The Great Channels via Brumley Mountain Trail

MODERATE 185 reviews
#3 of 69 trails in

The Great Channels via Brumley Mountain Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rosedale, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,345 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Incredibly scenic hike along Clinch Mountain from Hayter's Gap to Middle Knob along the 14-mile Brumley Mountain Trail, one of the East's newest long hiking trails. Although the Brumley Mountain Trail runs all the way from Hayter's Gap to Hidden Valley Lake off of US-19 in Moccasin Gap, this guide features the trail's most heavily used, easternmost 3 miles that travel to the Great Channels of Virginia. The Channels are a series of deep sandstone crevices worn into sandstone outcrops on the mountain's summit and form one of Virginia's most fascinating ecosystems. It is possible to easily walk within the maze-like channels, which harbor an almost cave-like microclimate and often hold snow cover long after temperatures have risen above freezing. Coupled with outstanding views from the top of these outcrops and a firetower on Middle Knob's summit, this hike forms one of southwest Virginia's most scenic and popular hiking destinations.

7 days ago

A little late but we went June 2017.A great hike and really refreshing after getting to the channels on a hot day.

hiking
13 days ago

Such a unique hike! The trail leading to the channels is very straight forward and easy to follow. It is pretty much all uphill there and downhill on the way back. The channels themself feel like something out of a fantasy novel! BE SURE TO REMEMBER WHERE YOU CAME FROM! You can easily get lost down in the channels while exploring the amazing rock formations. I recommend following the lead of Hansel and Gretel and leave a trail of nuts or candy so you know how to find your way out, but be sure to clean up after yourself! You don’t want to end up alone trying to find your way out for almost an hour. If you find yourself in the area and have a few hours check this out!

18 days ago

Amazing!!

hiking
19 days ago

One of the best hikes in SWVA. Go when the leaves are down and you'll get long range views the entire hike.

20 days ago

I love this hike. It is moderate. The views are stunning. The Channels are like a mystical maze. Great for dogs and children if you want to bring them along.

1 month ago

awesome hike well worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome day with the family! The reward was well worth the hike.

2 months ago

absolutely beautiful in the fall. make sure to check out the small offshoot to your left when the firetower first shows up on your right. gorgeous views.

hiking
3 months ago

Great views, loved the channels. We made it a 4 hour trip to the channels and back with children. The hike is a little longer than I was figuring, but I would do again. I recommend bringing a wide angle camera lens for the channels.

3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful views

hiking
4 months ago

A great hike to a fun area. The Channels are nice to spend time in. As for the hike up to them, it is quite steep but doable. The age in my team ranged from 30-70 years old and everyone made it to the top. By no means did anyone consider themselves an expert so beginners can do this but I strongly recommend taking breaks and stay at your own pace. Don’t let experience or age keep you from completing this trail. In my opinion it is well marked and well maintained. I definitely recommend this trail be on your list of trails to complete because you honestly won’t be disappointed.

4 months ago

A very good hike...

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent hiking trip. Moderate is a good description. There were some challenging spots, but once you get to the top it’s definitely worth it! It was my first hiking trip in years and we to 5 kids ages 5-8.

hiking
5 months ago

The trailhead parking lot at 36* 51.878N and 081* 56.819W is well-maintained but limited parking is available so arrive early. The 3.0-mile trail is uphill the entire way except for a few steps. It is a tiring walk but the ravines down the hill into the woods make it scenic. At the summit there is a sign pointing left to the Channels spur trail or straight ahead for the Brumley Mountain Trail, so don't miss the spur. Once on the spur you'll see the lookout tower in a few minutes. The lookout's shed has been destroyed and burned...only charred remains are left. Once you see the tower, walk directly past it to the far side of the rocks where you will see an unmarked trail leading into the woods. A few stapled arrows on the trees show the way to the entrance of the Channels. The labyrinth is fun to explore but a backpack is a hinderance when exploring tighter passages. It is easy to get lost - I used my GPS to find the entrance which is at 36* 52.279N and 081* 58.757W. Just remember what the first impressive rock formations look like as you enter so that you'll know where to exit.

hiking
5 months ago

Steep trail with cool destination! Parts are rough near the top.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a HARD trail, I hike a lot and this trail is not for the part timer. Almost uphill the entire way, first 1.5 Miles very easy gravel then the accent begins, pretty well marked but if you get to the Channels it’s easy to get turned around.
We found 2 kinda private overlooks and actually took a few naked pics for fun lol.
Well worth it but for sure hard.

