Black Mountain - Kentucky Highpoint

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Andover, Virginia

Black Mountain - Kentucky Highpoint is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Andover, Virginia that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for nature trips and scenic driving and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.6 miElevation gain734 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyNature tripsScenic drivingViews
Waypoints (0)
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Daylight
Reviews (70)
Photos (89)
Activities (56)
Completed (111)
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Red DeBord
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Hiking

Not a trail, but a beautiful drive!

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Chad Love
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Hiking

As mentioned, the views are not at the top at all. Maybe the old lookout tower would provide some views, but it’s currently inaccessible. As far as the trail up, it’s an old, partially paved road for servicing the FAA tower and others near the summit. As such, this trail is more rutted and abused, but still an enjoyable trail. The loop, I’m. It really sure. The views were limited back into Kentucky and those views through the trees would only be available when leaves are down. Overall, not really an exciting or picturesque highpoint, but considering others, this one isn’t too bad. I do think some work at the summit could improve the appeal to hikers and for the Cumberland Mountains, this summit is pretty lofty, so northern hardwoods are aplenty. The view is best at the parking overlook, so be sure to snap your photos of Virginia from here.

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David Unsworth
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Hiking

As others have mentioned, this is not much of a "hike." Rather, its an excursion on a (poorly) paved road. The land around the road is leased for hunting. I actually met the guy who leases the land on the way up...very friendly, nice guy. Once you get up to the top, you'll see a very bizarre looking FAA tower. Honestly, I have no idea what it is, or what it does, but it is used in air traffic control, and has stern warnings about not trespassing on the property. We kept going to complete the loop. Once you get to the end, the trail bears around to the right (north), and it's not clear where you go to get back to the main road. We bushwhacked up a muddy hillside, which has some powerlines passing through it, and then made it back to the road. Finally, we hit the highpoint on the way back down. There are a few cell towers there, and a plaque commemorating (oddly enough) the founder of a cable TV network in Kentucky. There is also an observation tower, but it's about 12 feet of the ground, and you'd need a ladder to get up there. I thought about trying to improvise my way up there, but noticed that the tower has seen better days and has some boards missing. However, if you were really ambitious, you could probably make it up there. It's a shame that the state of Kentucky doesn't simply make a small investment, so that we all can use the tower. It would be pretty cool to see the view from up there. Again, this is not anything you'd ever want to do, except for the purpose of crossing off another highpoint. But not every state highpoint can be a Denali or Mt. Whitney.

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Matthew Williams
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Hiking

Not much of a hike but it’s another HP off the list!

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Mark Akers
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Hiking
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Patrick Huber
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Hiking

Final high point for the year!

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Austin Weidner
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Hiking
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Tom K
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HikingGreat!
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Kate Elizabeth
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Running

Views from the parking area are great, but there’s not much after that. Easy walk / run up a sorta paved road. You’ll see an FAA tower and the summit is just past that - it’s marked by some very photogenic cell towers. I was mostly running and it took me about 35 minutes.

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Ray Caywood
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Hiking

Easy to follow road/trail, not the greatest view along trail or at high point, but got to check it off the list.

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Michael Benedict
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Hiking
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Wayne Bianchetta
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Running
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Keenan Stoic
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Hiking
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Matthew C
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OHV/Off-road driving
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Iam Wood
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Hiking

It’s the way to the high point of KY... not much for views but there is a nice plaque at the top commemorating a pioneer in Electronics for the state of Kentucky

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Jason Crane
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HikingPrivate property

Certainly one of the more unique state highpoints. This is basically a double-track gravel road out & back along the ridge. The parking area has a beautiful view looking back towards Stone Gap. There are no trespassing & no hunting/trapping signs located throughout & the land appears to be private all along the access road. Honestly, this was a bit eerie of a hike as the road is heavily vegetated & dark, there are orange salamanders scattered about, an FAA Traffic Control Tower & dense clouds/thunder consistently rumbling in the background. The summit itself has a radio tower with barbed wire fencing. I saw a rat snake near the summit plaque, which totally startled me. As a solo hiker, I was a bit paranoid of bears & thought I heard rustling leaves a few times during the hike. I was out & back in only 1 hour plus about 10 minutes taking pictures of the summit area. Note - Black Mountain Ridge Road is very narrow, steep & windy, more so than other mountain roads I've encountered during my adventures. Use caution & be safe.

