Hike Through History… Signal Knob Interpretive Hike

View of the Shenandoah Valley from Signal Knob
View of the Shenandoah Valley from Signal Knob.


Hike Through History…

Signal Knob Interpretive Hike
Saturday, October 19, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Confederate officers used Signal Knob as an observation point to plan their surprise attack on unsuspecting Union troops during the Battle of Cedar Creek in October of 1864. Thus the mountain became an iconic feature of the battlefield landscape.

DESCRIPTION: Hike at your own pace and join a National Park Service Ranger at the top of Signal Knob to see the expansive Shenandoah Valley landscape and learn about the significance of the mountain during the Civil War and its role in the Battle of Cedar Creek.

TIME: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

LOCATION: Hikers have the choice of two hiking routes to reach Signal Knob:

  1. Signal Knob Trail (Massanutten National Recreational Trail --orange blaze): This trail can be accessed from the Signal Knob trailhead in the Lee District of the George Washington National Forest.

Hiking Distance: Approximately 11.5 miles round trip

Safety: This hike is considered strenuous and is steep and rocky. Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes, dress for the elements, and bring plenty of food and water.

Directions to the Signal Knob Trailhead: From Strasburg or Front Royal, travel on State Highway 55 to Waterlick, Virginia. From Waterlick, take State Highway 678 south.
  • Drive 3.3 miles along State Highway 678.
  • Signal Knob trailhead parking area in the George Washington National Forest (on your right).

  1. Signal Knob Service Road: This unimproved road provides access to maintenance who service the modern radio tower located on Signal Knob. It can be accessed by using public roads.

Hiking Distance: Approximately 8.5 miles round trip.

Safety: This hike is considered moderate, but with a fairly steep incline the last 0.5 mile to the top. While it is much less strenuous than the Signal Knob Trail, hikers should still wear proper footgear, dress for the elements and bring plenty of food and water.

Directions to the Service Road: From Strasburg (intersection of King Street and Massanuten Street) take State Road 55 East.
  • Drive 5.1 miles. Turn right onto Fort Valley Road (State Route 678).
  • Drive 8.4 miles. Turn right onto Boyer Road.
  • Drive 0.9 miles. Boyer Road will bear left, stay to the right/straight, onto Mine Mountain Road (gravel).
  • Drive 0.7 miles. Take your first right (an unmarked Forest Service Road).
  • Follow this road 1.9 miles to Powell Camp parking area (an old CCC camp that is now closed to the public. Please obey all posted signs) on your left. This parking area will be marked with NPS signs.
  • Hike starts at the parking area. A short distance beyond the road is gated. Continue beyond the gate.

For further details for questions, please call (540) 869-3051.

Last updated: October 2, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 700
Middletown, VA 22645



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