OverviewThe Meadow School fire road is a less commonly used route to Bearfence Mountain in Shenandoah National Park. Bearfence offers one of the few 360-degree views in the park. While most hikers to Bearfence start from Skyline Drive, which runs near the crest of the Blue Ridge, the Meadow School Road starts from the valley floor at the park boundary.
Getting ThereFrom Harrisonburg, follow US 33 east until reaching US 340 in Elkton. Go north on US 340 until reaching SR 609. Turn right onto SR 609 and follow it to SR 759. Continue straight on SR 759, which becomes a steep, narrow gravel road to the boundary of Shenandoah National Park. There are a few parking spots near the side of the road.
Route DescriptionHike up the yellow-blazed Meadow School fire road for 1.3 miles until reaching Skyline Drive. Turn right and walk on the shoulder of Skyline Drive for about 100 feet. Make a left onto a side road and and follow it to the intersection with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. Turn left on the Appalachian Trail and follow it for about 0.5 miles. Turn onto the Bearfence Mountain Trail and hike for 0.1 miles to the summit, which is about 20 vertical feet above the trail on the left. After making a side trip to the true summit, continue for about 0.1 miles and enjoy the views from the rock scramble.
Round trip: About 4.2 miles with an elevation gain of about 1,400 feet.