Elizabeth Furnace - TRAIL

Elizabeth Furnace - Trail, Front Royal, Virginia

After a long but not to step climb up a fireroad you get rewarded by a nice lake. Take a dip or a breather there cause you will need to climb all the way up to signal point. From there on, fasten your seatbealts, for the longest singletrack - and at times hairiest - downhill in the greater Washington area.

User Reviews (50)

Showing 1-10 of 50  
whiplashingitis   Downhiller [May 11, 2010]

Amazing trail for DC area riding. This is just one of several "mountain riding" areas in the GW forest, but it is by far the most bike friendly. You must be skilled to ride this trail, and have enough endurance to finish it! Ride times take anywhere from 2.5 hours to 5 hours depending on your loops and bike. Yes, people are right with respect to some trails being more ridable than others. The orange trail on the eastern slope is notorious for numerous large rock gardens where you don't even touch dirt for several hundred feet. However, if you have the balance or are a decent trials rider, this stuff is ALL ridable, just very difficult (it is angled downhill). But, the blue trail offers a fast and smooth downhill for those who prefer it over slow, technical riding. From signal knob, both take roughly the same amount of time to complete (25-40min).

This trail system is basically ride up the mountain, ride down the mountain. The fireroads just get you from place to place and don't have a significant elevation gain.

Pack a "lunch"

Customer Service

All these routes start at the signal knob parking area. NEVER start up the orange trail...you will regret it.

The most popular route for xc guys (the one I see the most people riding) starts uphill on the blue, down the pink, and joins the fireroad (purple), then drops into the woods and right on purple following the creek (5 crossings), then right on a 5-mile fireroad (orange) to signal knob, then continuing to white, then down blue to parking lot.

The BEST route for big bike, downhill lovers is to ride up the blue all the way to the top, then down the blue, right on fireroad (orange), continue up orange, then down orange to parking lot.

You can also take the north-south blue trail on the far western ridge, but I would reccomend against it since it is overgrown and mostly hike-a-bike.

Similar Products Used: By the way, the marker for this trail on the map is wrong! it should be a few miles south of route 55 on fort valley road.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lbritton   Weekend Warrior [Sep 25, 2009]

If you have a sack, you will love this trail. If you don't stay home. Most of the climb is fireroad and is mainly a time to chat with your friends and look at the beauty around you, not technical at all. Once you pass the lake, it becomes a different story. Straight up hill rock garden as described before. If you are not into "hike-a-bike", maybe this is not the trail for you but the hardcore will love the challenge. When I ride it, I will often mount my bike on the rare flat spot in this rock garden and see how far I can go. It has helped my skills immensely and trying things that are extremely difficult makes life just a little sweeter IMHO.
The best thing about struggling up the rock garden is the 4.5 mile downhill you get to experience. Crazy switchbacks, knarly spots where endos can come at a split second. I started riding this trail 15 years ago and it is still one of the best for long, technical downhilling fun. If you attack this downhill, I guarantee forearm burn. I have seen deer, bears, a bobcat on the trail and once hopped over a rattle snake about half way down the mountain near the technical creek crossing.
There is also a great trail on the otherside of the valley that takes you up to the cliffs that you see right after passing the trout farm. The entrance to that trail is off the road that the trout stream is on, you can easily find it on the topo maps. But I warn you, that one is technical as well.

Good Mountain Biking,

lbritton

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
bake350   Downhiller [Nov 29, 2007]

WOW This trail is cool. Went out in november not to chilly. There are a sh-t load of rocks. All the wet leaves made it fun to (Right). You can def bust a lung but the view and the ride down is so worth it. Second parking lot to the rigtht back left. Keep it clean. Want to thank the kats up in the mountain had lots of fun.

P.S You must check the waterlick gerocery store they are nice people.

Customer Service

Fountain head, Wakefield park, Accatink

Similar Products Used: I am bet that all the other trails are along the same lines. Have not ridden any other trail (NOT YET BUT SOON)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Matt McHale   Downhiller [Jul 17, 2007]

Stop in Waterlick Grocery, the newest location of Half Moon Mountain Outfitters. Dont be intimidated by driving an hour to have a mechanical and nowhere to get your bike fixed. Waterlick Specializes in High end bike repair. A shock dyno the has been used to test Cannondales suspension is now in the pocession of Half Moon and suspension tuning is our specialty. If you need a 20lb. road bike with big tires there are plenty of shops that deal in that. If you need a mountain bike for the mountains come to Half Moon Mountain Outfitters, in strasburg on Rt. 11 or Waterlick Grocery on 55 and 678. Heres you little piece of trail info to make this thread worthwhile and not just an advertizment. A great all day loop for those technically inclined is to park at Waterlick Grocery and ride up Buzzard Rocks across the ridge to Veach Gap and then cross the street and ride back, or ride the road back if you are feeling like at do at the point. Come in around 7 in the evening and I will go riding with you and show you my new favorite trail.

Customer Service

Park at Waterlick and ride to 619 beware of cars on 678 beware of Bears on trails.

