Cole Mountain via Appalachian Trail is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Alto, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from February until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,345 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

6 days ago

The drive to this trail is beautiful in and of itself, riding along a creek and rapids. We hiked Hotel to AT to the top of Cole Mountain and back via AT. Steady incline, multiple switchbacks and easy to follow path. This day brought rain and fog so we didn’t get the 360 views as noted for this trail, but just as breathtaking. Seeing trees unfold in a field of fog had an awesome mystic feel.

hiking
12 days ago

This my favorite hike in Va, but I went yesterday and a tree is completely blocking the road to get to the trailhead! About 5 mi from the start. Unless you want to hike an additional 5 mi on a gravel road, you can’t access the trails for the time being. Hopefully they will fix soon, but it’s super removed and I hardly ever run into people, so who knows how long it will take someone to notice!

30 days ago

Great hike!! Beautiful and a little rocky at parts but easy enough trails, as we had two children (3 and 7) with us. The 360-degree views from the summit were, by far, the most beautiful I’ve seen. A Little Rock climbing to actually get up/out onto the rocks at the summit. Pleasant surprise to find a creek at the end.... another nice photo opportunity and nice resting spot to splash around!!

backpacking
2 months ago

One of my favorite places along the AT.

3 months ago

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!

hiking
4 months ago

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.

backpacking
5 months ago

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!

hiking
6 months ago

its was awesome beautiful opening my first hike ever

hiking
9 months ago

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.

hiking
10 months ago

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.

hiking
Thursday, August 24, 2017

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.

hiking
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.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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.

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2 months ago

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3 months ago

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5 months ago

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8 months ago

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11 months ago

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11 months ago

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday, October 16, 2016

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

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Friday, October 04, 2013