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Darrel Bibicheff
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Hiking

A very easy walk along a paved, broken road to get to the tallest point in Kentucky. Took about two hours to complete with a nice long stop at the top to take photos. The trail isn’t very scenic but there is a very nice view where you park the car. The summit area is marked by large plaque and a summit marker on a rock right behind it. Overall, a nice easy stroll, but only reason to come here is to knock out a state highpoint. This one marks highpoint #21 for me.

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John Ulrich
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Hiking

The trail posted here is not the most efficient trail. From the parking lot, it should be 1.7 miles out & back (3.4 total) down the path and to the top instead of a “loop.” The loop portion of the trail is actually a private road that was closed off. One of the people that works for the company that owns the land also told us they had to close the loop portion of the route because of insurance reasons. However, the hike down the gravel road and to the top was easy and a nice enough hike. Everyone is correct that there aren’t great views, but a decent state highpoint check-off.

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Christopher Bass
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HikingPrivate property
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Jerrod Border
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Hiking

went in the winter. The 6 foot Ice cycles that formed along the rock wall all during the drive up and the snow covered trees arching over the road made this awesome for my daughter and i who are from Georgia and dont see a lot of snow. I could see how this trip could be less exciting in the summer but go during the winter and it is amazing.

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Stephen Danna
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Hiking

This is a mostly an old paved "trail" that has no view from the peak except for cell towers. This is essentially for those of us looking to scratch another state high point off the list. I did get to see a small black bear ahead of me on the trail on my way down. As soon as it became aware of me the bear ran off.

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Jacob Gearhart
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Hiking

Trail was ok nice people there. If you want to knock a high point off it’s a easy one

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Brook Morgan
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HikingMuddyOff trailRocky

This is a gravel road in between the road signs of Kentucky and Virginia. There are private property signs along the path but that’s for the grassy area not the “trail”. Cars can got up it but only off road type. We took our 11 year old son and 5 year old up the path (5 year old was carried a lot of the way). It was approximately 1.7 miles up on gravel. The top has no views BUT does have the national marker for the highest point (it’s in between a cell tower) and the pretty marker and log box are up there. It is NOT stroller or wheeler good so I don’t know who wrote that. All in all, it was good to mark off our list of “highest points in the USA for each state” but it’s not a scenic hike for sure

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Conway Hawn
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Scenic driving

There is a scenic overlook on the Virginia side where you can park before hiking up the unpaved road. An extra star is for this scenic overlook that gives an amazing view of the valley below. Don’t let all the no trespassing signs dissuade you from hiking or driving up the public unpaved road. We drove up it to the service road and hiked about 50 yards or so up the service road to the towers and the highest point in Kentucky. There isn’t a scenic view at the top but it was nice to bag another high point.

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Emily Ayers
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Hiking

The other reviews were correct, no view once you get to the top. There is so much potential but it's overgrown and blah at the top. The "trail" is just a service road and because of that it is wide and no worries about weeds.

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paul garner
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Hiking

We drove up the service road to a small parking area just below the tower area; I wouldn’t drive the last 100 feet of road as it appears to be for service vehicles only and is rough. The tower area has a plaque and USGS marker near it. No real views at top but good views available just inside Virginia border from 190. Temps were about 10 degrees cooler than Lynch, KY and tree budding about 1-2 weeks behind at top. Would have given a 5 if buildings at top were not there, but nothing I can do about that. Be great if state could purchase it and convert to natural feature area and clean it up.

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Breck Tuttle
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Scenic driving

Very scenic

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Doug Neidholdt
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Hiking

For a high point it is just a tower hill, no good views or anything to distinguish it.

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