Explore the best birding trails in Virginia with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
The half mile spur to the summit through the dense moss-covered pine trees is quite a contrast to the dramatic mostly open terrain you pass to get there. Though slightly anti-climatic despite being at the highest point in Virginia (5729 feet), it is the journey that matters most...and what a journey it is! I am glad I know about the second marker at the summit now...thank you Bill! I will be sure to find it on the next visit.
I hiked from Massie Gap in Grayson Highlands State Park to the Mount Rogers summit (November 2015) on a beautiful and unseasonably warm day. The many open views are spectacular. I particularly enjoyed crossing Wilburn Ridge. I took the more direct and rocky route on the way out and the somewhat less challenging 'bypass' on the way back. The trail also takes you through Rhododendron Gap and by the Thomas Knob Shelter (shortly before the Summit Spur). I wish I had known about the second marker at the summit...I will be sure to find it on a return trip! After descending from the summit, I followed the Mount Rogers Trail a little further before heading back to the park. I will probably hike in from the Elk Garden section next time.
Enjoyed a weekend getaway with some hiking, sightseeing, and geocaching. We hiked a total of nine trails which we turned into an insane loop throught the park. The hike turned out awesome, even hiked over into Kentucky to capture a geocache and enjoy a quick lunch break at the picnic shelter. We stayed in one of the cottages which it was very peaceful, quiet, and relaxing. Will definitely come here again!
Went last week, there is a sign saying that the park is permanently closed due to storm damage, but we went in anyway. The opening of the trail still looks well maintained, better then how it looked a year ago when I last went, one of the wooden viewing spots and one of the bridges were destroyed by falling trees.. there was a big fallen tree on the trail near the back of the loop but there is a big enough opening to walk under it and keep going. Still a nice spot in the middle of the city, better in the fall, in the spring time you tend to get attacked by big bugs in there.
I wouldn't consider this trail "hard." I think moderate would be the maximum difficulty level this trail deserves. I went on Black Friday and I only saw 9 other people who had the same plan to avoid shopping at all costs.
I went with my 9 year old husky and a 25 lb pack and we finished right at 5 hours, with stops for breaks and pictures. There were pony droppings on the trail, but we didn't see any.
It was really cool passing through different ecosystems along the trail. One side of the mountain features a more dry climate and the other is very moist with differences in vegetation.
I'll definitely be going back in the spring/summer
Hiked from Massie Gap and Grayson Highlands State Park. Wind chill at times was as low as 7F degrees. Paid $7 out of state parking fee [year round], and parked right across the field from the Rhododendron Trail. Spent 6 hours on the trail [you can do it in 4 hours], used Rhododendron and AT trails, past Thomas Knob shelter and took AT Spur to the top - make sure you locate the second geodetic marker at the top as there are two - met many people along the way, visited with the wild ponies, took Wilburn Ridge [blue blaze] on the way back ... some steep places but a great view from the top. After our trek had a great barbecue sandwich... everything tastes good after 9 miles and 1500' of elevation gain. This is a great day trip for anyone who can drive up to 4 hours each way. Highly recommend hiking this area to the densely wooded top of Mt. Rogers [note the exposed areas along the way offer fantastic views].
Mt. Rogers Spur proper is a blue blazed trail leaving the AT near the Thomas Knob Shelter along the AT that climbs to Virginia's high point at 5729 feet. We hiked on a partly cloudy cold day with a wind chill of 7 degrees in the open areas. It got much warmer out of the wind on the tree covered top of Mt. Rogers. The Spur travels up though first fields of grass and then dense pines at the top much like what you encounter along the Black Mountain Crest Trail and Mt. Mitchell in NC. I'd also compare it to the dense moss covered pine forests of British Columbia. The top is not very spectacular except for the change in climate zone and the cool forest. There are two geodetic markers, the true top is the second one which is only 100 feet or so from the first across the area at the top. This hike, combined with the lower trails from Massie Gap that you have to take to get there is a not to miss adventure! Enjoy!
This trail was great! We took the fire road up and back and it was a pretty leisurely hike. The incline can get tough here and there but overall it wasn't very difficult. The last mile to the top is definitely the most challenging but again it has more to do with incline and elevation gain than actual terrain. The view at the knob was absolutely breathtaking and worth the work to get to the top. Lots of photo opportunities. There was a mild amount of people but we had the trail to ourselves a lot of the time, only passing people here and there. Everyone was very friendly and more than willing to help with photo ops. Our 15 week old puppy handled the trail perfectly, so if she can do it so can you!
Good family hike. Trail is steep but easy to navigate and a good pair of walking shoes is all that is required. Need to scramble up the rock at the top - at 63 yrs old got on hands & knees for a few feet a couple of times to eliminate risk of slipping & falling. Was very windy & much colder on the top so be prepared for that. Fantastic views at the top.