrong route. :-)
Date of Hike: Sunday, December 07, 2014
Great hike, 3rd time we've done it, each time with out dog.
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 29, 2014
A pretty nice hike. Not overly difficult compared to other hikes I've been on, but it does feel very long. The trek up to signal knob has some great views, and the top of the mountain was still covered in over half a foot of snow, which made the forest beautiful! Once you get to signal knob, the view is awesome. The trek coming back around from signal knob is pretty boring though. It drags on forever and there really isn't much to see the whole way back, but the views on the first half make up for it.
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 22, 2014
I've hiked all over Virginia, and this trail remains one of my favorites. I led a group from Central Virginia Trailblazers last Saturday. The bear trees allowed for great views but tricky hiking, as many of the rocks were hidden under the fallen leaves. No bear sightings and only a few hikers on the trail the entire day.