Austin Mountain - Furnace Mountain Loop

This counter-clockwise loop ascends Furnace, Blackrock, and Austin Mountains.

  • 13.4 miles
Running time
  • 1.5–3 hours
Total ascent/descent
  • 3,440 feet
    260 feet/mile

For more information on this loop, see Hiking Upward and Mid Atlantic Hikes.


From the trailhead, run 0.2 miles on the Madison Run Fire Road before making a right onto the Furnace Mountain Trail. Cross Madison Run and follow the trail for 1.6 miles until reaching the junction with the Furnace Summit Trail. Turn left on the Furnace Summit Trail and continue for 0.5 miles, passing over the summit and reaching an overlook. Retrace your steps back to the Furnace Mountain Trail and turn left, uphill. In 2.1 miles the Furnace Mountain Trail ends at the intersection of the blue-blazed Trayfoot Mountain Trail. Stay left on the Trayfoot Mountain Trail for 0.6 miles to the intersection of the Blackrock Spur Trail. Bear left towards the Blackrock Summit reaching the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (AT) near the Blackrock Summit. Turn left (north) on the AT and follow for 2.3 miles to the Browns Gap parking area on Skyline Drive.

From Browns Gap descend on the yellow-blazed Madison Run Fire Road. In 0.8 miles turn right onto the yellow-blazed Big Run Spur Trail and climb for 0.3 miles to the intersection with the blue-blazed Rockytop Trail. Turn left on the Rockytop Trail for 0.4 miles to the intersection of the blue-blazed Austin Mountain Trail. Take the Austin Mountain Trail to the left for 3.3 miles, passing through several rock scree fields before descending to the Madison Run Fire Road. Take a right and follow the road 1.0 miles back to your car.

Last updated May 18, 2020

What you do is up to you, but you shouldn't rely on these directions alone; they are often not specific enough to navigate by, and may be incorrect or out of date. Review a map beforehand and carry it with you. Tell a friend where you are going and when you plan to return. Do not count on having cell phone service while on the run. The VHTRC is not responsible for your welfare on any of these runs. If you go on one of these runs and get lost, run out of water, get injured, mauled by a bear, or die, or if anything else goes wrong, it's your fault; not ours. You assume all risks here and the VHTRC assumes none at all. Legal issues aside, some of these runs are more remote than others and the VHTRC is not suggesting that you do any of these runs, unless you are prepared to accept full responsibility for yourself.