What a great spot. We sort of “cheated” as we didn’t have a lot of time and simply hiked an out and back up the Appalachian Trail to Cole Mountain and back. Took maybe 25 minutes heading up, 20 back down. For the minimal effort, you can’t beat the views. Flies were pretty bad at the top, but below the tree line were not an issue. The last 1.5 miles driving to the trail is on a gravel road...road wasn’t in bad shape but there were a couple of rough spots to be mindful of. We plan to come back in the fall to hike the entire loop and enjoy the sweeping views, minus the flies!

29 days ago

We did this trail on accident, intending to do Cole Mountain but weren’t disappointed. There is a steady incline towards the end which can get challenging but nothing too hard. We are only able to see the east overlook when we reached the summit because a rude family was taking up the entire west overlook and wouldn’t clear the entrance for us to go up and see. We went on a Saturday at 11 am and only passed them and 1 other group.

*note, it says this trail features a river but we never saw or passed that.

I love this trail, depending on the time of year, the path is lined with rodadendra, mountain lorel and blueberries.

1 month ago

Went on a Monday in early June and didn’t see a single person. It was amazing. My girlfriend and I took the reverse route, clockwise around the loop which I would recommend as it gets a longer harder hike out of the way first.

Incredible pink/purple flowers in full bloom at certain points and so much incredible green everywhere.

The hike is very enjoyable, the perfect mix of leisurely strolling and some moderate climbs. Took us about 1hr45 to get to the summit and 1hr10 to get back to the car.

Both summits have amazing views but the west facing summit is something special. The rocks look great and it’s almost as if there’s a man made flat rock there just for people to sit and have lunch. One of the most enjoyable hikes I’ve done in this area.

The gravel track leading to the trailhead is kinda rough so be prepared to drive very slow for a few miles if you have a normal car.

Also, I have read a lot about a fire affecting the blaze markers - this has clearly since been rectified as I felt the trail was incredibly maintained. Almost too easy!

I will def be back and want to try and do it overnight!

We hiked the Hotel trail first, and then returned via Cole mountain. This is a really enjoyable hike. It took us about 3 hours. There are parts that seem like they should be in a movie: lots of very green ferns on the forest floor, under a canopy of trees. There are excellent camping spots, especially in the meadow under big oaks on the Hotel trail. Wild blueberries are growing there, too. The views from Cole mountain are spectacular.

1 month ago

This was such a nice treat to hike! We decided Sunday morning to go hiking, found this one and couldn’t resist the views. Despite a large number of cars at the first parking area (passed “no motorized vehicles” sign), we continued down the road to a more secluded area (recommend SUV or truck, etc) where we parked. From there we decided to take the clockwise loop. We only passed 3 groups our whole time—also had overlooks to ourselves. We took our too dogs with us and they enjoyed it as much as we did! Highly recommend as a day trip or overnight.

This was a beautiful trail! We planned to do the trail clockwise, but a poor weather forecast forced us to reconsider our route. We went counterclockwise, starting on the AT & hit the summit in the afternoon so we wouldn’t miss the views due to the predicted rain/fog the next morning. Hiked down to Cow Camp Gap shelter via the Hotel Trail & camped near the shelter. Ended up coming back the same way, just so we could have a chance to see the views of the beautiful saddle/summit again!

Such a beautiful quiet trail. This is where I solo hiked for the first time and it is a hike I will never forget and find myself visiting at least once a year!

its was awesome beautiful opening my first hike ever

The summit has great views! I went clockwise on hotel trail. Took me 2 hours and 46 min. I have been holding down the couch a lot lately.

This was different than most of the trails in the mountains. You have a beautiful view at the top with a fantastic meadow. We took a husky and a Boston terrier which was an easy and enjoyable walk for both. It's a little steep going to the top but short lived and nothing to crazy. Just as an FYI, When you encounter the first Parking lot, that will be the one to take you straight to the top. The parking lot further down with take you on the hotel trails which is the camp and bottom part of cole mountain. The entrance to Mt. Pleasant will be there as well.

7 months ago

My all-time favorite hike in Virginia

7 months ago

Hiked the Old Hotel Trail in November after the leaf drop. Completely different than when everything is in bloom. Both times are a great time to hike it. Moderate 6 mile hike with great views all along the way. Windy at the top. One of our favorite hikes. We keep coming back.