6 months ago

The channels are other-worldly and spectacular. This hike is well worth the effort in any season - I take all my visitors, no matter the time of year or weather- and everyone is always amazed. The trailhead parking can get crowded on nice weekends, weekdays are my favourite time to go and I have often had the channels to myself. If you are interested in a 22.5 mile grueling day hike, the channels can also be reached from the Hidden Valley parking lot at the opposite end of the Brumley Mtn Trail. I did this version on a rainy May day, but despite my exhaustion and familiarity with the destination, I still wandered through the Channels with the same sense of wonder as the first time.

hiking
6 months ago

All around amazing! The hike is more of a challenging one - 3 miles all uphill and the return journey down is a long one. Definitely bring lots of water and sunscreen. Getting to the trail head can be a little confusing, as you start on a gravel road that splits into the trail. The top of the mountain is absolutely gorgeous, and the channels themselves are extraordinary. Definitely worth the hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful view at the top and cool to see the natural changes formed from the rock erosion. The hike is fairly easy until the last mile or so, which is pretty steep. It may have been a mixture of the heat, humidity, and steepness, but I had to stop several times to catch my breath.

hiking
7 months ago

The Channels were amazing!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike with a huge bonus at the top! The channels were amazing!

7 months ago

Beautiful views at the top! Moderate incline hike with a few larger hills to climb but overall a good hike. Channels are absolutely gorgeous!

7 months ago

Steady-but-easy climb for 90 minutes with visual rewards up top. The actual Channels were an entirely new treat - like a giant, stone labyrinth tucked away just below the lookout. Great stuff all-around.

7 months ago

Absolutely a must do in Virginia! It was probably the most rewarding hike I've had as far as having amazing activities at the top. My 4 and 6 year olds had a blast on this one!

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked this a few times with some friends and loved it! It is a bit challenging to hike up the mountain, but the trail is very well maintained which makes things easier. I suggest hiking up to the top early in the morning so that you can enjoy a few hours actually inside the Channels and on top of the mountain. If I’m ever out that way again, I would definitely hike this trail again!

8 months ago

It was a great hike, my dog enjoyed it as well. It’s basically all up hill until you get to the channels but the average person could easily hike this(not saying you won’t be tired). It has an amazing view at the top and then you can wind down in the channels and explore. Loved the hike and will definitely do it again.

hiking
8 months ago

Love the trail, and the Channels are amazing! Such a fun find! Definitely worth the trip. Nothing to really break out the camera for until you hit your second mile or so. Pretty bland trail till then. The trail was very well marked and easy to follow. My only complaint would be the amount of trash of the trail. Its really sad to see that people don't have more respect than that.

Whoever said it was a moderate grade was nuts. If you are over 50 and out of shape this is not your hike. I'm over 60 and consider myself to be in good shape for my age compared to other people over 60. It took me 2 hours to get up to the top. And I did enjoy the channels once I got there but the prospect of having to go 3 miles down the hill was not a pleasant thought so it really dampened the entire experience for me. I've never seen a sign that said there was a rescue squad available at the beginning of a trail which should tell you something about how hard it is to get up there. I saw too many people bend over gasping for air over 30 years younger than myself. I do not recommend this hike if you are over 50. the grades I think are fairly steep in places. it would have been nice if there were benches periodically where people could sit down. And for Heaven's sake don't bring a toddler unless you plan to carry them. That is too long of a stretch for little legs. If you do decide to take this hike, bring plenty and I do mean plenty of water and snacks and dress in layers.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice early April Day for a hike to the Channels. Different perspective from the last early August hike. With a mid 70's day it actually pretty chilly down amongst the channels. Always a good hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Slow and steady, the reward is more than worth it! Take a flashlight. Photos can’t even get close to capturing how amazing it is.

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