Angel's Rest on the AT

MODERATE 27 reviews
#5 of 58 trails in

Angel's Rest on the AT is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pearisburg, VA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.5 miles 2180 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

An amazing hike on a portion of the Appalachian trail. It gets pretty strenuous but is completely worth it for the two scenic overlooks. Makes sure you travel the extra 0.6 miles at the top to the second overlook.

hiking
15 days ago

A good hike with elevation gain to present a challenge and wonderful views to provide a nice reward.

Approaching Pearisburg form the east the mountain, on which Angel's Rest is perched, looms over the town and the river. The north slope to the top stands in clear relief form the center of town - so you you have a pretty good idea of where you're headed and what you're getting into before setting out. Of course, as always, perspective is tricky and it's tough to judge scale of something so massive.

We set out from where the AT traverses Cross St (as per the directions) - there's roadside parking for 3-5 vehicles. We left one cars at the nearby grocery (where we grabbed some snacks and used the facilities).

Heading up the north slope about 10am on an early November day, we were in the shade for a good part of the hike. It was a crisp 32-degrees and clear with little wind, but the quick and steady elevation gain warmed us up quite quickly. The AT is well marked and well laid out with swithcbacks - so though you gain 1,600' in ~2 miles it never feels as if climbing straight up. The mature hardwood forest and boulder fields provide a great setting and the occasional groves of Rhododendron covering the trail in spots provides some variety. (I imagine they put on a nice show when in bloom.). The only downside from the pastoral setting was the road noise -audible at the lower elevations at the beginning of the hike - lifting up the slope from route 460 in the valley. About a third of the way up, we were surprise to see an abandoned high voltage transmission tower amongst the trees - which we nearly missed.

We made the Angel's Rest Summit in a bit over an hour - passing through the two huge boulders which act as a gate to the top. Following the sign to the right (west) for a short path we arrived at the Angel's Rest boulder. On our cloudless day we had a wonderful prospect of the NEw River Valley, all the way form Narrows (and beyond) through Pearisburg and on towards Newport. The town of Pearisburg and the courthouse are all laid out nicely before you, as is the busy Celanese Plant. We enjoyed watching several trains (which looked HO scale from our vantage point) make their way through the valley down the valley along the river. The view to Mountain Lake and beyond, to the east was amazing.

We continued on the Wilburn Valley overlook and we're glad we did! The view to the east extended all the way to Buffalo Mtn. The immediate prospect of the Wilburn Valley provided a wonderful view of the green fields and farmland along the valley. Even though it was past 'peak color' it's a great scene to behold. And the rock ledge along the eastern wall of the mountain makes for a nice spot for lingering for a snack.

We returned down the trail at about the same pace as our ascent, the whole outing taking about 3.5 hours.

We'll be back.

28 days ago

Not a long hike, but vertical.... enjoyed it... direcrions on website did not get us there... park on Cross Ave... shorter hike.... if not park below.... make right behind Newberry ford and park at peris cemetery parking lot and take trail across road..... we drove up cross Ave and picked up blaze there... even November hike you need water..... views of valley worth the .06 miles at top.... flat up top.... hope you enjoy it

hiking
1 month ago

Great payoff for the hike. The trail doesn't actually have a parking lot, you park by the side of the road and walk back down to the trail. We thought it was a fairly rough climb but very manageable with the switchbacks. The second lookout (0.6 mi to the left) was much better.

hiking
1 month ago

Went for a sunset hike, narrow path but manageable to follow because of the markings on the trees. Parking on the road is limited. Was uphill for awhile but not bad, did it in the fall so the leaves made it kind of slippery. It is also worth the extra 0.6 miles to the overlook, it was a beautiful view!! Recommend for people who have hiked before since it is a slightly challenging climb, but doable and worth the view!

1 month ago

My dog loves it. It is definitely a challenge and would recommend keeping your dog on a leash for the more narrow parts. Beautiful view makes it that much more rewarding.

3 months ago

Great trail parking is hard to find

hiking
3 months ago

It was a beautiful hike. I wouldn't suggest this trail for anyone who is looking for a quick and easy hike. The climb is consistently uphill with more switchback than I could count. However, the view is worth it, both overlooks are breathtaking.

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Trail has been rerouted. Start hike in parking lot on Narrows Rd. New trail is much nicer. Hike is steep. Once at the top, keep going to the 2nd view shed. It's much nicer.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail! Narrow in some spots and about half of the trail is pretty steep but nothing that can't be done with a few stops to catch your breath. There is another trail called Wilburn Valley View that is an easy hike about 0.6 mile away. that hike is well worth the view it provides. it is an awesome trail. Make sure to stay hydrated if you tire easily.

hiking
6 months ago

Trail was great,me and the dogs had a fun time,views were spectacular almost everyone had their dogs with them except the thru hikers. Trail is mostly in the shade so not too hot had a couple of places for water for the doge and one water fall which may not be there in dry weather.

hiking
6 months ago

Very steep incline for a good chunk of the hike - had to stop to catch our breath a few times; but it was all worth it for the view! Definitely worth the additional 0.6 miles to the second outlook!

6 months ago

difficult but Wirth it.... can't wait to hit this one again!

hiking
7 months ago

Very difficult trail, pretty much straight up but the views are so worth it! I highly recommend going the further trail to wilburn valley view! It's not that much further and has a even better view!

camping
7 months ago

not an easy trail but not impossible. veiw is well worth the strait up climb to the top..also fresh spring water is great!

7 months ago

I enjoyed the trees and the views. It is steep but exhilarating. I have hiked this trail twice and recommend lots of water.

hiking
9 months ago

The incline on this trail is tough. At several points my heels weren't touching the ground. It was very muddy which is understandable because of the snow melt. The Angel's Rest overlook itself was nice but as stated by many, the second overlook is well worth adding 1.2 to the total hike. Because you're walking the ridge to get to the second overlook, it's flat; your barking calves can catch a break for a little bit. Naturally, the decline is tough on the legs too. All that being said, it is totally worth it. It was especially nice hiking in the winter when we had constant views through the trees.

Note that there's not a lot of room for parking on the road. I imagine if you're going to hike this in warmer weather when it's more popular, you'd need to get there early.

birding
1 year ago

This hike is pretty good, however it is more advance than it says on here. It is pretty much a straight up climb and the incline gets pretty intense towards the top. The view is nice which makes the hike worth it.

hiking
1 year ago

Upward incline, took us over an hour to get to Angel's rest from the start of the trail. Then we sat on the rock for a long time before going to the second outlook, which, as others have stated, is better. You have to go back to the sign and turn left to get to the second place. After that we just continued hiking on the AT until it was getting late and we needed to start heading back down.

It was a great day. Bring LOTS of water to keep you hydrated. And some snacks.

hiking
1 year ago

great day hike. the second overlook is definitely better than the first. if you go up you have to go to the Wilburn valley overlook...