8 months ago

Nice hike.when my dog and I did it we only saw one other backpacker with his daughters. Their very first backpacking hike. We went counterclockwise since they were heading in clockwise. Beautiful hike my setter was pointing unknown critters most of the way. Not a lot of water so pack in plenty. Beautiful views this was done mid October. Will go back with less foliage,

Great trail and will be doing again. I did the trail clockwise and will do it the same way again. Puts you at the summit just past halfway. My trail recorded this trail at 5.2 miles but I noticed it did not record the summits. that adds another mile to the total distance.

Beautiful day hike with my wife. Incredible views all around, even though it was muggy and hot. If you're carrying a pack this hike will get your blood pumping on a few of the switch backs, but nothing too crazy. Lots of wild flowers and jewel weed. Would love to come do this hike again in the fall.

11 months ago

I absolutely love going to Mount pleasant! I've done the hike twice now! the second time seemed much harder but I think that's because the trail was much more overgrown than the previous. no matter how difficult, THIS HIKE IS WORTH IT! literally the BEST views in VA! Very Rocky, so be prepared for that

11 months ago

Monday, June 26, 2017

Chose this as my girlfriends first overnight backpacking trip. Perfect distance and difficulty for someone right off the couch. Views were great on the east summit, picturesque camping site on west summit. We chose to go counter clockwise. Make a figure 8 loop with Cole/Cold Mountain trail for a great multi night outing.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Great hike! The trail was well marked and well kept. The woods were beautiful and so was the summit. I definitely recommend it.

Monday, May 29, 2017

so beautiful!! even in the rain and fog. we clocked more than 6 miles. added an additional 1 to the east summit and back, so over 7 in total. The trail is very well marked...except for one spot where the fallen trees made it confusing. look forward to coming back!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Gorgeous views from the bald! The pay off for as short of a hike from parking lot it is feels like cheating. Nice little taste of the AT. Free rustic camping area right off the trail. Went on a beautiful Saturday and only ran into a few other hikers.

Great hike! Took a whole day with my pregnant wife but well worth it. Great views from the bald. You can also hike about a half mile off the road and reach the bald if that's what your into.

There was a huge sweet tree, too.

This was a great hike for my 4 yr. old grandson and I. Beautiful views and loved the saddle up on Cole Mountain. This was our first time here and we will definitely be back. It was an absolutely perfect day with gorgeous weather.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Awesome views-both East and West overlooks!

Monday, February 20, 2017

First off when traveling down the gravel road to the trail you'll see a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road. Ignore this and continue to follow the signs for the trail until you reach the designated parking lot. Trust me, you won't want to walk that extra by when you're done with the hike. The trail is a loop and we took the right-hand path to start. It starts out very easy and overall pleasant (see what I did there).

We sadly did not do the entire loop the way we planned. Because the area apparently had a prescribed burn recently there were some areas where it was difficult to distinguish the trail from the rest of the forest. We got totally off track and ended up cutting across the loop and having to double back - see my recording for further clarification. My advice is to watch for the blue trail markers on three trees along the path.

This is a pretty popular trail and we saw multiple groups on our hike. At the summit there were probably ten other groups at the overlook which was slightly annoying. There's two look outs - east and west. For the west you'll have to climb some boulders to get to the real view. Make sure you do this! It's so worth it. The east lookout is a little easier to access but also has a gorgeous view. Overall the hike was a good one, and I'll definitely return in the future!

Sunday, February 05, 2017


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Great hike

We hiked from the Lexington turnpike where you see the sign for long wayside Mountain up to Bald Knob site. It has steep elevation and should not be rated as Easy. It is 2.5 miles to the top which took us 1.5 hours. There are some very nice vistas from the top and the trail ( AT) is well marked throughout on the trees with white markers. However there was no marker for Bald Knob, but luckily we had our GPS.

It is not clear where the easy hike with little Irish creek is - we could not find it and it was not on the map at the parking area. Just know that if you do hike to Bald Knob it is a challenge and you will need lots of water.

Good trail with nice elevation. View at the top is worth the hike. The forest burning had a portion of the trail closed so we will have to go back. Get hike for a day trip.

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