Carvin's Cove Hay Rock via Appalachian Trail

MODERATE 77 reviews

Carvin's Cove Hay Rock via Appalachian Trail is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Daleville, Virginia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.7 miles
1,417 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

trail running





wild flowers


Out and back hike used for hiking.

1 month ago

Worth the trip and time. A few really good views before you get to the top. Good way to spend an afternoon.

1 month ago

A bit of a "meh" from me and my 12 year old daughter. The views of Carvins Cove are amazing, but Hay Rock itself is utterly forgettable. The multiple power line crossings also detract from the experience. We clocked it at 7.9 miles round trip from the park and ride, and would rate it as a pretty solid "Moderate" in difficulty.

nature trips
1 month ago

In my opinion, the best views in the area. A steady climb with plenty of switchbacks brings you to a breathtaking view of the valley and reservoir below.

2 months ago

views are incredible. trail not well maintained when i went but worth the trip!

2 months ago

Saw a bear about 15-20 feet from the trail. This is an awesome trail, and the best views are before the actual rock overlooking the cove. Beautiful and a great workout!

3 months ago

A great varied terrain. Saw doe with her fawn , a turkey,found blueberries & blackberries along the way. Yep you can hear the power lines when hiking under them but thats just a piece of the trail. Stopped at the look out over the reservoir for the cool breeze and a rest before turning back. Talked to a 70 year old man who has been on the AT for three months!
Now I want to do such an adventure!

5 months ago

My new favorite trail in the area. Varied terrain so it doesn't get boring. The view of Carvin's Cove is great. Some people complain about the power lines but I had my headphones in and I didn't notice them. If not for seeing the tower I wouldn't have known they were there. I went on a week day and only saw two other people the whole time. I'm sure on weekends when the through hikers start coming through it will be more crowded, but still nowhere near other hikes like McAfee or Dragons Tooth.

5 months ago

Great trail with great views!! Hayrock itself was nothing to write home about, the real beauty and reward comes before. The views of Carvins Cove are gorgeous!

5 months ago

This is simply my go to trail whenever I need sometime to myself or alone time with my pretty lady. The trail is just hard enough to make one feel accomplished yet not exhaust one to the point that one can't enjoy one of the nearby breweries. Then there is the view which in my opinion is one of the best especially in the fall. Also, its hard to believe but this trail isn't as heavily traficced as one might assumed by the parking lot at the trailhead. Finally, if you are fortunate enough to run into a thru-hiker then you'll be provide the oppirtunity to listen to some great stories or give some trail magic to that hiker.

6 months ago

This is a nice hike because it is so easy to get to, also maybe not so good because it is so easy to get to. Depends on your perspective. A few good viewpoints, and has been said, Hay Rock itself is underwhelming. If you want to shorten it up, you can go a little past the power lines for about 4 miles round-trip for a worthwhile hike and nice views. It's roughly a 900' climb from parking to the top of the ridge.

6 months ago

This is not a hard trail, that is false. This is a well maintained trail with numerous great views. The great views come before Hay Rock which is very underwhelming and could be skipped. My only real issue with this trail is that you never really leave civilization. You can constantly see and hear the highway

7 months ago

I see in the reviews about my being my "new favorite hike". Well I see why now, as this is a moderate hike with great views once you get to the ridge. I love going to triple crown hikes close by but can be way to crowed at times. we hit Hay Rock about 9ish and didn't see a soul until starting back down. hay Rock itself is somewhat intimidating to climb, but after my son went up the steep side i saw that the other side was a easier to climb. oh, did I mention this is my new favorite hike now. [(;-)

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Great trail. However, needs better markings so you know where you are and which direction to go. Came to a couple splits with no signs on which way to go.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Great hike with spectacular views. power lines are loud but you're only there for a minute.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Love this trail. Great views of carvins cove along the ridge top. I would rate this more moderate than hard.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hiked this trail today. Everyone complains about the power lines but they are like 3 minutes of your hike. The views when you get to the top make it worth it. Hay Rock was pretty cool!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Great trail - I admit I don't complete it, though - I hike from the parking lot near I-81 up to the top, then back. As others have said, beautiful views, and it's enjoyable to ascend through woodsy terrain then see views opening up as you go on. The noise from the power lines is a bit disconcerting, but you pass them quickly - I think they add to the trail's uniqueness!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Absolutely love this trail. Hiked it back in February with a few friends for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by it. It's a fairly long hike but not too steep and definitely manageable for all levels of hikers. The views along the top of the mountain all the way to the top were incredible. Hay Rock itself is an awesome sight and holds an even better view at the top of it if you're willing to scramble up to the top. We hit the trail at about 8 AM and didn't see a soul the whole way up. Only after we had sat at the top for about an hour did other hikers start coming up. I'd say there was probably around 50 people total on the trail at it's peak of business. Overall an amazing hike with spectacular views and much less traffic than other popular hikes in the area

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My new favorite hike in the region. Great views, challenging and not nearly as crowded as similar hikes like McAfee's or Dragon's tooth. After breaking the tree line, the mile or so to Hay Rock is just full of great views and I was constantly stopping to snap a few photos.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Definitely my new favorite hike. We went early so we were almost alone out there! Saw a few people on the hike back in the afternoon. It was a way easier hike than I was expecting. The views were amazing and the rock was awesome and good to climb on. Definitely recommend sturdy boots and lots of water for this hike.

Friday, March 10, 2017

I was a little confused about where to go couple of times in the beginning but figured it out. Great views of Carvins Cove and pretty easy after the initial climb up. No signs identifying Bay Rock but I guess It's the big stone that could almost serve as a shelter that has brown paint to cover all the stuff others had posted on the underside.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Very nice trail with a nice view.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Beautiful with a bunch of ridge walking.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

really good trail with some beautiful overlooks. only one part is hard. mile 2 going in is a little rough the rest isn't bad just a lot of great views!

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

This was a great but also rather bizarre hike - check out my video on it to get a preview of what you're getting into! haha

Friday, November 11, 2016

An excellent hike with my pup. Leaves, water views, rocks, and AT thru-hikers to chat with -- will do this one again!

Monday, November 07, 2016

This is a great day hike. Awesome views, just enough climbing to make it a workout, but not exhausting. Beautiful in every season (power lines excluded).

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Great short hike. I wouldn't consider it hard but I could see how some could. Views are worth it. Take your dog!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Very nice trail with low traffic, wonderful view of Carvins Cove!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

really enjoyable hike, wouldn't rate it as hard most of the hike you're on the ridge line. Vistas were amazing overlooking the lake, Hay rock itself was slightly underwhelming but awesome none the less

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