Monday, November 05, 2018

Signal Knob Hike | 10 Miles of views, secluded wilderness and mountain bikers

Yesterday, the stars aligned and we had the time and weather to tackle the 10 mile Signal Knob loop located near Front Royal, VA. At an hour and half away from DC, this is a wonderfully accessible back-country adventure.

Two years ago, we completed most of the Buzzard Rock hike that's in the same section of the George Washington National Forest. They start down the road from each other. I was impressed with the area then, and I remain impressed.

Leaving the car, the weather was still in the low 40°F's. But the climb to Buzzard Rock Overlook more than warmed us up. Sunshine throughout the day ensured that we were never chilly after that.

Autumn colors were out in force this trip. As a bonus, the fact that so many trees had lost their leaves improved the views, providing for yet another reason to tackle this hike in the fall.

Folks report rocky sections of trail, which is true and does cause you to slow down a bit. But overall, there was nothing technical about the route and it was very well marked and maintained.

Speaking of views, this is one of my favorites of any hike. If you click on the image below, you'll notice a radio tower in the distance.

That radio tower is sitting on Signal Knob and in another 45 minutes, we'll be standing at the base of it. You encounter this view about 3 miles into the hike, have a mile to go before you're at the tower, and still have 6 miles left on the hike as a whole. I found these numbers humbling, to say the least.

We saw a handful of hikers, a couple of groups of backpackers, and most surprisingly, about 10 different cyclists on the trail. Apparently, the last 4 miles of trail are popular among mountain bikers. An impressive feat, but one I'll leave to others. I'll stick to walking, geocaching and snapping pictures.

Overall, it was an amazing day on the trail on a route that I can't recommend highly enough.

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