Spec Mines Trail is a 5.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Buchanan, Virginia. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Troutville, VA: From the intersection of VA 606 and 640, east of Troutville and Nace, go east on 640 about 1 mile. Watch for sign. Trail ascends and intersects Blue Ridge Parkway about 600 feet south of Montvale Overlook.
Loved it. Not too steep, perfect with pup and baby in a carrier. largely shaded, cool in the morning.
This particular trail won't lead you to the mines as I'm sure the forest service doesn't really want you playing around in them, however I live near this area and have made the trek to the mines themselves. As long as you are careful it is a fun journey with lots of stuff to explore once you get there.
Not a bad hike at the beginning. I started on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hike down isn't to bad as it is mostly down hill but once you decide to turn around is where the burn begins. I was actually headed out to see if I could find the mine itself which I didn't. All in all a great strenuous hike, no one there but the dogs and me.