Bearfence Mountain Trail

MODERATE 630 reviews
#4 of 199 trails in

Bearfence Mountain Trail is a 1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Elkton, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 1.0 miles Elevation Gain: 242 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

After parking in the Bearfence Mountain parking lot, cross Skyline Drive and follow the blue blazes of the Bearfence Trail. The Bearfence Trail leads up a steep slope that eventually turns into a scramble climb to the summit of Bearfence Mountain. Blazes mark the best scramble climbing route. The view from the summit is well worth the climb as it is one of only three summits in the park that has a 360-degree view. Getting down from the summit requires a short scramble climb, after which the Bearfence Trail returns to a normal hiking surface. The Appalachian trail can be accessed from either one of two right turns from the Bearfence Trail. The second right turn should be followed to complete the one-mile loop. The Appalachian Trail leads back down the mountain to Skyline Drive. The scramble climb makes this trail a unique hike to a great view. Anyone who is reasonably fit and flexible should be able to handle the scramble climb, but hikers who have issues with heights may want to skip this trail. Near the summit, the climbing path occasionally passes within eighteen inches or so of sheer drops. This is also definitely not the trail for families with kids small enough that they have to be carried, and older children may also find the climb difficult.

hiking
10 days ago

its got to be one of the best mile hikes. climbing over the rocks were so much fun and the views are spectacular. but if you have small kids or kids that just won't listen don't bring them on this trail. there is so many ways a kid could hurt themselves or even die. even if an adult is careless can end a good day quickly. there is so many different variations of the rocks you have to climb so be smart and take it slow and enjoy this wonderful trail.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
13 days ago

Parents with littles do not attempt! Good grief. I hike at least once a month (usually more) with my kids (6 and 3.5 twins) so we’re fairly experienced. I figured a moderate rated trail only a mile loop would be perfect for us and the kids would love the rock climbing parts (that’s usually better than the actual walking part of hiking). This was an epic disaster. Slushy trail conditions definitely didn’t help, but even if it had been dry I don’t think they could have done it. We had to lift and haul them over most of the rocks and the summit was simply terrifying for kids— we end up just turning around. I think I could’ve made it with just the 6-year-old, but don’t bring your smaller ones. Even my fit brother and wife struggled. I’d definitely judge this as a hard trail. (Sorry to everyone on the trail today who had to listen to my kids and niece scream and cry their way down).

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
19 days ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
22 days ago

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

Awesome trail for anybody looking for a rock scramble. Views are totally worth it. I’d think 3 or 4 times before bringing small kids or dogs.

hiking
icy
scramble
1 month ago

Did over the weekend and it was a short, but enjoyable hike with some rock scrambling. A little bit of ice in spots, but overall no issues. Great 360° views. We only saw one other group of people which was nice, but could see how it could get crowded and less enjoyable due to the scrambles being pretty narrow.

1 month ago

Quick hike with a sneaky rock scramble. It was a lot of fun and would highly recommend it.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Although a short hike the rock scramble makes this a tad strenuous. I absolutely loved the scramble since it seemed to make the hike interesting and the views incredible. However, wear proper shoes since the rocks can be slick, don’t do if you’re scared of heights and I would hike this without huge packs. You just want to make sure your hands are free. Would definitely do this again!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Although a short trail, this was a strenuous hike of rock scrambling... scaling large boulders and exposure close to the summit. Challenging terrain. Great 360 views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was extremely windy, even without the winds... good balance a must. After the rock scramble, much easier loop back via AT.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Very challenge trial. It's short but very special. I like it a lot.

hiking
2 months ago

Such a fun trail. Great rock scrambles with rewarding views. Definitely a trail to repeat.

hiking
2 months ago

short, but really cool scramble. View from the top is amazing! It's a great end of day, before it gets dark cap to the day if you've done something more extensive earlier. it a bit exposed in one area but definitely doable for any age, teen and above.

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Super short highly trafficked easy hike with great view (there are two vantage pts but first is best). I brought my dogs even though it says not to, and it was fine. Need good footwear!

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Fun, short trail with a midpoint scramble

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