Trayfoot Mountain Trail is a 9.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Grottoes, VA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until November.
Please refer to Mid Atlantic Hikes great description at http://midatlantichikes.com/trayfootmt.htm
Great trail with good elevation gain. We started out going north and while there was heavy fog for the first half of the hike, the Blackrock Summit landscape was really cool in that weather - almost something out of a movie set. After the a detour scramble to the top of the summit rock formation, the rest of the trail sets off through dense, lush forests. There is a stream at about the 2/3 mark with relatively easy crossings.
Trail was lightly traveled and we saw more wild life than hikers, including a deer and 2 black bears. We'll plan to head back sometime in the fall once the leaves change.
Unless you're really up for a challenge, I'd recommend traveling the trail counterclockwise (start going north).
Nice trail with good views at black rock summit and buzzard rock....Nice river after 5 horas total 7 hours hiking slow, watching both mountains from the top was pretty cool.
This was a really fun trail. I started at Blackrock summit parking area, which makes the summit a fairly easy hike. Blackrock is really amazing slope of boulders and rocky paths that you can go in and around at the top.
From there, it is an up and down hike, with long stretches of ascent to the Trayfoot summit. the trail continues all along the ridge. It being summer, the views from the trail were limited, but I imagine they are terrific looking both east and west. It was here I saw two bears cross my path and descend into the hollow. I ended up nervously following them (not on purpose) down off the ridge.
The descent is fairly quick down to the stream, which I paralleled as I walk back up on a long ascent on the horse trail (Paine Run). I could hear the water rushing down below for the first two miles or so, as the creek rose with me. A final grueling switchback (I was carrying a pack), and I reached the trail head at Blackrock Gap. But before you take the final trail, you could explore a little side trail to Blackrock Springs that is really short.
I then took the AT back up (meaning north and also UP) the the original parking area. At the end of a long hike (took about 6 hours), this section was very difficult for me. Just a straight climb with few level spots. I stopped to check out the shelter, which was about 1/3rd way up, where I eventually camped that night. The expert hikers were taking on water here from a spring, and they said it was one of the best supplies they have found at the shelters.
An excellent half day hike. It is amazing when you look up at the ridge from below to see the total elevation covered on this hike.