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

This trail includes a beautiful forest and incredible views from the balds. You will start out at the A.T. trailhead in Elk Garden. You'll want to take the trail that leads to Whitetop and not cross the road. The Elk Garden trail is a different trail than this one. There are a lot of roots and rocks throughout the trail but it's also well maintained. For an elevation gain over 1,000 ft it's an easy trail. No really steep hills or anything. You'll stay in the forest for a while then you will come out at a gravel road that leads up the summit of Whitetop. Follow the A.T. signs and cross the road and you will hike in a field with beautiful views around you. There seemed to be a few water sources through this area. You'll go back through another forested area then come out at the balds before Buzzard rock. The views from this area are incredible! You'll want to hang out for a while at the rocks. When heading back you can go back the way you came on the A.T. or bear off to the left on the balds and go to the summit of Whitetop, then follow a gravel road back down till you come back to the turnoff on the A.T. Take sunblock! You're really out in the open on the balds.

Did this trail in November. Much of the second half was snow covered, and the junction of trails at Rhododendron Gap was not terribly clear. The summit felt like a winter wonderland -- totally worth it.

First part of this hike was delightful. Great views, open plain and easy uphill to Deep Gap. The continuing section on the AT was also fine and the right turn onto Elk Garden was pleasant. Saw several wild ponies roaming. The going underfoot changed to stony rocky trail commensurate with the fact that this was also a horse trail. We decided to add an extra loop by turning left onto Heron Creek. What a mistake that was! The trail was overgrown and boggy in places. There was also some blowdown. Literally there was nothing redeeming in the trail. We cut our losses by turning right at the junction with Sugar Maple trail rather than adding to the torture. The going improved and there was a whoop of relief to reach the Spur trail that would intersect back with Elk Garden. However that meant crossing over the creek. No small feat. Have gaiters or prepare to wade in bare feet. There was no easy place to cross. The going after was uphill though a gentle climb. Parts were v boggy with lots more blowdown. Eventually you reach a gate and just a little further a sign denoting the Spur which well and truly notifies you that you are back at last on Elk Garden. I had wondered by the absence of any trail markings that this might have been a hidden gem, sadly the added loop offered nothing then sodden boots! I have posted the hike more as a buyer beware...the rest of this shortish loop is pleasant enough but you won't be missing out if you miss out Heron Creek trail.

Nice trail easy to follow and well marked. I hiked Massie Gap to Mt Rogers Summit then Continued to elk gardens on the AT. The Massie Gap approach has better views and more ponies if your looking to Summit MT Rogers.

most bizarre landscape I had ever seen at the time. beautiful scenery

Easy, nice hike. Long views but not dramatic. I caught a warmer, winter day. I really liked it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Nice trail for children and pets.

Nice trail. Quite and peaceful. Looked at the remnants of an farm (fence and field) no structures.
Hiked to Mt. Rogers using this route, good workout.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016