dogs on leash
beautiful and technical definitely challenging
Loved this hike!!! Here's updated directions from Blacksburg (we wouldn't have been able to find it without a friend who had already been there).
From 460w. Turn left onto Thomas Dr. turn left onto main st. Continue on Main Street until you dead end at an intersection (a diary queen and clover dew market gas station will be on the right). Make a right at the dead end (n Main Street) and then an immediate right on Johnson Ave. Make another immediate right onto Morris avenue, this turns into Cross Ave. the trail head will be on the left. The pull off parking area will be on the left past the trail head.
Today was our second trip, first hike last year with our 5 year old we turned back after 2.5 miles because the daylight was fading. Today w/2 experienced hikers it took roughly 2 hours to reach the fire tower at a moderate pace. in fall/spring/winter there is quite a bit of sunlight reaching the trail, sunscreen is a good idea. It can be a bit congested at the summit. Be sure to veer off slightly to the left before the tower for the amazing views on top of the boulders. We encountered many families, some with small children and no visible packs or water, this is not a good idea! Come prepared with water and snacks and dress in layers. The trail is well maintained but has lots of loose rock and some mud...watch your step. All in all plan on spending 4.5 hours (allow 30-45 to explore at summit)...less if you're very fit, more if you're a beginner or are trekking with kids. if you start in the late afternoon (which many people seemed to be doing) your return trip will be a night hike :)