hiking

views

forest

walking

birding

nature trips

wild flowers

wildlife

trail running

mountain biking

camping

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

river

waterfall

dog friendly

horseback riding

nature trips
1 day ago

Wonderful trail to take my 3 year old toddler on. Most beautiful view I've seen in a long time

Pretty overgrown and we were really hoping for some picturesque views which we didn't find. Seemed like there were lots of paths nearby though so next time we would explore those.

This trail was a lot of fun! There are some pretty large rocks, and deep water crossings, however. I personally wouldn't recommend it to someone with a stock vehicle or even a wide one.

If you park off Meadows Lane road and hike the alternate route (up the 4WD Cash Hollow road turn right on the AT trail) it is about 2.5!miles each way (5 total). About 750 ft elevation change (less then the Fish Hatchery route). Plan on an hour and a half each way. See Dave Pitman recorded track on this app site below, it is the correct alternate route (it shows the distance as 2.4 miles one way).

As for the no trespassing signs on Spy Rock roads being "illegal", all I can say is it's currently in the process of being determined. If you have a high clearance vehicle, I recommend using the alternative route (it's better). What started all the problems was hikers not respecting private property. Spy Rock road is on private property, The more people that ignore the no trespassing signs the more difficult it will be to reach a compromise w/ some of the landowners. If you have a low clearance vehicle, you can use the Crabtree Falls lot off route 56 (a full day hike). If you have to use the Spy Rock road, please be quiet and respect the fact that there have been issues w/ people hiking thru this area. Hopefully this will get resolved soon....

hiking
3 days ago

Nice trail with very scenic views along the top ridge. The trail is very sandy and loose at times, and cobbly and rocky at others. Once you reach the first overlook with views of the hatchery, it becomes a ridge hike with some interesting geologic features made of quartzose conglomerate. Not difficult due to steepness, but rather due to all the rocks. Most of the ten groups we saw hiked in sneakers, but I like my ankles, so I am glad we wore sturdy shoes. There were three discernable campsites along the trail. We started at 8 am on Sunday 9/17 and saw about ten other groups during our two hour hike.

hiking
3 days ago

You can have a good workout. The views were ok, nothing amazing but still a good hike with different terrains to work with.
Mosquitoes repellent can be a good idea.

hiking
3 days ago

Going do 10 miles Oct

Great place to take friends from out of town.

hiking
4 days ago

on Kepler Overlook

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

Mike Yankovich - can you give an estimate on the round-trip distance of this hike using the alternative route?

off road driving
9 days ago

This was my first adventure in off road driving and it was a definite challenge. My Army surplus 1989 M998 Humvee was more than up to the challenge, but this trail is called a Jeep trail for a reason that is not obvious. It is only wide enough for a Jeep size vehicle to pass through most of it without scraping the mountain laurel that lines both sides of the trail. My Humvee is 7'2" wide so I think we collected enough debris to fill a truck as we scraped our way through the very narrow sections of the trail.

Many areas are also studded with large rock that would destroy an oil pan on any vehicle without high ground clearance. Also, portions of the trail were under water from rain or mountain streams. At a couple of these places we forded 30 inches of water with mud bottom. Really would not have tried it in a Jeep without a fording kit.

The only other people we encountered were bear hunters training their dogs. They had specially built high ground clearance vehicles with dog kennels built-in. They came up the trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway and we had to coordinate our last 3 miles with them to keep from meeting head to head in an area where passing was impossible. They were used to doing this and had radios to coordinate travel.

When we finally finished the 10.5 miles of bone jarring crawling over rocks, splashing through water, and scraping mountain laurel for 3 hours we breathed a great sigh of relief at finally being on a smooth surface. The Humvee is definitely not designed for comfort, but nothing stops it. Transfer case in low and transmission in 2nd and it never broke a sweat. I did, but the Humvee didn't.

Only reason for not giving it 5 stars is the narrow trail not friendly to wide vehicles.