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Little Passage Creek - Front Royal, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
10.0 mls
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:

4.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,320 ft 
George Washington National Forest
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Directions From Fort Valley Rd: Turn right on VA771 and in 1.0 miles 771 veers left, Stay right towards Powell Fort, In 0.6 miles the road splits stay right, In another 1.8 miles the parking area will be on the right just before a gate closes the FS road.
The fire road where VA771/Boyer Rd splits left intermittently closes in the winter to traffic due to road deterioration. Check with the GWNF for gate status at 540-984-4101.

The Little Passage Creek Hike utilizes several sections of other hikes in the Signal Knob area: Signal Knob Hike, Meneka Peak Hike, Mudhole Gap Hike and Three Top Mountain Hike. It's a nice day loop that uses a large section of a FS (Forestry Service) road used for the transmission tower on Signal Knob.

Start by passing the closed gate and heading up the orange blazed FS road that is part of Massanutten Trail. In 1.1 miles cross Little Passage Creek then in another 0.9 miles orange blazed Massanutten Trail will turn left. At this point you can either continue straight on the FS road or take the orange blazed Massanutten Trail left. They both meet on the other side of the reservoir in 0.6 miles.

After the trails meet and the FS road once again becomes the orange blazed Massanutten Trail continue for 0.3 miles and arrive at the intersection of the blue blazed Tuscarora Trail.

Turn right on the blue blazed trail immediately crossing Little Passage Creek and climbing Green Mountain, arriving at the ridge and intersection of the Meneka Peak Trail in 0.8 miles.

Turn left on the white blazed Meneka Peak Trail where the ridge line gradually ascends then descends to meet up with orange blazed Massanutten Trail in 1.0 mile.

Turn left on the orange blazed trail (also yellow blazed as the Signal Knob Trail) winding around Green Mountain and passing the transmission tower in 1.0 mile. Continue straight crossing the FS road (this is the same FS road you followed up in the beginning of the hike) and in 50 yards reach Signal Knob Lookout.

Return to the FS road turn right downhill and in 1.3 miles arrive back at the intersection of the Tuscarora Trail you took earlier. Continue straight on the orange blazed FS road retracing your route and arriving back at the parking area in another 2.0 miles.

Mid June
Strasburg Reservoir
Little Passage Creek Hike Comments
Archived Comments

By: MKCP Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 28, 2018
Overall a pretty good hike - but note, when you map to the parking area, you should turn off of Boyer Road onto the fire road and keep driving the additional two miles, past the Powell's Fort Organization Camp (defunct) turnoff until you reach a gate that is closed. We turned off of Boyer Road, saw a gate, and because of the confusing points noted from the "Directions" that resulted from Google Maps, we added 2 miles walking on the fire road each way by parking at that junction, and wound up walking directly up the fire road most of the way directly to Signal Knob. We skipped the Menaka Peak and Tuscarora Trail pieces when we realized our mistake, as we hadn't brought enough water for a 14 mile hike.

The good news? A stunning view, and a hike that was moderately strenuous, but well-shaded for a hot summer day.

By: Nice long hike, good views Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 20, 2015
For a ten mile hike this wasn't too strenuous, even the ascent of Green Mountain wasn't too bad. There are a couple of decent overlooks along the ridge, but the real payoff is around the Signal Knob tower with a stunning vista view to the North. The fire road is a gravel paved road, so kind of tough on the feet if you don't have appropriate shoes. Parking is somewhat limited, but we had the trail largely to ourselves so no issue finding a place to park. Once you pass the reservoir there aren't any further opportunities to find water, so plan appropriately.

By: Katherine Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, May 23, 2013
Overall I enjoyed this hike quite a bit. The Forestry road section at the beginning was a little bit boring, but once I got to the Strasburg Reservoir, it became more interesting, and overall I quite enjoyed the whole hike. There are a lot of great campsites along the way!

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