Similar Products Used: Signal Knob puts hair on your chest, or takes it off if your a woman. I have seen girls ride signal knob. Riding it not pushing it. Curious Strange at the Picadilly Brew Pub in Winchester on Aug 4th
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Scoboa   Cross Country Rider [Dec 19, 2006]

Trail is mainly fire road with some single track downhill if riding clockwise. 5+ streem crossings and great views. I rode this trail the day after Thanksgiving and the ride was great, but...dont expect to ride the entire route!! A long climb to the top (the last .5 mile is 10 deg + incline) leads to rock city. I consider myself quite skilled at riding rock gardens but this is more like boulder central. It is quite impossable to ride a 2 mile section over the top and down part of the other side. Great views and a great workout but not a completely rideable trail. 75 percent fire road but some great downhill singletrack to finish. a 4 for aerobic workout a 5 for tech rock gardens but a 3 overall because you cant ride the entire trail regaurdless of how good you say or think you are.

Customer Service

clockwise from large parking lot across from campground

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
dvsnapp1   Cross Country Rider [Aug 14, 2006]

ROCK GARDENS. Holy crap batman. Maybe I should stay in Fairfax. I had fun. Bled a little. I started at the signal knob parking area on the orange trail and went on the blue. I think I need disc brakes. After about 3 miles I knew I was in over my head and turned around. Landed on a table size boulder. My elbow still hurts. I must be a wuss. Superman Allmountain riders needapply. Still, I had fun.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Matt McHale   Downhiller [Oct 27, 2005]

There are a few trail in the Elizabeth Furnace area. Most are rocky singletrack. If you park at the Signal Knob parking area you can gain access to the trailhead in the left side of the parking area. If you need any last minute tubes or repairs I have a small shop in downtown Strasburg just miles from Elizabeths Furnace. I can also give you better directions and maps to the area.

Customer Service

Start at double gravel parking lot. Enter from left side of parking area stay right at trail splits to climb towards Signal Knob. The trail gets very rocky at the top and is extremely chalenging to ride. From the top you can continue out the ridge towards Signal Knob, decend back to your car (great downhill) or drop down the backside to the Strasburg Reservoir.

Similar Products Used: There are almost 400 miles of trails in the area, most are rocky singletrack but there are a few that are less demanding and many fire roads. Check out halfmoonbikes.com for tire choice and other info.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
crashedandburned   Cross Country Rider [May 17, 2004]

Have to say that I wasn’t really all that impressed with the place riding wise. I’m from WV so I’m use to technical trails. A lot of this was fire road and a couple signal tracks that had too much hike-a-bike sections. The first time I was out there I went up to Signal Knob and rode (walked is more like it down) from there along a single tract. A LOT of hiking involved if you go that route. The Signal Knob climb is worth it for the view and work out. I would recommend it. The fire rode up from the parking lot is a nice climb that turns into a nice signal track for a mile or two before it opens up into the main road. Beautiful scenery along this section. The second time I went I took another trail back down (Bear hollow????). It was right past the reservoir on the right. The first half mile was almost all hike-a-bike up hill. Maybe a more experienced rider can clear it all, but it would be a LONG and hard grind. Some of the down hill is also hike-a-bike, but mostly 80% of it is ridable for the average rider and is a lot of fun. Overall, ride wise I wasn’t too impressed maybe a B-, scenery was an A+ though and I’ll probably go back for that reason.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Recon   Cross Country Rider [Sep 05, 2003]

My good friend Pat Gunn got me on this trail a couple of years ago. Not being from rocky country the first time through I was kinda overwhelmed. Since then I really like heading out there from Warrenton. Double track climb to one of three single/double track rides. Once you get through one of the "offshoot trails" you get the monster climb of death to get you to the top of the DH. The DH really is pretty doable, though first time through there are a couple of sections that maybe you should hop off and survey first. Now granted I did fall off and dislocate my arm on the DH last year, but it was slow speed, and a stupid judgement error on my part. A buddy of mine "Wheelie" schooled us bad on it last year. We had our big FS rigs, and he whooped our tails up and DOWN hill on a rigid single speed with little bitty skinny tires. Recommend it highly...then head into Harrisonburg for the REAL stuff.

Similar Products Used: Schaeffer Farms...yes, oh yes!!! Just got schooled at Reddish Knob, that's cool, and of course the rockiest trail known to man...Gambrill. Have a good one
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
JaketheGiantride   Weekend Warrior [Sep 04, 2003]

BE IN SHAPE! BE VERY IN SHAPE! Lots-o-up hills but well worth the work. Great place for locals to get a real Mountain Bike ride in. Its a little technical since it is really just a hiking trail not an actual bike trail. But it works, and its a crazy downhill course once you get to the top and have cooled off at the lake from the uphill climb. Start the trail early so your not cutting you break time short because the scenary is awsome!

Customer Service

When I First Rode It was hard to actually find the beginning trail. Park across from the Family Campground and take the fire road.

Similar Products Used: There is a really cool trail that is almost no uphill, (until you get to the actual hike part) and is great to practice your Mtn-B Skill and just have fun. When heading twoards Elizabeth Furn, before
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 50  

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