Explore the most popular forest 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.

I hiked the full loop from the base yesterday. Cedar Ridge trail up to Brinegar cabin then across the park on the Bluff Mountain trail before coming back down the mountain on Flat Rock Ridge. Please do not attempt the full loop unless you are in very good physical condition. It was 17.4 miles total, and I think this time of year (late March) is a great time for it as the lack of foliage means that the entire length of the trail has gorgeous views. This is one of my favorite places.

hiking
2 months ago

Walked whole loop with my son, in Sept 2017. It was beautiful. Not a lot of scenery due to foliage. It was a great experience. Started at campsite: took Bluff Mtn Trail, down the mountain on Flat Rock Ridge and then back up mountain on Cedar Ridge Trail and then back to campground.

hiking
2 months ago

Basing my stars on Stone Mountain, BUT I am going there in two weeks, which direction should I go for the quickest route to the best features? What are the best features? Bluff Mountain and Alligator Back shelter. Thanks for any info:)

trail running
2 months ago

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.

Beautiful views and a great hike.

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

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.

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful biews - cold rainy day for hiking!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

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

Monday, April 17, 2017

great view, not much of a hike.

hiking
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I did this trail with my three kids and two dogs. I loved the varied terrain and multiple fantastic views we got along this trail. Sometimes we were hiking in open grassy hills, sometimes the terrain was rocky and wet and sometimes it was just soft pine needles. We did not find the beginning of the trail. We started at a big picnic area between 240 and 245 and ended up hiking a total of 11.3 miles. This hike is definitely worth it for the multiple views you get of the mountains and valleys. We hiked it during a low time so we didn't have too much of a problem with traffic noise from the road.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Such a beautiful trail with diverse views!

hiking
Saturday, February 18, 2017

Definitely a challenging great day hike, we did this in May, when the Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurel were starting to bloom. Cedar Ridge is a great uphill and we took a peek inside the Brinegar Cabin. Bluff Mountain trail is a bunch of ups and downs with several good views, hiking in open meadows, plus a nice shelter and some really nice views at Wildcat Rocks Overlook. Sorry to see they have closed Doughton Park visitor center and lodge. Only con about this hike was going down the Flat Rock Ridge trail which was COVERED in spider webs - luckily we had hiking poles we could hold up in front of us to take most of the webs out of the way [sticks will work too]. You can also take the Primitive Trail down which cuts off a couple of miles. As we arrived back at the parking lot on Longbottom Rd, we got hit with a short downpour, but got back in the car quickly. Overall an excellent tour of Doughton Park.

hiking
Monday, February 13, 2017

This trail is longer than indicated on Alltrails. It is 4.4 miles one-way from the parking area at Grassy Gap Fire Road to Brinegar cabin, for 8.8 miles round trip. NPS indicates it is over 2000 feet elevation gain while it's probably no more than 2500 feet of elevation change it does seem more than that if you weren't expecting it. The grade is never extremely steep but it is very consistent with few flat spots and multiple switchbacks. Some of the steepest sections were at the very beginning while climbing away from Grassy Gap fire road. There are a few rock outcrops that provide great views overall this was a really enjoyable hike.

hiking
Monday, October 17, 2016

Beautiful trail with amazing views. Right along the BRP so there is a lot of road noise but in between the traffic you are amazed by the view.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I hiked a section near Brinegar Cabin last winter, and just hiked the area between Wildcat Rocks Overlook and the Alligator Back shelter on Bluff Mountain. This is a great trail, and I hope to be able to hike the entire length one day soon.

walking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Just a short path from the parking area. But the view is tremendous, and you can combine it with the Bluff Mountain Trail for a wonderful hike.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I parked by the lodge and hiked from the Wildcat Rocks Overlook to Bluff Mountain and the Alligator Back shelter, before heading back. This part of the trail follows very beautiful mostly open rolling terrain. And the views from the crest of the hills are wonderful, particularly on the spectacular fall day I was lucky to get!

Grate fill's like going up to the top of the world even though it was just 2100 feet to climb up felt like you were way higher than you were!!

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Nice hike! You can hear road noise from parkway on some of it. Sad the coffee shop is closed.

hiking
Saturday, November 21, 2015

Do no this this trail. If you are anywhere near and want the vistas you have always thought associated with he Blue Ridge Mountains then you have to walk this trail

https://www.facebook.com/groups/JasonHikingPage/

hiking
Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A nice trail skirting the Blue Ridge Parkway from Flat Rock Ridge up to Bluff Mtn peak. Mostly forested but some open areas for views down into the valley below. You can access the trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway at around MM 240 and 245 or so. There's a lookout area at both MM's. The trail from MM 240 up to Bluff Mtn peak is steep so be prepared for that. Once you are up on the peak it is a beautiful view. Well worth the heart pumping hike.

hiking
Monday, October 26, 2015

I hiked the Flat Rock Ridge trail and the Bluff Mountain trail ending with the Bluff Ridge Primitive trail. Both Flat Rock Ridge and Bluff Mtn trails have good elevation gains. Some switch-backs are peppered around to help with the steep gains. It is a great trail though. You are mostly taking the ridge line up to the Blue Ridge Parkway if you start down at the trailhead on Long Bottom Rd. Once you get to the stop of Flat Rock Knob you get a great view across the way to Bluff Mountain. A great spot to stop and have lunch. The trail is not well traveled but easy to follow as it is well blazed. Flat Rock Ridge trail has a blue blaze while Bluff Mountain trail is Yellow blazed.

The Bluff Ridge Primitive trail is very strenuous. The trail goes down a steep ridge from Bluff Mountain shelter to the primitive campground off Grassy Gap Fire rd. This is known to be a "knee buster" trail. It is very steep and no switch backs to help with the elevation loss. Be sure you are up to the task for this trail. The primitive trail is brown blazed.

hiking
Sunday, August 23, 2015

I only went about a mile on this trail today, will have to go back and finish. You can tell there isn't a lot of foot traffic, about every few feet you walk through spider webs. I suggest getting a stick unless you enjoy walking through spider webs :)

camping
Friday, June 12, 2015

Great views!!

hiking
Tuesday, October 09, 2012

We parked one vehicle at the Brinegar Cabin overlook (trail access) and our other at the Doughton Park picnic area 5 miles south on the BlueRidge Pwy.

(Note: In our hurry to setout hiking we missed the fact that the trail has two access points at opposite ends of the parking area. )

We inadvertently took the South trail head for nearly a mile before correcting. It gave us all a good laugh and time to stretch before enjoying our 5 mi hike (N) to our pickup vehicle.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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