Day 1: 10.6 miles, 2,400' elevation gain camp at Lamberts Meadow Shelter
Day 2: 15.5 miles, approx 2,200' elevation gain camp at Boy Scout trail 0.2 miles from dragon's tooth trail parking lot
Day 3: 9.6 miles, approx. 2,000' elevation gain
Signal Knob loop
Great loop hike only about 90 minutes from DC.
Relatively few stream crossings, all pretty easy. If the water level is low you won't even get your feet wet.
Uphill climb getting to Signal Knob is a good workout to get started. Once you pass the TV radio towers on your right, just ahead are a few rocks great for perching on to stop for lunch. Good views into West Virginia when the weather is clear.
I like this route counterclockwise. After you hit Signal Knob you walk along a fire road for about two miles. It's steep but downhill goes pretty fast. Going up would be both boring and hard.
Overall well-marked trail, good views, good workout.
Track (11/17/18, 10:17:19AM)
Muddy muddy muddy. I went just after a snowstorm and everything had frozen into a solid patch of ice. It was fine when I was breaking the trail but later on when I started to walk after others, it turned into a huge mud pit. Slipped and slid all the way down.
First shot going uphill was a good workout, after that it was fairly steady up and down, but nothing killer. A few small stream crossings but nothing terribly hard to navigate.
Kind of dull except for the very end coming up out of the hill. I wouldn't do this again after rain or snow, save it for a dry day.
Track (11/10/18, 10:16:38AM)
You have to walk through private property to start this trek, someone's farm. They let people use it but be mindful and polite.
Good steep uphill getting going into the mountains. Several fast-moving stream crossings. No choice but to take shoes off and wade in - water is freezing in winter but too deep and too wide to try and jump through quickly.
Overall not a bad hike, but there are other, better trails in GWNF.