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Signal Knob - Meneka Peak - Bear Wallow Loop

Very Difficult
 4.5 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A classic Massanutten rock crawling loop with a great descent.


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Map Key

8.7

Miles

14.1

KM

100%

Singletrack

2,408' 734 m

High

771' 235 m

Low

1,752' 534 m

Up

1,746' 532 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Features -none-

Overview

One of the most difficult, yet still rideable, climbs on the Massanutten Trail, Signal Knob is a favorite of riders looking for a challenge. There are multiple rock gardens that feature plenty of terrain for repeating, while the descent down Bear Wallow is one of the longest and most exciting in Fort Valley.

Need to Know

The climb up Signal Knob is not for the faint of heart. Even the most experienced riders will have to walk some sections, or at least try them multiple times before "cleaning" them. Plan on two hours for the round trip, longer if you like to session hard parts. Ride the loop counter-clockwise for a challenging climb and a fast, flowing descent, or clockwise for a mellower climb but rough descent. And believe it or not, all sections have been ridden at least once!

Description

This version does the loop counter-clockwise, up Signal and down Bear Wallow. Start at the Signal Knob Trailhead, approximately 3.5 miles up Fort Valley Rd.

The trail starts promptly uphill along a narrow, bumpy singletrack lined with baby-heads. The trail will continue gradually uphill through several more challenging rock gardens until the first lookout, where the trail will take a sharp left turn uphill.

This next section will increase in difficulty through two more rock gardens until a gradual right turn at the Fort Valley Overlook. The third section is the most challenging, with multiple extended rock gardens requiring strenuous, large moves. After the third section, the trail will flatten out slightly along a ridge, before one last uphill stretch to the intersection with the Meneka Peak Trail on your left.

Continue up towards Meneka Peak, smooth at first and then rockier with one or two uphill wall sections, until the peak with an overlook of the valley is to your left. Then take the bumpy descent down to the t intersection with the Blue Tuscarora - Bear Wallow Trail #405.2. Now comes the reward!

Follow the blue blazes to the left down Bear Wallow. There are several large, challenging moves at first, which will then give way to faster, more flowing sections. About a third of the way, the trail will pitch up for a few hundred yards before heading down again.

Stay left at all trail intersections on the descent, heading slightly uphill before the ridge and stream crossing. Lower Bear Wallow will traverse then climb prior to the last descent along a newly-built section with banked corners and fast lines, before ending up at the Signal Knob parking lot.

Contacts

Shared By:

Barry Croker with improvements by Joe Knechtel

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 6 votes

#2

in Strasburg

#1476

Overall
  4.5 from 6 votes
5 Star
83%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
17%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Strasburg

#43

in Virginia

#1,476

Overall
102 Views Last Month
5,230 Since Apr 4, 2016
Very Difficult

0%
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11%
89%

Photos

The climb up (or descent down) Signal Knob is not for the faint of heart.
Mar 11, 2016 near Strasburg, VA
Yes, that IS the trail... and it is rideable! The Furnace on a foggy summer day
Sep 13, 2018 near Strasburg, VA
Did the loop in reverse today (clockwise). Pic coming down Signal Knob Trail.
Jun 1, 2016 near Strasburg, VA
Headed up the Tuscarora: Bear Wallow trail - Winter Wonderland
Dec 15, 2015 near Strasburg, VA
More good stuff at the Furnace.
Sep 13, 2018 near Strasburg, VA
Riding up Meneka Peak.
Jun 1, 2016 near Strasburg, VA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jun 27, 2020
Daniel Roberts
hiked 99% of signal knob trail up, descent was fun
Mar 21, 2020
Ruby Jones
Jul 16, 2019
Emma Dryden
8.7mi
Apr 14, 2018
Dave YB
Jun 12, 2017
Sean Callan
May 10, 2017
Rob Soldon
Trail is in good shape but WAY TOO MUCH MODIFICATION GOING ON! Please do not re-route or remove erosion controlling features to make the trail easier 8.5mi — 1h 24m
Apr 17, 2017
Ian Bonesteel
no joke climb, but gorgeous trail and an awesome descent. 8.7mi
May 24, 2016
Dylan Judy
16mi