Explore the most popular trails near Alto with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Alto, Virginia Map
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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!

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.

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!

its was awesome beautiful opening my first hike ever

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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14 days ago

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

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Friday, October 04, 2013