The George Washington National Forest is one of the largest public land areas in the Eastern United States, and within it are several amazing recreational amenities. There are all sorts of trails in the forest, from hikes that take only a few hours to journeys that will take a week. One of the longer hikes in the forest is the Massanutten Trail, a 70-mile loop that follows the northern ridge of the Massanutten Mountain near Fort Valley, Virginia.
Most hikers complete this trek in about a week, and your dog is welcome to come along for the ride as long as you keep them on a leash. This challenging hike isn't for the faint of heart, and while you may be required to work hard throughout many parts of the trail, you'll be rewarded with great views!
There are several different places to begin your hike, including Signal Knob on the northern end, the Edinburg Gap on the west side, or Camp Roosevelt on the south end. Parking at these trailheads varies. Wherever you begin your hike, you'll find the path is well-marked with orange blazes marking your way.
During your hike, you'll see the Shenandoah National Park on your east and the Great North Mountain to the west so there will be no shortage of lovely views. The trail dates back to the American Revolutionary War, and many sections of the path are rugged and steep.
There are few places along the trail to stock up on water, so hikers are advised to pack plenty of their own. You'll also need to bring your own food and doggie bags. Dispersed camping is permitted along the trail. The Massanutten Trail is open year-round, but exercise extra caution if you visit in late fall when hunting is permitted in the park.If you and your dog hike the Massanutten Trail, the two of you are in for an exciting, challenging, and rewarding adventure together!