Helton Creek Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Whitetop, VA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until October.
Very pretty in the fall when leaves are changing. Most views are simply of wooded area, no open views. Starting at the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail then take a right onto Helton, there's a good spot for camping on the right just before the second creek crossing. (At about 1 1/2 mile totahike-in.) The trail is pretty narrow, about two-person width, with lots of rocks! You have to be careful not to slip or twist your ankle. Very slight, moderate inclines--nothing too strenuous. It had rained a lot before I went, so I was pretty much sinking in mud. It's a less traveled trail, so it's not as defined, but you definitely will run into less people. There are three creek crossings along the way. They are very shallow creeks, easy to step over, but first is big enough to at least use a water purifier.
Very windy, narrow with lots of rocks! Wasn't horrible, just not worth a 3-hour drive to get there. There are three tiny creeks that cross over it. Wooded area, with views of woods. No open views or clearings. Just used it to reach Deep Gap...although Elk Garden Trail would have gotten us there with probably much better views and better-maintained trail. On the other hand, Helton is far less used and so more isolated. Not too steep of inclines--which makes it easier, but the rocks are difficult for your feet to get a grip at times.