Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Doughton Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful day for #peakweek There are all kinds of off-road markings which I’m not sure where they go yet just stick to the “actual” trail. I think they are marking the boundary, maybe. Enjoy!

Hiked up Cedar Ridge as a loop and camped at Doughton Park campground. We had beautiful weather and felt very isolated. Saw only 2 people until we got to Bluff mtn trail. Saw lots of bear skat but no bears.

Did the section from doughton park campground to brinegar cabin. Gorgeous scenery. Was a beautiful weekend on the parkway a few weeks ago when we went. I was getting over a hip injury but made it through this easily. Brinegar cabin is very interesting as well. Trail is marked very well and there were no steep climbs on the section we hiked.

3 months ago

Beautiful pastoral views and mountains for miles! This is a well-maintained trail with a few moderate hills. There were tons of butterflies out during our hike, which made the views even more enjoyable. The trail was a little more exposed than I expected, so I regretted not wearing sunscreen. You might have to watch out for cow patties on the trail in the portion of the cow pasture, but otherwise it’s a pretty clean hike. We definitely plan to return in the fall to see the leaves!

hiked today as part of the doughton park loop. lots of switchbacks to help with the elevation gain but still very steep incline.

walked today as part of the doughton park loop. well blazed and lightly used. did not meet anyone on the trail.

3 months ago

nice easy trail, and the views were absolutely stunning. I'm shocked at the poor reviews, they either did not do the entire trail, or did the wrong trail. I completed this July 30 as part of an MST section hike. trail was in immaculate shape.

3 months ago

Short walk to a beautiful overlook!

Most of the views are at the beginning of the trail, and the views are better from the parkway. Recommend other trails in the area.

5 months ago

Walked the first mile or so, turned left at the fork. Very pretty forest path with open forest floor all around. Zero view on the stretch we were on but that was fine on a hot day (Memorial Day 2019) when we wanted the shade.

5 months ago

Very short walk to stunning overlook and view of the valley below

Beautiful sunrises

Hard but very enjoyable day. Went on a very windy but clear day. No services open in March along the Blue Ridge Parkway so bring all the water and food you need. No leaves on the trees so the views are clearer than they would be in summer. The views at the top were amazing. There were lots of trees down over the trail but all were easy to go over or under. We only saw two other groups hiking so be prepared to be self sufficient.

Hiked this on a Friday in February. There were a few trees down across the trail but they were easily crossed.

Sat Aug 25 2018

Go walk laps around your nearest Harley dealership instead. Same experience. The only trail I recall turning back on because it wasn’t enjoyable ... at all. Should gone 1 star but it isn’t the trails fault that people have an obsession with personal noise.

A great workout with 2,460 elevation gain! Not many good views with the leaves on the trees, but still a nice hike. The park ranger At Brinegar Cabin shared that the trail has been used for 140 years as a way for people to get from the Long Bottom Community to Sparta. There are very cool retainer walls all along the trail. A do again when the leaves are down.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer I hiked the portion of the hike from the Doughton Park parking lot to Bluff Mountain. This review covers just that portion of the trail From the parking lot the trail to the picnic area is part of the Mountains to Sea Trail There are about 2-3 nice areas with views of distant mountains, fields and rugged rocks. From the picnic area you have a nice sunset view looking west to the distant mountains. An even better view is to hike the Bluff Mt trail toward the shelter. But turn right at the junction instead of left and take trail to Bluff Mt. About 200 yards past the junction along the trail you’ll find open space with an excellent view to the west. A 28-135mm lens will work great.

My rating is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer. Don’t bother with this trail if you are looking for scenic Mountain views. There aren’t any. The summit is completely closed in by forest. There are some views at the start of the trail but they are the same as Wildcat Rocks overlook. Instead of doing this trail take the 1/2 mile hike at the Doughton picnic area.

Thu Jul 26 2018

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer This is an above average sunrise location along the BRP. The “hike” from the parking lot to the viewpoint is about 100 yards Anyone can do it unless you can’t negotiate stone steps. There are some rocks that can be used for foreground interest but only if you are using a wide angle lens. The mountains are rather distant and I used a 28-135mm lens on a C-size sensor to highlight the mountains. There are better sunrise landscape locations along the BRP but given the ease of getting to the viewpoint this would be a good choice for those with either limited mobility, young children or limited time.

Beautiful fern trail. Steep at points. Good vistas. Went in mid-July. Saw some native clematis and some kind of beautiful orange lily (?)

I started from Brinegar Cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Most of the time I hike uphill (on an out and back) leaving a down hill return. I was looking for a challenge since the weather was unusually cool for July. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. There are some trees down which are not difficult to navigate. There is water at Brineger Cabin and creek at the end.

Easy to moderate trail. Steep incline on the way down. Great vistas along the way.

Fri Mar 02 2018

Shoutout to Parker and Andrea. Loved the big open highlands on this trail. There's 5 parking spots along this trail, so you can drive anywhere to each section. There's a shelter at the top of the summit before you hit the primative trail.

Howling... yes I heard howling. Saw many paw prints in the snow on this trail. Even saw a huge set that could possibly belong to a big cat. Nice trail to a quiet area to sit on a bench and hear just about nothing but the wind and the howling from two or three wolves or maybe it was a few coyote... either one they sounded beautiful and I would have loved to have seen them... from a distance!

Mon Dec 18 2017

My winter rating is ☆☆☆☆. I want to come back in warmer weather when there is more daylight to hike the loop. Trail is nice. Most of it was covered in snow and ice. More comment will be added to my summer rating

Nice walk in the woods. Best views are at the beginning of the trail where you can see Caudill Cabin down below.

Sat Aug 05 2017

Moderate with plenty of tree cover and good surface. Would be spectacular views of valley if in winter. I'll be back when foliage is gone also.

Wed Jul 05 2017

beautiful biews - cold rainy day for hiking!

Beautiful view, Trail isn't too hard to do either

great view, not much of a hike.

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