Bird Knob via Massanutten South Trail
This is among the most scenic hikes in the area, with two adjoining overlook. One of the unique features of the hike are the variety of geological and plant life found in different areas. It seems to pass through multiple different ecosystems, including a perfect respite at the Emerald Pond swimming hole before heading for a downhill return. The multiple rock scrambles along the way up (and back) make this a hike you (and your legs) will not soon forget. One little advertised feature of the trail is the massive ant colony that inhabits the area past Emerald Pond. Nearly a mile;s worth of trail is seemingly carpeted in ants until passing several large ant hills.
Look for the closed visitor center on the left. It is a green building visible from the road. The parking lot entrance is a bit overgrown and can be difficult to spot. Once in the parking lot, there are two trails, a nature trail leading out from the back of the parking lot and the Wildflower Trail near the entrance to the parking lot. The Wildflower Trail leads to the Massenutten South Trail.
I would not recommend this hike for children. It includes a steep climb with a variety of rock scrambles and other difficult terrain. I would rate it a 3 for younger children. Higher ratings for teenagers who would appreciate the challenging terrain.
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