2 nights-3 days Backpacking/Hiking GWNF, Elizabeth Furnace Recreational Area

Date and Time

Friday, July 9, 2021 9:30AM - Sunday, July 11, 2021 12:00PM


Elizabeth Furnace Recreational Area, George Washington National Forest,
Virginia, Shenandoahs,


Registration is required for this activity.


A two-night, three-day hybrid backpacking/hiking in the GWNF, Elizabeth Furnace Recreational Area Dispersed Campsite directly across from Elizabeth Furnace Family Campground, at Strasburg, Virginia. On Friday 9:30 am, we will be backpacking from Signal Knob parking lot approximately 1.5-2 miles to "Bear Wallow Dispersed Campsites" and set up a base camp. After lunch at campsite, we will plan for a half day hike to Meneka Peak Loop, mostly uphill - it will be 8 miles if we complete the loop. However, we do not have to finish the loop, we can modify the hike according to participants' condition of the day. We will plan a healthy and freshly cooked dinner (this is not mandatory, optional) at the campsite Friday evening around the campfire. Bring marshmallow, corn-on-the-cob, hot chocolate mix if you wish. On Saturday, after breakfast, we will do a day uphill hike to Shawl Gap/Buzzard Rock, approximately 8.5 miles, elevation gain is 1,500 ft. Lunch will be relaxing and enjoyable. Again, we will cook fresh food (this is not mandatory, optional) on the ridge of the Shawl Gap Overlook, we will take approximately an hour for lunch. We will have to carry water as there is no water on the ridge, but the view will be spectacular! Please bring your fresh food to be cooked. Ice cooler will be provided at the base camp, participants' fresh food in liquid/airtight zip lock bags should be labelled with the individual names. Upon return to the base camp, there will be fun activities/individual downtime until the gourmet tournament. On Sunday, we will again have a healthy and delicious breakfast before we leisurely hike back to Signal Knob parking lot. Re-hydration place to be determined. We would practice social distancing for meals, breaks, and hiking as much as possible. We will still want to hike close enough to hear conversations for safety purposes and enjoyment. This hybrid backpacking/hiking is suitable for beginners in good physical condition. Please note that the trails tend to be be rocky and wet. Note that pets are not allowed on this trip. Note that we will hang our food for protection from the bears. Everyone will need to bring some form of a bear canister or product like the Ursack. Leaders can help advise you if you don't have one. We may be wearing our masks if we cannot meet the most updated AMC/CDC guidelines.

AMC Trip Policy



Related Link(s):

Guide to Camping, Hiking and History at the Elizabeth Furnance Recreation Area

Click map for driving directions
The trail beckons you all



Offered By







Adults (18+)


Life is meant for spectacular adventures. Let your feet wander, your eyes marvel, and your soul ignite. Never stop exploring. I am an avid hiker and have done many hiking/backpacking trips to Shenandoah and West Virginia. I hike at a moderate pace and love to go with small groups to explore the trails. "Climb mountain not so the world can see you, but so that you can see the world!"


I have backpacked for many years and am an avid outdoor enthusiast. I love hiking and feel that in the forests and mountains in the northeast as these are some of the most beautiful areas in the country. My passion is to have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the out of doors with others of all experience levels.


I have been leading backpacking trips for the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Adirondack Mountain Club since 1975. I enjoy taking the time to look at the scenery and have a relatively slow pace. I am patient with beginners and enjoy helping them learn new skills.