The Meneka Peak hike in the Front Royal area of the George
Washington National Forest is an abbreviated version of the
Signal Knob hike. This saves about 2 miles and the 900ft second
incline back up from the other other side of the ridge.
The hike starts from the right hand side of the Signal
Knob parking area and is marked by both yellow (Signal Knob Trail)
and Orange (Massanutten Trail) blazes. Start uphill on the yellow/orange
blazed trail as it shortly passes a old stone house on your left
and curves to the right around the mountain for 1.5 miles until
arriving at Buzzard Rock
trail will take a hairpin turn back to the south then in 0.7
miles turns back to the north again following a
ridge and passing a couple of great camp sites before meeting
the intersection of the white blazed Meneka Peak trail that enters
from the left 1.1 miles further.
Turn left on the Meneka
Peak Trail as it continues uphill on
the ridge crossing over the high point of your hike in 0.4 miles
then gradually sloping down until reaching the intersection of
the blue blazed Tuscarora Trail in 0.8 miles from the peak.
Turn left downhill on the blue blazed trail as it winds back
and forth through the Bear Wallow area
and passing the pink blazed Sidewinder Trail on your right
in 1.7 miles.
Continue straight on the blue blazed trail as it winds downhill
passing a white blazed connector
trail for Elizabeth Furnace just before you cross a creek 1.0 miles
from the pink blazed trail.
Continue straight on the blue blazed trail as it winds
around the mountain before reaching a flatter area close to the
valley and an intersection in 0.9 miles where the blue blazed
trail now turns right downhill.
Again continue straight on the now orange blazed Massanutten
Trail (this section was formerly the the Tuscarora Spur Trail
and was reblazed in 2002) for only another 0.5 miles as it descends
slightly then parallels VA678 before arriving back on the
right side of the Signal Knob parking area.
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Reviews For The Meneka Peak Hike (5 Most Recent)
I really like this hike and the Mountain Laurel were in full bloom! It was raining most of the time but rather have rain then hot sun. I didn't camp but there were some very nice camping spots. I hiked this counterclockwise and I suggest doing that if you backpacking. This would be a great hike in all seasons. Also a great hike for people who want to increase their hiking miles..as the elevation is gradual and not difficult. It is rocky so I would not advise this hike to very new hikers. I even saw a large snake :)
Date of Hike: Saturday, May 04, 2013
This is a good hike that you can easily knock out in about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Albeit a little rocky on the way up, the grade is steady and the views are decent. Bear Wallow is an appropriate name since I encountered a very large black bear during the descent from Meneka Peak. We stared each other down from about 50 yards for about a minute. It was clear he wasn't budging, so I backtracked about 1/10 mile, waited a few minutes, and then slowly resumed the hike. By the time I reached that spot, he was gone. Be alert and walk with your head up - that's my advice.
Date of Hike: Friday, January 18, 2013
Cranked this out in 3 hours flat (to the minute--first time that has ever happened). Started at 6:58 am at sunrise and ended at 9:58 am. Nice views on the way up. The trail meanders a bit -- I would have knocked off 1/2 mile to a mile for some steeper climbs. This is a nice, self-contained loop. The rocks underfoot, pervasive on the first half of the hike, provide a nice challenge.
Fort Valley Man
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 01, 2012
I like this trail enough to have taken my students here several times for hiking trips, but I think it is slightly overrated compared to some of the trails further south in the Massanutten range. Nice views at the top, proximity to some nice water (Passage Creek on one side and the Strasburg Reservoir on the other), and a bit of history. This was a signal outpost during the Civil War and the site of a very minor battle. A Georgian Volunteer killed in the fight is buried near the reservoir. Lots of evidence of Indian visitation along the Meneka Peak. Fairly convenient compared to other hiking spots.
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 10, 2012
I hiked a small portion of this trail just to see what was at Meneka Peak as I was hiking the Signal Knob trail because the junction to the peak is only a half mile away. I don't think I will hike this way again. For a trail called Meneka peak, and signs indicating Meneka peak, there was nothing to indicate when you arrived, and I had to guess. The only way I knew that I was there was that I was at the highest point in the trail, there was a campsite there, and everything was lower. There is no overlook at the peak, as it was really obscured by trees. My recommendation is that if you are looking for a good view, either just stop at the second overlook on the Signal Knob trail, or take the extra time to go to Signal Knob. Otherwise, after the second overlook on the Signal Knob trail, it's just becomes walking through the woods....