Appalachian Trail: Elk Garden to Buzzard Rock

MODERATE 10 reviews
#27 of 66 trails in

Appalachian Trail: Elk Garden to Buzzard Rock is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Trout Dale, Virginia that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.9 miles
1,282 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running




This hike proceeds from Elk Garden to Whitetop and includes a side-trip to Buzzard Rock (a high outcrop below Whitetop's summit). Hike includes a side-trip returning along an unmarked (but obvious) trail across Whitetop's grassy balds and down FS-89 back to the Appalachian Trail. An optional, much shorter hike can be planned from a parking area on FS-89 to Buzzard Rock near Whitetop's summit.

1 month ago

It’s a really nice trail and not super hard. Going up isn’t super steep but it makes for a good climb. The viewing rock is spectacular! There is a nice area with no trees and you can see everything. You really can’t beat these views.

1 month ago

It is very nice. If you want to avoid most of the elevation, but want to see the majority of beauty then drive up to the small parking area and follow my recording. There is also a built out spring if you need water.

3 months ago

This trail includes a beautiful forest and incredible views from the balds. You will start out at the A.T. trailhead in Elk Garden. You'll want to take the trail that leads to Whitetop and not cross the road. The Elk Garden trail is a different trail than this one. There are a lot of roots and rocks throughout the trail but it's also well maintained. For an elevation gain over 1,000 ft it's an easy trail. No really steep hills or anything. You'll stay in the forest for a while then you will come out at a gravel road that leads up the summit of Whitetop. Follow the A.T. signs and cross the road and you will hike in a field with beautiful views around you. There seemed to be a few water sources through this area. You'll go back through another forested area then come out at the balds before Buzzard rock. The views from this area are incredible! You'll want to hang out for a while at the rocks. When heading back you can go back the way you came on the A.T. or bear off to the left on the balds and go to the summit of Whitetop, then follow a gravel road back down till you come back to the turnoff on the A.T. Take sunblock! You're really out in the open on the balds.

1 month ago

10 months ago

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Tuesday, August 02, 2016