Explore Appalachian Trail: Virginia: Best Day Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This month marks the 80th anniversary of the #AppalachianTrail, which passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. . With so many access points along its approximate 2,190-mile route, this trail is not only an excellent option for thru-hikers and section-hikers, but also day-hikers and those looking to escape into nature for a few hours. . To honor the Appalachian Trail, we have compiled a list state by state of some of our favorite day hikes along the AT. Check out this list for Virginia and help us celebrate the legacy and natural wonder of this trail!

Appalachian Trail: Virginia: Best Day Hikes Map

My favorite hike in Virginia!

It is still closed, parking lot is barricaded.

This was my second time hiking this on 5-12-20 (first time on 4-27-20). During both those times, Spring had barely begun on the mountain. What a beautiful mountain meadow with great views on both sides! The summit is lovely too. I chose to do an out and back, starting at the first parking lot, and taking the A.T. to the top, which took about 1 hr 7 min total. I haven’t done the loop yet. It is very windy at the top, just like neighboring Mt. Pleasant, which you can see from the meadow. The drive in is a gravel road with a lot of ruts, rocks, and wash boarding, but doable if you take it slow. I drove a 4x4 truck, but I saw regular cars in the parking lot. You can park at the Mt. Pleasant parking lot to do the loop, so that you end with the meadow. I can’t wait to come back when the Spring foliage is all in and the leaves are on the trees!

Is the trail still closed? Also can you camp along this route? If so, where’s the best spot? Thanks homies!

Is this trail still closed?

Heavily trafficked but beautiful trail!

Easy trail with beautiful views!

Just an fyi- This trail is always heavily patrolled. I saw two rangers, who hiked up to the knob, hand out tickets. Also don't ignore no parking signs. They WILL tow you. There were two bad fatalities as a result of illegal parking.

Wonderful trail and was able to completely enjoy this location all to myself at this time, 4-2-2020. Nice views, hiked up from FSR to embrace the brisk (cold) sunrise.

One of my favorite hikes in Virginia. The view at the top is spectacular. Went in February when it was below freezing, so I only encountered two or three people on the trail. Totally worth it for the solitude. If you take the fire road, it’s not too strenuous. Completed in 4-5 hours!

Amazing bike trail! Reserved a shuttle ride from Damascus to Whitetop Station to bike the 17-mile downhill portion of the trail. The trail had awesome views, waterfalls, and 32 bridges to bike across. Our favorite bike trail yet!

8 days ago

This trail is intense the first mile then levels out. Great view and a spot to camp at the top if you plan for that. Definitely recommend!

Awesome hike! Well marked. Have to admit the ascent was challenging at times but the views were well worth it. Amazing! Highly recommend!

This is a beautiful hike, but just wanted to put out there that we left from Crabtree Falls Hwy and when finished, our GPS clocked the loop at 15 miles. It was a challenging hike and took all day, but the views from the top and waterfalls on the way back down made it worth it. If day hiking, make sure you bring plenty of water and start early.

I hiked this trail as a solo. Great hike but very steep at times. The trail is marked remarkably well and it’s not hard to find the point at Angel’s Rest. The trail guide will take you all the way to a small spring but there is really no view there but you may see some deer or other wildlife. Really cool hike and not too time consuming (other than the drive it took me to get here). I recommend.

Beautiful but tough hike! I won’t lie, I had to take probably 20 small breaks on the way up and it was a steady incline. The view at the top was well worth it. Make sure to take the small trail with blue labels that has a really pretty rock formation and a great view. Also, once you’re at the top and see another sign, if you take the trail to the left to an additional 0.6 mi hike, if you go not even a 0.1 mi into it, there’s some nice caves.

This was a great trail! Super easy even though it’s almost a 6 mile loop, but the view at the top is worth it. Be prepared for wind and bring appropriate layers!

Hiked 05/03/20: All roads and trails are open. Entire loop for us was 6.4 miles. Dirt road to the hog gap camp parking area (which can get crowded) is passable with any vehicle when it's dry if you take your time, but it's about 1/2 mile from the Mt. Pleasant parking area with more parking available. We hiked the loop clockwise, taking all the elevation gain at the beginning, to get the reward of the views at the top. The old hotel trail to the AT is beautiful, clean, and has a good mixture of forests, meadows, and moderate inclines. The old hotel trail meets the AT about 4 miles or so, leading to the open meadows of Cole Mountain at mile 5. Beautiful 360deg views are very rewarding. From the peak, the AT leads back down to the parking area, and is all downhill for a great cook down. The entire trail was clean, clearly marked, and I'd highly recommend the loop. (Side note - go back again to hike the Mount Pleasant trail!)

really great trail. heavily trafficked but well worth all the extra congestion. The views are absolutely amazing. probably my favorite section of the AT.

Without a doubt one of the best trails in Virginia! The trail is well blazed, but is not designated anywhere as “Cole Mountain”. Instead, follow the AT if going counterclockwise (recommended), or Old Hotel Trail if going clockwise from Hog Camp Gap parking area. The trail offers active streams/small waterfalls, sweeping vistas of mountains and valley, diverse landscapes and flora a plenty this time of year. The trail is a solid moderate hike!

Hiked 4/28/20 was beautiful - parked at mount pleasant trailhead which was open. hog camp gap parking was also open.

Same question as the person below, is the trailhead actually closed? The GW National Forest website says it is but there are people saying they just hiked it on here

Such a beautiful place! The trails are a bit confusing at places but they all seem to intermingle together. We went on side trails here and there and explored a lot of different areas. There are some big rocks to climb around, some amazing 360 degree views, and did I mention there are wild ponies!! SO cool! It was crowded at times and I am sure it gets even more crowded during the warmer months.

Just a quick question. Can anyone tell me if the trail head and the parking at Hog Camp Gap is open?The GWF website says the Hog Camp Gap trail access is closed but I see that it has been hiked recently. Thanks !

Steady incline will get your heart rate up on your way to the top. Definitely worth the workout. The view from the top was phenomenal and the rock formations were a unique find as well. Plenty to explore once you’ve made it to the top.

1 month ago

Sinned and gone to heaven. The pathway to heaven is no joke!You will find yourself with a good incline and move steadily up the mountain. It is a very narrow pathway and will encounter has some boulders to go around mid-way up. Keep your eye out for the angel white marked trees to make sure you’re in the right path. The earth gives water to those that see. Keep steady. At the near top, you will find two different pathways to choose..pathway A or B? The choice you make will be one of your soul seeks.

1 month ago

Great hike. Make sure to go the extra half mile at the top to the Wilburn valley overlook, just follow the AT there and back. There is a small spring along the way too but very small and not super interesting if you have seen springs before. Overall a great hike with two great views. Keep in mind it’s heavily trafficked with through hikers around this time.

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