The Buzzard Rock hike is a shorter out and back hike in the
Elizabeth Furnace section of the GWNF near Front Royal Virginia.
There are several other great loop hikes that start from
this same area: High Peak, Mudhole
Gap, Signal Knob and Meneka
Peak. The Shawl Gap Hike also
uses this mountain but starts from the other side of the ridge.
Finding the trail head through the picnic area is a little
tricky. From the main parking area take the
path from the top left side straight for 100 yards (two
other paths cross it) before you arrive
at Elizabeth Furnace. Continue around
the furnace staying on the blue/orange blazed Tuscarora/Massanutten
Trail. Immediately after passing the furnace stay straight
DO NOT take the unmarked trail that heads to the right uphill.
Follow the blue/orange blazed Tuscarora/Massanutten Trail
and shortly cross a small wooden bridge before starting
uphill. The trail will cross a non-maintained yellow blazed
trail twice before arriving at the ridge line and four-way
trail intersection 2.3 miles from your starting point.
At the ridge and intersection turn
left on the white blazed Buzzard Rock Trail is turns
uphill for 2.0 miles before reaching Buzzard
Rock. The views here are
obstructed by trees so for a better vista continue
for another 100 yards along the trail where there is a spot
that looks out towards Front Royal and the Shenandoah Valley.
If you should choose the yellow blazed trail it is considerably
shorter as it heads almost straight downhill but therefore
very steep as well. This trail is only blazed at the top
and before crossing the
Tuscarora/Massanutten Trail for the
first time, so just stay straight, it will end back at the
Interactive Hike Map BelowPrintable
Topo Hike Map (PDF)
Hike route in Drag the map with your mouse using the icon Zoom with the controls on the left Mouse-over the icons in the map below for location shots
Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Buzzard Rock hike:
Reviews For The Buzzard Rock Hike (5 Most Recent)
Good workout climbing uphill on the blue/orange trail. Went up 10:30am after staying in the camp over night. Hardly a person on the trail. It's a great overlook and a steep, quick descent. It's a good go-to and nearby to DC. I'm pretty slow paced and it took 2 hours up and 1 hour down with 30 min lunch.
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 24, 2015
Great experience for my first official "hike." Really enjoyed the lack of many people around and took advantage of the quietude! My hiking partner and I found it really challenging toward the top of Buzzard Rock, but that was a good challenge!
Date of Hike: Friday, November 28, 2014
We really enjoyed this hike. There was about 6 inches of recent snow on the ground, which I loved--especially on the direct route down. This last part of the hike seems to no longer be a maintained trail, but it was still a blast to run down in the snow. Nice views and close to NoVa. I liked it better than most of the hikes along Fort Valley Road. We will definitely be back.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 13, 2014
This is an awesome hike. The view is fantastic from Buzzard's Rock, as you peer almost straight down 800-900 feet. The wind blows strong and the trees are bent. There are several camping places further up the trail for those who want to make this an overnight trip. No water on the top of the mountain though. I highly recommend. I will be back with friends. I liked it that much.
Date of Hike: Saturday, December 21, 2013
My husband, my sister and I really enjoyed this trail. There weren't a lot of people here, so our dogs could walk off leash, there was still lots of snow even though temperatures were in the 70 degree range, and there were some awesome views.