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mountain biking
4 days ago

Beautiful scenery on this trail!

Beautiful & always worth the trip! I lve the cold water after working up a sweat getting there!

Decent little trail with a lot of scenery, with a cave along the way. I wouldn't go hours out of my way for to do this trail. But maybe if in area swing by & check it out.

hiking
27 days ago

My friend and I hiked this trail today. it was amazing. The hike to the water fall is nice; not very hard. The hike to High Rock was a little more tough, but it was well worth it. The view is amazing and on the way back it's almost all downhill.

Beautiful waterfalls throughout the trail. A small portion of the trail has been washed out but is passable if careful. The National Park service has posted signs that the trail is closed from that point onward, as they haven’t been able to repair it. Still definitely worth the trip!

The difficulty is well worth it and with the loop you can get all you want out of a good day hike. Swimming holes are pristine. Only complaint is that weekends are wayyyy too crowded.

A lot of up hill but it’s a nice hike! The look out at Flag Rock has a great view of the city of Norton and the surrounding mountains, you can even see a couple other states if you know where to look.

One of my favorite hikes! So beautiful!! There are some parts that are harder then others. Make sure you wear the correct shoes bc your feet will likely get wet.

We had the parking lot and trail all to ourselves! The water levels were pretty high but everything was beautiful! We hiked the entire loop. The first 3 miles are definitely the most scenic.

Have walked this trail numerous times since I was a teenager. Very easy & is graveled the entire way. This is actually an old railway that was converted into a trail. Has an old railroad tunnel & trussell that is now a foot bridge. Probably the widest trail I have ever been on. It is great for hiking, biking, & walking the dog. Also has several popular swimming holes along the way. Overall a very nice trail.

I have hiked this trail a number of times over the years. It is beautiful & very scenic. Also has several waterfalls along the trail & has been a popular place to cool off during the summer for years. The most visited falls is also the biggest & offers a good size swimming hole. If you park at the top just outside Coeburn, VA you can reach this falls in about 5 min. The other trail head is at hanging rock between Dungannon, VA & Coeburn, Va this falls will be the last one u come to. Some places are a little steep and can be slick. But over all this is a must do trail.

Very scenic trail with at least a dozen stream crossings. So do not recommend after a heavy rain, the high water makes navigating across some spots a little difficult. But on normal does u can step stones across most places. The trail it's self isn't to hard my 8 year old daughter made the hike. When you reach the Devil's bathtub it is beautiful and offers a good size water hole below it, which is good for cooling off on a hot day. So pack a swim suit.

hiking
2 months ago

So after my last review, I decided that I was going to go all the way to the end of the trail even though we couldn't find the blazes the last time. we ended up veering to our left after the 3rd stream crossing, and when the forest opened up. look for a blaze next to a rhodedendron then travel directly west (you'll go uphill a bit) until you see a log sawed in half. after that, you can see the trail. Be warned though, there are some very long and steep climbs in the near future. the trail is actually 5.0 miles exactly from the trail head to High Butte. so make sure to pack enough water and snacks (also a small trash bag because you dont want to litter). there is no stream once you cross it the 3rd time so I cant stress enough to bring a good amount of water. I brought a 2L bladder and almost went through it all.

the overlook is mesmerizing, though. well worth the hike. I would give this hike a hard rating, though because it is definitely not for the faint of heart. be prepared to climb over some tree and twist your ankles through an old dried up creek bed.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trail. beautiful scenery. only thing is, after you get through the 3rd stream crossing, the forest opens up into almost pure hardwood - the blazes then disappear and there no service to check to see where the trail will continue. aside from that, it was a lot of fun! not too technical after the first stream crossing and the landscape plateaus once you get past the first crossing as well. makes for an easier trek.

edit: see updated review

Great hike , not too strenuous and beautiful scenery once you reach the end

Myself and a couple buddies hiked the first leg of this amazing trail last February mid-winter be it. The water crossings were kind of a pain, was not expecting so many, and with the water levels being up we had to resort to making rock bridges to keep our feet from getting soaked. Roughly 3.4 miles from coming out at Bark camp lake you'll follow around a mile or so of a rocky cobblestone path along the trail which made for somewhat rough going to be honest. We only hiked the first 11.4 miles from High Knob Tower to Bark Camp Lake but this spring i'm intending on doing the entire trek solo and planning on filming the entire trip. Here's a link to our first experience of the famous Chief Benge Trail. Check out the strange find we encountered near edith gap. To clear things up the trail is actually around 20+ miles, not 16, of moderate to strenuous hiking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL1bdKxunuY&t=17s

Fun trail! Need decent hiking/water shoes! Do not go when it has rained heavily...when we got there it was the devil's hot tub and you could barely see it :( Opportunities to swim and lots of cool rocks to stop and picnic lunch on :)

***WARNING***
***DANGER***

As of 3/3/18 there was a mud slide near the viewing platform of the main falls. The trail has been washed away leaving a 40 foot drop mud slide ledge. If hiking from Hanging Rock viewing upper falls will be very difficult or very dangerous. If hiking from northern trail head you will not be able to make it to base of main falls without a very dangerous shimmy across a 40 foot drop or a strenuous re-route through loose leaf covered boulders and thick mountain laurel. Repair of this section will be very difficult to achieve also.

