Your Ultimate Guide to The Massanutten Mountain Range

November 16, 2017

There’s an array of outdoor adventure in the Shenandoah Valley from which to choose, and no matter what you decide, it’s going to be a great time. Near Harrisonburg, in the Massanutten Mountain Range, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, skiing, and more are some of the things you’ll enjoy doing. Whether you want to hit the trails here in the summer or ski and snowboard in the winter, the Massanutten Mountain Range has something for every outdoor enthusiast.

Are you looking for great things to do near Harrisonburg? Your vacation can be truly special when you use our free Vacation Guide to plan it! At By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages, we want you to experience the very best our area has to offer.

The Massanutten Mountain Range


According to American Trails, the Massanutten Mountain Range is a 50-mile long, 6-mile wide stretch of terrain that splits the Shenandoah River. The trail’s history dates back to the Revolutionary War! You won’t find any towering mountain peaks here, but you will find over 1 million acres of natural beauty (including the George Washington National Forest) and over 150 hiking trails, according to Four mountains comprise the range: First, Second, Third, and Fourth Mountains (that’s easy enough to remember, right?). The highest of the quartet is Second Mountain. All this outdoor goodness, less than two hours from Washington, D.C. What’s not to love about that?

What Can I Do?

If you’re looking for hiking trails and climbing spots, you don’t have to look far. Here are a few of the mountain range’s best trails:

Massanutten Trail: This 71-mile trail is the choice for hikers looking for a serious trek. Other trails connect with it, allowing you to tackle it in portions, or combine it with others.

Kaylor’s Knob: This is the trail to take if you love overlooks. Kaylor’s Knob is located at the top of Second Mountain. Expect beautiful scenery and a moderate hike along this sub 4-mile trail, according to AllTrails.

Massanutten Peak: Another great trail with a view, Massanutten Peak rewards hikers with both a view of Harrisonburg and a nice elevation climb (approximately 1,500 feet, per SummitPost). Take the Ridge Trail to the top of the peak!

Short Mountain: Despite its name, this mountain north of the New Market Gap is the tallest in the northern region, according to SummitPost. It’s an out-and-back, less than six miles total.

Go Mountain Biking

Mountain bikers will be thrilled to know that the Massanutten Mountain Range is also home to home to plenty of trails, perfect for biking. has a list of all the trails on the range’s western slope, and local companies like Shenandoah Mountain Touring offer bike tours through George Washington National Forest.

Strap On Your Skis

If you’ve been skiing or snowboarding in Virginia, you’ve probably familiar with the mountain’s slopes, thanks to Massanutten Resort. This beautiful resort offers excellent trails for skiing and snowboarding, from beginner trails to black diamond. There’s also a snow tubing park!

Hop In a Canoe

Of course, you don’t have to be strapped into hiking boots or a snowboard to enjoy Massanutten. Massanutten Adventures offers kayak, canoe, and raft rentals on the Shenandoah River. Paddle down the river, flanked by the beauty of Massanutten Mountain and the Shenandoah Valley on either side.

Stay In the Shenandoah Valley and Relax

Harrisonburg, VA, offers its residents and guests alike both historic charm and stunning surroundings. There’s no better way to experience this than by staying at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages. Our historic inn has been a mainstay of Harrisonburg since the 1800s, but the experience we offer is anything but outdated. Stay in one of our cottages or Manor House suites, and you’ll enjoy spacious Shenandoah Valley accommodations paired with modern amenities. Whirlpool tubs, king- and queen-sized beds, WiFi, gourmet breakfast and more: it’s all part of the By the Side of the Road experience. Download our free Shenandoah Valley vacation guide, and then contact us and start planning your getaway today.

By the Side of the Road Inn

The Perfect Lodging for your Weekend Getaway

Click Book Direct for Best Rate to Check Availability