Mount Pleasant Trail is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Vesuvius, Virginia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Awesome views-both East and West overlooks!
First off when traveling down the gravel road to the trail you'll see a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road. Ignore this and continue to follow the signs for the trail until you reach the designated parking lot. Trust me, you won't want to walk that extra by when you're done with the hike. The trail is a loop and we took the right-hand path to start. It starts out very easy and overall pleasant (see what I did there).
We sadly did not do the entire loop the way we planned. Because the area apparently had a prescribed burn recently there were some areas where it was difficult to distinguish the trail from the rest of the forest. We got totally off track and ended up cutting across the loop and having to double back - see my recording for further clarification. My advice is to watch for the blue trail markers on three trees along the path.
This is a pretty popular trail and we saw multiple groups on our hike. At the summit there were probably ten other groups at the overlook which was slightly annoying. There's two look outs - east and west. For the west you'll have to climb some boulders to get to the real view. Make sure you do this! It's so worth it. The east lookout is a little easier to access but also has a gorgeous view. Overall the hike was a good one, and I'll definitely return in the future!
Stunning views!! I had the summit fully to myself and seldom encountered other hikers which was both amazing (it's a beautiful day! The world should be hiking!) and glorious. A few backpackers and day hikers, but overall pretty quiet. And the summit-- wow! The west overlook has great rocks to enjoy the view, but I preferred the east overlook and it's 360 panorama.
A few logistics for those who may encounter the same questions I had:
-- several cars are parked at the trailhead for the AT; keep going to the parking lot, which has both ends of the trail's loop.
-- the trail is now called the Henry Lanum Memorial trail; the Mt Pleasant trail is solely for the .5mi trail to the summit, which juts off the main loop.
-- the full loop is 7.3mi (including the one mile steep up and back for the summit trail)
Solid loop with good views. If you park in the first lot you come to on the gravel road, you will hike the trail counter-clockwise, which means that you will get the great views from the summit meadows sooner rather than later (which is how my group hiked it).
I'd recommend continuing to the second, larger parking area and hiking clockwise so that the best part is closer to the end of your hike. Views from the clearings at the summit are really awesome and are very unique among Appalachian hikes I've been on as there is practically 360 degree visibility.
The most peaceful hike I've ever been on. Didn't see one single other person the whole time. And the view at the end on the west side on top of the rocks was very rewarding.
Great view on both the East and West summit. Did a sunset hike here but I would recommend a sunrise hike so that the sun falls on the front side of most of the mountain view.
The view is amazing. in the winter the trail markers are easy to miss, just keep and eye out. Moderate hike
Great hike. This is actually mislabeled - Mount Pleasant is a trail to the east of this one. This trail is actually Cole Mountain on the AT, then you get off the AT and take the Old Hotel Trail to compete the loop.
This is a pretty easy hike and the woods are nice, but the views are to kill for. Off of the western overlook I saw some of the best views I had ever experienced. Well worth the time.