I climbed Furnace Mountain as part of a great day hike including Austin Mountain, Trayfoot Mtn., and Blackrock. The Park's Southern District is really a fascinating place. Fantastic views near the summit.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, and the AT were closed due to the government shutdown so I hiked to Furnace from the bottom.
I climbed it for the second time on 15 June 2011. The overlook has fine views across the valley toward Austin Mountain. (Austin Mountain has a fine view of Furnace Mountain, but there is no trail to Austin Mountain.)
Climbed Furnace during a three-day backcountry trip via the AT, Austin Mt. Trail, Furnace Mountain Trail and Payne Run Trail. Mountain laurel and orchids were in full bloom. Saw a bear cub running parallel to trail during descent to Paine Run. Great Day!
My first trip to Furnace was in June 2007; it was a side trip on the way to Trayfoot. I made a return trip just to Furnace in September 2008.