Turn right onto the orange-blazed trail. This is the steepest part of the hike. Curve up and around the mountain, eventually reaching the ridge in another mile. Continue about 0.4 more miles to an area of scenic outcrops.
Continue on the orange-blazed Massanutten South Trail another 0.8 miles to its junction with the white-blazed Bird Knob Trail.
Bear right onto the Bird Knob Trail and stay on it for 1.5 miles, passing two unmarked trails coming in from the left. You will arrive at large clearing where the trail turns to the left. Bird Knob is straight ahead at this point, less than 0.2 miles away. Leave the trail here. Cross the clearing, enter the woods and enjoy a short scramble to the rocky summit.
If you wish, return the same way for a round trip of about 8.3 miles.
Alternatively, to do a loop hike and to visit a pleasant spring-fed pond, after descending from the summit and reaching the clearing again, turn right and head downhill on the Bird Knob Trail. The trail descends and soon reaches a junction with an old logging road.
Turn left onto the old logging road and in about 0.1 miles the pond will be on your left. Enjoy! Swim, if it’s a warm day.
Stay straight, passing a closed gate and continuing on the orange-blazed trail. In another 0.6 miles, you’ll reach an unmarked intersection. Keep right to remain on the orange-blazed Massanutten South Trail. In another 0.8 miles, pass through a small clearing and arrive back at the junction with the Bird Knob Trail.
Turn right onto the orange blazed Massanutten South Trail here. Retrace your earlier route, passing the outcrops with western vistas and then descending to the white-blazed Wildflower Trail.
Turn left onto the Wildflower Trail and hike the remaining 0.3 miles back to the parking area. This loop, including the detour to the pond, is about 9.4 miles round trip. With a slight deviation, one could also bag nearby Big Mountain, which is just 0.6 miles from Bird Knob (as the bird flies).
Bird Knob can be climbed in any season. Fall is very pleasant and scenic, but hikers might wish to avoid hunting season or remember to wear brightly colored clothing then. Winter is best for maximizing views while minimizing bugs and unpleasant undergrowth. The warmer months would be more conducive to swimming in the spring-fed pond near the summit.