OverviewThe Ridge Trail is the more challenging route to the top of Massanutten Peak. It runs along the crest of the Second Mountain ridge to the summit and beyond to a hang gliding launch site that offers spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a very rocky trail with a number of ups and downs along the way; the most difficult parts of the trail are borderline Class 2.
Getting ThereFrom Harrisonburg, drive east on US 33 until reaching SR 644 (Resort Drive). Turn left and follow SR 644 until Massanutten Drive, where you make another left. Continue to Del Webb Drive and make a right. Follow Del Webb Drive and up to the crest of the ridge, where there will be a parking lot on the left.
Park here, enjoy the views, and then start up the Ridge Trail, which is on this side of Del Webb Drive.
See the map of the Massanutten Resort for more details.
Route DescriptionThe first 0.75 miles of the Ridge Trail is basically a walk in the woods. After this point, the trail becomes much more rocky, with numerous small but steep elevation gains and losses. There are views of the First Mountain ridge, the ski area, and the summit of Massanutten Peak to the east and south, and more limited views of the valley to the west.
After about 2 miles, the Ridge Trail becomes much less rocky and at 2.25 miles, the trail joins the access road to the cell phone towers near the summit. At about 2.35 miles, good views of Hartman, Kaylor, and Lairds Knobs are available near the bottom of the cell towers. From here, continue on the trail to the summit. For more views, continue hiking beyond the summit until you're overlooking the ski area, where good views are available to the north. The best views to be found are a little beyond this point at the hang gliding launch site, where you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and south.
Round trip: About 4.8 miles to the summit, and 4.9 miles to the launch site. Elevation gain of about 1400 to 1500 feet when all the ups and downs on the ridge are taken into account.