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Meneka Peak - Front Royal, Virginia

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

4.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
2,075 ft
George Washington National Forest
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Signal Knob parking area. 38.93537, -78.31953

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 Overlook.

The 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.

Hiker Reviews For The Meneka Peak Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Meneka Peak hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Hans und Heidei Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 30, 2019
Three stars means "overall a nice hike". It was a very pleasant day for the end of March. The views are nice and consistent, but will be gone when the leaves emerge. There are some fine campsites up there. If you walk counter clockwise the trail varies from rocky, to very rocky crossing 3 scree slopes (which is about an hours time on the way up), to near no rocks most the way down . It never got very steep, we rate it a gradual incline. We encountered maybe 8 people all day. It was the first time out in 4 months and it took our 58 year old knees und ankles 5.5 hours walking time. It was our first time here and we will come back, when again there is no foliage.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 15, 2018
I like this hike a lot. It's true that the first part of the trail (going counterclockwise) is rocky, but if you have sturdy boots you'll be fine. There are good views in places, to all directions even with leaves out, though you may have to peer between trees. Today was a Friday, and I ran into 0 hikers and 3 mountain bikers as I got closer to the finish. Mountain laurel was blooming at the upper elevations. It's unbelievable that you can find such beautiful mountain solitude an hour and a half from Washington.

By: CJ Staton Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 12, 2017
Great hike and views but definitely an ankle killer. Sturdy boots are a must. Didn't see much wildlife except for a snake, which was strange as it was only 40 degrees out. Trekking poles are very helpful, especially on the downward part of the trail.

By: Doug Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Great, hike I have to admit. Very rocky in spots that do take some time to cross, but some of the views were worth the work. We had to turn around half-way through the hike due to coming up on a mother black bear and two cubs (around the tv tower section). We were already in their "bubble" of comfort for the mom and she decided to bluff charge at my fiance, so we decided to get out why we could. This particular day, the trail was becoming crowded. Overall, we will be completing this hike in the fall. (Side note) Forrest Service had to shut down a camp ground / picnic area close to the parking area to the Signal Knob / Meneka Peak Trail Head. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Had to take advantage of the beautiful weather on Saturday and get out for some hiking. I've been wanting to do Meneka Peak for a while now and finally got the chance.

I'd agree with the difficulty rating of a 3. The hike itself really isn't that challenging other than the first section up to Buzzard Rock overlook that is a little steep. Some sections are rocky but nothing too difficult. This is a great fall/winter hike since the leaves in spring and summer would likely obscure most of the views the hike offers. There are plenty of camping spots along the trail, although there are only two water sources, one at the very beginning and one at the very end, so bring plenty of water.

Finished in approximately 3.5 hours and there were several other groups/individuals on the trail that day.

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Mid May
Buzzard Rock
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