Elizabeth Furnace

Front Royal, Virginia 22630

Elizabeth Furnace

Elizabeth Furnace Professional Review and Guide

"This is a tough ride. Folks new to the sport will hate it unless they turn around at Strasburg Reservoir and stay away from Signal Knob and the Green Mountain climb. People come here all the time to tame the steeps and conquer the rocky descents on their high-en full suspension bikes. They usually fail.

So why do so many cyclists keep coming back year-round, winter, spring, summer, and fall? simply put, Elizabeth Furnace is home to some of the best all-around mountain bike trails in all of Northern Virginia. Bar none, It's steep. It's dangerous. It's long. It's fast. It's a blast. Trail Surface: Mountainous, rocky singletrack and forest roads."

More Elizabeth Furnace Professional Reviews and Guides

"This ride's general location is 10 miles west of Front Royal. Scenery includes great views of the neighboring Massanutten Range. This loop covers a little bit of everything from hard-packed gravel forest road to technical single-track, so it's not for the wary or those with amateur bike-handling skills.

Fortunately, the first seven miles lend themselves to an easier 14-mile out-and-back alternative that skips the single-track ascent and descent across the top of Green Mountain, the toughest part of the ride. This ride will offer you a golden opportunity to explore the beautiful northern end of Massanutten Mt."

"This is by far one of the most difficult rides in the book, but one of the most rewarding. I won’t sugarcoat it—this ride is demanding, technical, steep, fast, and dangerous. If the ride itself doesn’t do you in, a bear might. When you finish, you’ll ask yourself “Why?” And then, out of nowhere, you’ll start planning your return, or researching other rides in the forest—there are plenty, more than 400 miles of singletrack to choose from.

This demanding and technical ride has become a rite of passage for mountain bikers in the Washington, D.C., region and serves as the perfect introduction to the type of trail you’ll find elsewhere in the George Washington National Forest and the Catoctin Mountains to the north."

"This is by far the most difficult ride in the book, but one of the most rewarding. I won’t sugar-coat it: this ride is demanding, technical, steep, fast, and dangerous. If the ride itself doesn’t do you in, a bear might. When you finish you’ll ask yourself “why?” And then, out of nowhere, you’ll start planning your return, or researching other rides in the Forest—there are plenty, over 400 miles of singletrack to choose from. This demanding and technical ride has become a rite of passage for mountain bikers in the Washington, DC region and serves as the perfect introduction to the type of trail you’ll find elsewhere in the George Washington National Forest and the Catoctin Mountains to the north."

Elizabeth Furnace Reviews

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6/10/2006
REAL technical. So technical i felt like 'what's the point' because the second 1/2 of the ride you are off your bike quite a bit. There is a long uphill where you have to be very, very good to ride it. I consider myself pretty good, but I had to walk. I like rides where I am acually riding, not hiking. Gambrill is nice; technical and rocky but you can stay on your bike.
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7/11/2005
This is my second review of the same trail, however using the trail map and description of Elizabeth Furnace, I was able to find my way through the mountain, unlike the Bear Wallow map/description. Strasburg Resovior was awsome, as usual, this time I swam out to the overflow drainage structure and dove off a couple times. I had my first encounter with a rattlesnake on the climb to the resovior. The only downfall of the entire trip was the climb to Meneka Peak on the Blue trail. I had to walk the bike approximately 1.5 miles through some pretty tough rocks. I'll definitely ride this trail again.
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10/9/2000
This is one of the best rides I've had this year! We were lacking any sort of trail map, so we took an educated guess at the best way up the mtn. We chose...unwisely. We finally reached Signal Knob after 1.5 hours of hike-a-bike straight up the rocks. The next 2 hours of riding more than made up for the agony of the climb. Here you have an awesome mach speed fire road descending about 500 feet. Also some of the best singletrack riding in the area.
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Trail Information

Front Royal
Nearby City
13.3
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Difficult
Technical Difficulty
Difficult
Physical Difficulty
4.5 hours
Duration
Public land, accessible year-round.
Season
1,000 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,950 feet
Top Elevation
Lee Ranger District, George Washington National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Strasburg and Toms Brook. George Washington National Forest topo Lee Ranger District. National Forest Service trail map.
Local Maps