This is not an easy hike. The creek crossing can be quite sketchy for those with bad balance or not athletic. But that said I took a group of 10 or so people with 3 or 4 children around 8 years old and everyone loved the hike. When we went the water levels were so high that there was not a bathtub. But the scenery was amazing and its a different type of hike because of all the creek crossings. Its challenging and fun all at the same time. Be prepared for numb cold feet.

Pretty easy if you just do an in and out instead of the loop. Tons of river crossings so be prepared to get wet! There is a small sign pointing to the parking area. I’d would suggest parking at the bottom (before the skull and crossbones sign). Just hike up the path instead of driving. Not worth getting stuck.

Was able to get out and go day hiking on our last day of vacation. Was definitely well worth it! Hiked the trail and got to Devils Bathtub, then decided to continue on to mile marker 3 (about to the Three Forks Waterfalls or something along those lines). Was absolutely beautiful with lots of river crossings and beautiful sites along the way.

Pretty challenging. Some areas the trail is poorly marked. We hiked the trail clockwise, it looked like it would be very much harder doing the trail counter-clockwise. There is a second waterfall after passing Devil's bathtub that's well worth continuing on. We got there early and by the time we left, there were cars lining the road for about 2 miles. However, it was summer and a lot of people use the bathtub for swimming.

Buddies and I came for a bachelor party and stayed in a cabin near by. It's been awhile since any of us hiked, a couple of us never have, but we were able to handle the trails and streams pretty well. We had to go slow in some spots but we made it through and everyone came back in one piece. I definitely recommend this trail to anyone interested in a challenge.

One of my favorite trails ever! I lost count of river crossings. Trees to climb under and over on trail. Careful, recent fatality do to slip on rocks.  I only saw 3 couples. Parking was fine for me but if you go when busier you will be out of luck if no parking. Lot is very small! No where nearby to park if lot full. Also driving my camary was scary as I wasn’t sure it would make it out of the long puddles entrance road. I made it in and out though. I read some people said lots of trash. I picked up two water bottles and that’s all I saw besides a little broken beer bottles in lot. Bathtub is just to right of rope at 2 miles. It’s a 7 mile loop. I did 2.5 and care back to total 5 because I enjoyed crossing river so much and wanted to see bathtub again. Well marked trail. Look for yellow paint on trees and pink ribbons.

Awesome little hike! I went early before it got busy.
The bathtub it’s self is not easily seen from the trail... if you don’t know where it is it’s easy to miss. The sign they placed for it isn’t even on the trail... you have to turn and walk down the creek bed a bit to find it.

Did this early morning hike w 2 black labs and it was great! Rocks across streams were slippery, tho they looked dry, so be careful (busted my butt twice, ha). Beautiful hike, wish I had brought a plastic bag for the very few items of trash we saw. Do this, so worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

it was good hike, best to go early in the morning .Rocky terain. the trail breaks off a few times but that's not necessarily a bad thing. the scenery is great all the way the the falls.

absolutely beautiful!! somewhat difficult and slippery but worth everything!

It was a cool Sunday morning for August, upper forties as Boy Scout Troop 86 started out on a 20 mile hike to complete the hiking merit badge. We started at High Knob tower on our journey. The sun was shining bright across the distant mountains with hints of fog in the low valleys. You could feel it was a great day for a hike.
By the the end of the first half mile it was time to shed the light jacket. At mile one was the flat still water of High Knob Lake surrounded with mountain laurel. The overlook at the dam is a great backdrop for pictures. From this point on it was a fast pace to Mountain Fork. We stoped for a quick break and a snack. The trail to this point was well marked, and a down hill grade was making for a fast hike. The first five miles went quick. However at about mile six we turned to a uphill grade not bad but still uphill. Then the cobblestone type rock started for the next two miles. It made for a little harder hike. But still a great day to be in the woods. As we neared Edith Gap we ran into a horse trail blazed with orange paint. It was better marked than Chief Benge Trail. Some of the orange had faded almost looking yellow. This almost caused a wrong turn for us on the trail. At Edith Gap we took our next stop and ate a light lunch.
After lunch it was back to a quick pace on our way to Bark Camp Lake. From this point on it was back to a downhill grade for the most part. It was a welcomed site to see the long foot bridge of the backwaters of Bark Camp Lake. We knew we were over half way through. As we rounded the lake it was obviously low on water. We made it up to the dam and found out why. The Lake was drawn down to make repairs to the dam. We ran into signs saying Trail closed for construction. At this point we were not turning around and going back, so across the fresh graded soil we went. We seen several critter tracks in the damp ground, one of witch was a black bear paw print. It was as big as my hand, quite impressive I must say. At Bark Camp we made a quick stop to rest some tired feet before continuing on to Stoney Falls.
As we started back on the trail it was back through the dam construction. This made it harder to locate how the trail progressed below the dam. But yellow blazing was found and on to Stoney Falls we hiked. Still on the downhill grade it made for easygoing. When we arrived at the falls it was obvious it was a popular place to visit. Over ten vehicles in the parking area and several families out enjoying the day. From the falls on it is a beautiful three miles to Hanging Rock where our ride awaited us.
All in all it was a great hike with a total of fifty nine stream crossings. I would do it agin if I have the opportunity. But it does make for some tired Boy Scouts.

walking
8 months ago

Clear trail, lots of running water to listen to, not ideal for trail running though as it has many slippery points, jagged edges, and roots

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