Furnace Mountain & Blackrock Summit

  • Highlights: Great views, rocky summit, Shenandoah National Park
  • Distance: 6.8 miles out and back
  • Elevation change: 1,369 feet
  • Difficulty level: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Trailhead Parking: Blackrock Summit parking area, Skyline Drive mile 84.4
  • Website: Shenandoah National Park
  • Beer Pairings: Trapezium Brewery—Lucky 46 IPA & Lucky 25 American Brown

The Hike:

This hike packs in some great scenery and geology. The trail is well marked and there is a map and information kiosk at the trailhead. The first section of the trail to Blackrock Summit is often crowded. The rest of the hike is much more remote. The trailhead begins at the parking area. A short access trail leads to the Appalachian Trail. Turn left on the AT heading south.

This section of the AT is heavily wooded and you will likely have many hiking companions. At .3 miles, the forest gives way to wide open views of Blackrock Summit. Huge boulders piled on top of each other make for a fun rock scramble. On the right are open views of Dundow Hollow. A large talus slope is to the right and Furnace Mountain looms to the west.

Continue to follow the AT as it curves around Blackrock Summit. The AT reaches a junction with the Blackrock Spur Trail at .4 miles. Turn right here and follow the blue blazes through a mini-scramble of boulders. Additional viewpoints open up with scenic views of surrounding mountains and the valley below. Trayfoot Mountain is on the left and you will reach a junction with the Trayfoot Mountain Trail at .7 miles. Stay right at this junction and follow the Trayfoot Mountain Trail as it slowly climbs a ridge and enters into the Shenandoah Wilderness.

At 1.3 miles the trail comes to a junction. Trayfoot Mountain is to the left, a .2 mile hike to a summit without any views. For much better views, turn right here and join the Furnace Mountain Trail. This is the hike’s highest elevation at 3,200 feet. The trail begins a steady descent over the next mile. The trail crosses a talus slope and becomes very rocky.

A spur trail to the summit of Furnace Mountain will be on the right at 3 miles. Follow the spur trail as it ascends to a rocky outcrop on the summit. There are great views here of Dundo Hollow below and Austin Mountain in front. Enjoy the solitude and the great views. Retrace your steps back to the parking area and your vehicle.  

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

Near the southern end of Shenandoah National Park is Seven Arrows Brewing Company in Waynesboro. They have some really good beers, great food, with indoor and outdoor seating. Their on-site restaurant, Nobos Kitchen, has great salads, wraps, sandwiches, tacos, and more.

On a recent visit we enjoyed Aurora Pils, a Bohemian-style pilsner made with Saaz hops. This pilsner has been a finalist in both Virginia and US beer tasting competitions. It’s really good and paired nicely with Nobos Catfish Poboy. Kathy Liked the Eventide Red IPA made with Cascade and Mosaic hops. We will definitely plan to return to Seven Arrows and Nobos.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe and be responsible.