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

Great trail we did Stoney and Blue Suck Falls, Great trail system and well marked our second hike ended up under full moon conditions!!

I did a loop: Fore Mountain from reservoir parking off of 606/ Sulphur Springs road where Fore crosses 606. Fore>Stoney Run, to McGraw Horse trail back to parking area. Once you know the trails you are looking for you will see it is well marked. Tough climbs and descents. Today spider webs were more annoying than anything. Ugg- used my sticks to clear them while walking but still. Ugg. Beautiful, serene and challenging. Didn't see a soul. Ended up being 13.3 miles.

We parked our car and started our hike from the Guest Cabin at the top of the hill. The trail is well- marked and well-maintained.

over grown
washed out
3 months ago

First off I’ll say I did the first 8 miles from the Smokey Bear/Covington trail head in March. It was challenging and fun. I was engaged the whole time with stuff to see, overlooks and focusing on the trail. I spent two days recently ( July) trying to do the 10 miles that runs between Smokey Bear Trail head and the trail head at State route 606 /Sulfur Springs Road - -on two different days two different approaches. It is impassable from either direction. The trailhead in Covington starts out a disaster, improves becomes beautiful then a tangle of overgrown and rocky mess becoming a big concern because you can’t see either the trail or your footing. Turned back. This day I was going from the South to the North more or less. Trying from 606 North to South it starts out as a very nice trail and degrades in stages as you get to about 1.5 miles in and impassable after about 3 miles in. This day I turned back and went across 606 heading North toward Douthat. Picking up Fore Mountain Trail from 606 the trail is not marked. All Trails "path" at this point is innaccurate; do not try to ford the creek as it shows. Even if you do get across the other side is a bog. AllTrails shows how to continue Fore Mountain trail heading North into Douthat: follow the gravel road at the parking area to the “Reservoir trail.” It is 500 yards to the right of the road crossing. Take it to the end where there is a circular parking loop '1/4 mile more or less. Cross behind the gate and over the culvert bridge over the creek. At about .02 there will be a Horse trail connector off to your left that gets you properly back onto Fore Mountain trail after about .04 miles. This joins with Stony Run then Middle Mountain trail. This section is well maintained, challenging and gets you into Douthat for camping amenities. State money vs federal money I guess as once inside Douthat the trail is a success. Plenty of hiking at Douthat. For right now Fore Mountain trail needs some love. It is a shame you can tell it was once a very well tended trail. This is in the James River District of the National Forest and their head office is about 50 miles away. You can tell.

I reccomend this trail for hiking only, for mountainbiking it can pretty tricky. But i dont have much mountainbike experience. Not much great overlooks cause of the trees. But very nice views between them. Nice shady trail keeps it nice in july. Good markings. With Alltrails and a good full phone easy to hike.

4 months ago

Stony is right! I jumped on this trail at the end of Blue Suck trail, so it was just 6 miles once I hit the end of Blue Suck again to get to my car. There are some long stretches of the same scenery, but also a great stream and some pretty flowers. I did this route spontaneously so I couldn’t download the map. I didn’t realize it would be 6 miles. My mistake for sure.

Very confusing

Wed Mar 28 2018

False advertised as 4 miles definitely 10 mile up and back. The last switch back is great place to have lunch on the rocks just off trail. A little disappointing as there isn't much to see as the waterfall is indistinguishable from the stream you cross several times. Plan to get your feet wet and then do the extra mile or so to the Lookout trail and you'll do great.

Tue Oct 17 2017

I picked this trail because other reviews said there are great views at the top. I went in October when the leaves are just starting to change color. At the top, you can’t see much through the trees. So the view from there was nil. There is a spot or two on the way up where you can see the main lake in Douthat State Park. It’s a steady climb and the trail is challenging, but don’t pick it if you’re looking forward to great views.

Amazing weekend at Douthat, this park is everything your minds eye has envisioned! Gorgeous any time of year, the photos do not do it justice.

In Douthat Park, I took Ross Trail past the Lake, heading north on the right. That led me to Mountain Top Trail. When it seemed I reach the top because there were rocks and craggy trees and I could see 360° around, I went off the path of it to get a closer look at the rock formations and amazing trees and lost track of the trail a bit... Following the yellow blaze for Mountain Top Trail to head back, and realizing I was actually gaining elevation... I took out my Alltrails app and was very glad that I had connection! I truly don't know how that works when I could not send texts but I am thankful it did. A God send. Because it showed that I was going in the wrong direction and would have spent the night in the woods! So having a fully charged phone is another thing to add to my list of things to bring on a hiking expedition. (I was down to 20%) Thank you AllTraills. I love your topographical map that works with GPS!

Advertised as a 4.2 mile out and back trail. This is not the case. water fall along trail is weak sauce. The name says it all, nothing but stones the first mile and a half to aggravate your knees. On the positive side, it's rated as difficult so you most likely won't be running into other hikers. Beautiful scenery with the exception of a few thick vegetation spots. Bring food.

Wonderful, easy to get to, outdoor getaway. Love douthat!

Great view, awesome trails. It's worth the drive!

Sun Oct 02 2016

Good trail to descend from Blue Suck Falls trail and the Tuscarora Overlook. Well maintained. The trail gets very narrow I'm certain parts and the loose rocks are a little much after a mile or so. This trail crosses over Stony Run Creek several times. Note: part of this trail is shared with horses... Beware of the manure!

Mon Jul 25 2016

Went hiking on a hot July day. Was nicely shaded so we were not dying from the sun yet...Beautiful views, not too difficult. Highly recommend this trail!

Thu Jul 07 2016

Great trail for descending from Tuscarora Overlook trail. There is close to 10 switchbacks going up past Stony Run Falls. The trail is well maintained and is an excellent opportunity for hiking or mountain biking.

nice trail system , could use some maintenance. seen two bear cub on the hike about three miles in.

Mon Mar 14 2016

Very nice trail. Shared it with a few mountain bikers that day. The trail crossed the stream a few times. Switchbacks helped with the elevation gain. Overall, I'd rate it moderate to strenuous. Great hike - can't wait to go again.

Awesome park!

This park is five minutes from my home. It's become my favorite playground. It's beautiful year round, and the trail system is rewarding, fun, and pretty much perfect. I go out for the day, or just to spend a couple of hours, and never get tired of walking these trails. Difficulty ranges from casual and easy to demanding and exhausting, and you can link the trails together in a seemingly endless set of combinations. Living this close to this park is the very best thing about my hometown.

Sun Mar 09 2014

nice wooded trail with great views of Covington

mountain biking
Sun May 26 2013

Seriously, as a semi-pro MTB rider, one of the best damned trail systems in the mid-east USA....(understatement)

Sun Apr 15 2012

Nice hike, dry conditions so there was not too much water running, could be 'interesting' hike after very heavy rains! Did the loop from the park office, up Wilson creek to beards gap to mountain top trail for the lookout then back down on bushy hollow.

mountain biking
Sun Nov 06 2011

What a great mountain biking trail. Intermediate to advanced riding. We rode 8 miles up and 4 miles down. Uphill climbs stayed moderate but were long. 13 switchbacks and your at the top. U start at about 600 feet and end up at 3500 Absolutely stunning views. Just try not to die on the downhill. Very fast and well marked trail system. We rode a 13 mile loop.

1 month ago

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