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Anthill/Slate Lick - Broadway, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
11.5 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
5.5 hours including breaks
2,000 ft
George Washington National Forest
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Parking at the end of the public access portion of FS 230. 38.60510, -78.95562
These cordinates take you to the intersection with FS 1279. Continue straight on FS 230 for another 0.1 miles.

By Trail Contributor: Jeff Monroe (Email Jeff)

The Slate Lick area, northwest of Harrisonburg in the George Washington National Forest, is tough to find.  Once you are in the area however, it is a delightful place surrounded by mountains. You will pass many dispersed, stream-side car campsites as you approach the trailhead within the National Forest, so it is easy to make this into a relaxing weekend trip with a basecamp and a nearby loop day hike.

Notice: As of 3/14/2023, the road portion of this loop is closed due to work on electrical transmission lines in the area. You can see current location of road closures due to this activity by going to this website.

This loop features two very different trails.  The Anthill Trail climbs over 2,500 feet (leaving you to wonder who came up with that name because it is no anthill!), while the Slate Lick Trail slowly loses elevation in a forested stream valley.  They are connected by the Gauley Ridge Road (FS #240), which drops steeply between the two trails.  A nicer hike is to follow the loop clockwise, hiking the Anthill Trail first, as it avoids a steeper climb that is open to the sun on the Gauley Ridge Road.

  • Mile 0.0 – Start the hike in a parking area at the end of the public access portion of FS #230.  This parking is primarily used by fisherman accessing Slate Lick Lake, a forest service lake about a half-mile west of the parking area.  At the end of the parking lot is a closed gate for a Forest Service road you will take back to your vehicle.  Do not take this, but instead retrace your route briefly back the way you drove in.

  • Mile 0.1 – Take a right onto FS #1279.

  • Mile 0.3 – Pass a car campsite off of the road on your left

  • Mile 1.1 – A rough road that quickly turns into a trail enters from the right.  Continue on the main road.  Shortly after this, the road fords Buck Lick Run.

  • Mile 1.2Come to a closed gate.  A sign here says that the road beyond is open by permit only for permanently disabled hunters.  Continue on the road, heading uphill at a moderate clip.

  • Mile 1.8 – The road levels off at a point where multiple forest roads that are more overgrown converge. A small sliver of private property connects on your left (east). Although the road here continues downhill to a small lake you cannot see from this location in summer, look to the right for a metal marker signifying Trail #422.  Follow this, traversing on a grass covered old woods road.

  • Mile 2.6 – Reach a point where the old road ends at a turnaround.  Years ago, the trail started here, and it is still possible for those with a permit to drive to this point.  Beyond this, you will not be following a road but will be on a singletrack trail, occasionally marked by faded yellow blazes, that rides a ridge as it ascends heading west.
Early September
Slate Lick Lake
Anthill/Slate Lick Hike Comments
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