Explore the most popular dog friendly trails in Jefferson National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is a pretty hard trike. Some points it feels like your going straight up. It has good views but I've seen better.

Poverty creek is one trail in the poverty creek trail system, I took horse nettle to Jacobs ladder to may apple to poverty creek. It’s a moderately difficult ~7 mile loop when done in this direction. This takes you to the top of brush mountain where there is a cell tower and a view limited by trees.

If you want a challenge, I would take my route backwards. Horse nettle is a moderate incline to the top of brush mountain while taking Jacobs ladder up has several high steps over roots, a difficult incline, and it ends in a switchback. There are some stream crossings so be prepared to get your feet wet. Overall a nice hike, but don’t expect any great views.

As one reviewer said, the poverty creek trail is a one way 7.1 mile trail, ending up being 14.2 if you go down and back. The route listed as the trail is actually a loop utilizing horse nettle, snake root, poverty creek south, skullcap, prickly pear, royale, and finally poverty creek north. You must follow these trails to hit the 10 miles listed.

1 month ago

loved this trail, I've hiked it twice. great views and an easy trail

Really fun, not that hard.

1 month ago

Decently steep, somewhat well
Marked trail. Two small/moderate size scenic waterfalls with stocked/native trout fishing at the trailheads. There is apparently a cave somewhere in this area. Beyond the scenic waterfall trails there are trails for bikers

Great hike!! Good views!!

We climbed the boulder yard almost to the top, whew! Sore the next day, but really amazing views. Not recommended for children the boulders would be too challenging. The trail right next to the boulder field was a steep descent, poles definitely came in handy. Really unique hike that I’m glad we did!

Amazing but path on marble trail difficult to find best path off main trail.

great hiking. good workout

By far the most fun hike I've ever done. I went off trail and climbed the rocks up then took the trail back down. It's definitely a good workout and the whole thing is pretty steep. I highly recommend it! It was suggested to me by some locals and I'd never have known about it otherwise. I had the trail all to myself in the middle of a Sunday.

My dog and I did this trail 2 days ago. great hike! Very scenic! We took Lewis fork and wow did I under estimate the trail, it's pretty tough. I enjoyed every step though. I will definitely visit the surrounding trails! the horses are so cool. they were on the trail and refused to move so we scooted past and pet them on the way past!

Did this hike with three boys ages 3, 8 & 10. Absolutely beautiful. Highly recommend.

2 months ago

Completed the hike 2/20/18 to bag the state high peak. The lush, mossy forest made for neat scenery but also made for a wet and rocky trail. Majority of the trail, as well as the summit, is in the trees which leads to a fairly underwhelming view, but none the less an enjoyable hike with some scenic views here and there. Wish the ponies were out! Trail is longer than the 10.8 mi posted, RT from the trailhead is 12.6 miles. Glad to have VA's tallest peak in the bag!

amazing views, wild ponies, doesn't get much better in the south east

3 months ago

This is probably my favorite hike on the east coast. We did this over a cold winter weekend. The wind was fierce atop the mountain, but the views were breaktaking. The wild ponies were definitely the highlight of the trip. Be careful and pay attention to the route - we ended up getting lost more than once. I reviewed the trail in great detail here for thoes who want to check it out before making the journey! https://adventuresinroamance.com/backpacking-in-the-south/

Pretty easy hike if you start on the 43 side of it. excellent views at several different spots. could easily be turned into an overnight backpack trip for those in no rush. there is an AT shelter about 3/4 of the way through, but NO WATER on the trail.

We hiked the loop today. The weather was beautiful. Listed as 9-10 miles, it feels more like. 11+. A great hike with Reed Creek as an added bonus.

The yellow blazing is poor. It’s sporadic and faded. Time for an upgrade. Pay close attention on the first few miles.

Excellent views from the rock outcrop on the West side. 

Moderate? I did this as a two day backpacking trip and I’m sore! Great hike with some good winter views. Total hiking time fully loaded over two days with multiple map checks and stops was 8 hours

This trail IS NOT for the Wimps in the group. It gives the body a chance to warm up before it hits you with both barrels! The rock field is fantastic and gives one the opportunity to traverse an amazing natural formation that includes challenges for those that boulder to those that spelunk. This trail will become a favorite, give it a try, you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!

Moderate is a huge understatement, I did the full hike and it was enjoyable until i hit the 2 mile peak. Virtually straight up hike to the peak but absolutely worth it. The view is amazing and the exercise was great. All in all with a lunch stop and two 15 minute breaks this hike took me roughly 5 1/2 hours. It's important to note that I went at a steady but not too brisk pace, others can probably hike it much faster than i did.

Great trail as long as you don't follow it, the fun part being rock climbing

4 months ago

We did this over Thanksgiving holiday to bag another state high peak. It was cold but clear. The trail is easy with no steep parts. The views were just ok, as compared with other eastern mtns. The weird thing was the summit was in a group of trees? No view at al from there. We didn’t see the ponies, but their poop was everywhere on the high trail. The only thing that makes this hike tough is the length, it’s not that long but it’s frankly boring for at least 75% of it, makes it seem longer.

Great trail. Well marked and pretty moderate in difficulty. I’m pretty athletic and I did get winded a few times but it’s definitely doable! The last scramble over the rocks is a little bit daunting but the view is definitely worth it!

Pictures don't do it justice

5 months ago

This trail can be muddy and overgrown in the summer months. Trail follows a seasonal creek and sometimes becomes the creek. There are also a few creek crossings that you will encouter. You can connect this trail with the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail and Henley Hollow Trail to get a 11-12 mile loop

Hiked it solo the day after Thanksgiving. A nice climb to Angels Rest with some impressive rock formations and caves. The last part of the climb was pretty steep but only for a short distance. Another half mile to mile of relatively flat hiking and there are some really nice overlooks to the valley below. I started at 8:00 am and was back at the car by 1:30. According to my watch it was close to 7 miles roundtrip.

Did this trail in November. Much of the second half was snow covered, and the junction of trails at Rhododendron Gap was not terribly clear. The summit felt like a winter wonderland -- totally worth it.

5 months ago

Loved this hike. Highest peak in Virginia. Really sore though

Great hike. The leaves were amazing. Wear something orange. We heard hunters early on Saturday. Definitely do it again.

I live in Lynchburg about 45 minutes away. Been up there many times. Anytime an out of towner asks me where to go I suggest the Marble Yard. It is an awseome hike. Weekdays are better than weekends, parking can be an issue.

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