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Massanutten East Route


Elevation: 883 ft.

The lower slopes of this mountain support a mosaic of fields, hardwoods and conifers with numerous brush piles and re-growth supporting a variety of wildlife. Birds to look for in this area include ruby-throated hummingbird, a variety of woodpeckers, eastern wood-pewee, blue jay, American crow, common raven, eastern bluebird, red-eyed vireo, indigo bunting, and eastern towhee. The complex habitats also support numerous butterflies including common wood-nymph, red-spotted purple, spicebush and eastern tiger swallowtails. Dragonflies in the area include eastern pondhawk and common whitetail.


  • The Massanutten East Route (Forest Trail #408) may appear on some maps as part of the Tuscarora Veach Gap Trail (Forest Trail #405.1).
  • It can be accessed via the Shawl Gap Trail (Forest Trail #406) on the east side of the mountain or via the Tuscarora Veach Gap Trail that begins in Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area on the west side. The approach hikes are strenuous with large elevation gains, especially Shawl Gap Trail, and are not recommended for beginners. Consult a topographic map prior to heading out.
  • Shawl Gap Trail is minimally maintained and may be impassable in summer due to high grass.


Shawl Gap Trailhead Parking Address: 4519 Panhandle Rd, Front Royal, VA 22630, Coordinates: 38.895489, -78.304840

Approximate Coordinates of the Intersection of Shawl Gap Trail and Massanutten East Route: 38.920010, -78.318169

From Front Royal, head west on US-340 S/S Royal Ave., turn right onto SR-619/Rivermont Dr., turn right to stay on SR-619/Mountain Rd., turn left onto SR-608/Wilson Burke Rd., turn left onto SR-613/Panhandle Rd., and the entrance to the trailhead parking is on the right in approximately 1 mile. 

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 984-4101,
  • Website
  • Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free

Birds Recently Seen at Massanutten East Route (as reported to eBird)

  • Canada Goose
  • Black Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Blue Jay

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Bike Trails
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking