Terrapin Mountain Trail

MODERATE 23 reviews
#10 of 58 trails in

Terrapin Mountain Trail is a 9.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Big Island, Virginia that features a waterfall 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.

DISTANCE
9.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2614 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

The two overlooks provide fantastic views of Apple Orchard Mountain, Thunder Ridge, and the Peaks of Otter. There is also a waterfall beside the trail near the end of the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Depending on what spot you park at this can be a moderate or a hard hike. If you are doing the full hike and loop it is definitely a hard, but beautiful hike, getting a couple good overlooks prior to the main one. If you drive up the backside there is a small grassy parking spot at the end of a dirt road where you can then turn the hike in to a more moderate 1-2 mile hike.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

moderate?! you gotta be kidding me. this is straight up strenuous.

hiking
4 months ago

The overlook on this trail was one of the most beautiful I have seen in the area. With nearly no one on the trail and nothing man-made in view, it was incredibly peaceful and stunning. However, the trail was more strenuous than moderate. It was very steep in some parts (think: lots of water breaks on the way up and very careful footing on the way down). That didn't stop it from being fun, and if you are up for something challenging, this is the one!

5 months ago

I'm giving this one 5 stars because it was a good workout and there were quite a few scenic spots along the way. But I hiked this today, July 2 and I would advise against it this time of year. I think this hike is probably a lot nicer in the spring which is why I'm still leaving 5 stars. It's not well trafficked, (I was the only person there today.) and most of the trail near the summit is completely over grown. The only way to tell where the trail is is by looking at the indent in the grass. You can't really see where you're stepping at times and I was really starting to worry about rattlesnakes. There were even a few parts with thick briars directly in the path for large stretches. The overgrowth also makes it so you can't really see anything when you reach the summit. There were luckily still a couple clearings along the way but nothing really near the top. But I just wanted to leave this review to warn people about the overgrowth at this time of year. If you're going to attempt it make sure you're wearing pants and not shorts and pay close attention to where you're walking because it can be very easy to go off trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this Sunday (5/28/17). Sorry, new to this app and deleted rather than posted my track. I hiked this backwards what I think most my do, saving the summit till later, this may have been a mistake... more on that later. First, I was going to rate this trail more of a 3. Going backwards (the part others said drug on) you can tell it's an old road. I prefer true single track. However, many waterfalls made up for it. I counted 5-6 and I wonder if they are always there... there had been lots of rain in the days prior to my hike, so normally there may be only one. Which leads me to my next point, the main river/creek was very swollen and the crossing was a serious matter. If I'd had a dog or inexperienced hiker with me I would of turned around. As it was I considered turning around. I had to scout around for the safest crossing. I removed shoes socks and rolled up my pants (had to do this twice). Before you blow this off I've done the PCT and this was a serious crossing. The water was cold and the current strong. I'm sure that at other times the crossings are nothing, just be aware it can get intense. I thought hiking it backwards was a good idea... now that I've done it I'm not so sure. I'd have to do it again the other way to figure it out. While, going backwards did knock out the road part first, it did lead me to a decent that was risky business (might have been safer climbing). Part of the problem on this day was it started raining about 1-2 miles before the summit (4-5 miles to go). It's a steep slippery rocky decent. The summit is a highlight that helped bring this trail up to a 4 for me, as it's single track. Even though I couldn't see anything but mist in the distance, the blooming rhododendrons were awesome. Another thing that pulled this up to a four was the solitude, perhaps it was the weather, but I was the only one on trail or at the trailhead (as far as I know). Sorry, I deleted my track, but I came in at 9.5 miles, 2500+ft (if memory serves). It was a good work out, I'd do it again. (For comparison I just gave Tinker Mountain a five even though it was crowded).

hiking
7 months ago

We hiked this trail on a rainy day, but still had a lot of fun. The first few miles are a pretty good climb to the summit. The last 4 miles did seem to drag on a bit, but overall great hike on a wet morning.

8 months ago

This loop is strenuous, but really great once you catch your breath! The 3 miles up to the summit are steadily uphill. Views are fantastic. Be sure you check the overlook and the view with the turtle shaped rock. Outstanding panoramic views- also pay attention to the radio tower at Apple Orchard Mtn., - it appears to the far left at overlook, and will be right across from you at summit.
Reed Creek is beautiful - you'll cross it several times. Eat lunch there. Enjoy the wild flowers as you hike - lots of blood root and others.

hiking
9 months ago

This is a real treat. Once you trach the summit, the view is breathtaking.

hiking
10 months ago

This hike is totally worth it. It's pretty tuff as most of it is uphill. Loved it though

trail running
11 months ago

Fantastic trail. I went with my dog at the end of December. The first 3 miles of the trail are very challenging as you gain about 2000 feet. The false summit at 1.5 miles has great views particularly with no leaves on the trees. When you get to the summit you can walk out to some boulders that overlook the surrounding peaks. The terrain is pretty good for trail running throughout but there are a couple of rocky areas. I agree with an earlier post that water is necessary for the dogs for the first 4 miles or so but after that there is plenty of water with Reed Creek and streams that you cross. Highly recommended for great views and varied terrain.

hiking
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Love this trail! Definitely difficult but well worth it. The path is very diverse and saw awesome scenery of the valley, the blue ridge, and mountain streams. Would definitely recommend this trail to someone who doesn't mind hiking long distances and though mixed terrain. At times the path did get a little bit thicker and at one point the underbrush was up to my waist and covered the trail, so be prepared for an adventure!

hiking
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike. It is long, and it is challenging. We started at the kiosk at the end of Terrapin Lane. We chose to hike to the summit, then descend to Reeds Creek and walk around the southern base of the mountain back to our car. When we were there in late May, the rhododendron were in full riot, and the mountain laurel were just beginning to bloom. There are only a few overlooks, which is a shame. We will return this fall or winter during leaf off, because the views promise to be spectacular. There are significant climbs during the first 2 miles of the trail. The descent from the summit is a bit wicked as well. It took us about 20 minutes to come down 1/2 mile for picking out our footing. But once you get to Camping Gap, it is level enough to make quick time. If you are hiking with dogs, be sure to bring water for them for the first 4 miles. They WILL need it. Once you get to Reeds Creek (around the 5 mile mark) they will have plenty of access to water.

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