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

Vesuvius, Virginia Map
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Amazing trail, my fiancé and my favorite one we have done to date.

Beautiful variation in scenery and amazing river.

Have to scramble at some places but are rewarded for it.

Great hike! Unfortunately very foggy yesterday at the top but still an excellent trail. Well maintained and not too difficult. Dog loved it, he’s still asleep. Went up the right side and down the other. Based on my experience, it would be a slightly easier hike going up the left side. Definitely going to do this one again.

This is the second time we have done this hike and it is amazing. A year and a half ago there was still much burn evidence. Today it was much recovered. We hike it clockwise and find that to be best and the easiest part is at the end. The woods are just beautiful, having a mystical quality. The summit is about midway through the hike. Last time we were rewarded with the most stunning views we have seen on a hike. Today, the summit was in a cloud and we could see no views. Even so, it was a perfect day for a hike and all the rain this year added waterfalls and rushing water to the creek toward the end. Last time we took our dog and that was great, too.

You will not find better views off the AT. The most underrated hike out there. Love love love.

Beautiful hike! I loved the dense forest cover and river that ran almost the entire stretch. This would be a good place to cool off and take a swim! A bit rocky in some areas and the day I crossed the river was a bit high. Just wear ankle high shoes and expect to get a little wet/dirty.

hiking
3 months ago

We did this trail on accident, intending to do Cole Mountain but weren’t disappointed. There is a steady incline towards the end which can get challenging but nothing too hard. We are only able to see the east overlook when we reached the summit because a rude family was taking up the entire west overlook and wouldn’t clear the entrance for us to go up and see. We went on a Saturday at 11 am and only passed them and 1 other group.

*note, it says this trail features a river but we never saw or passed that.

I love this trail, depending on the time of year, the path is lined with rodadendra, mountain lorel and blueberries.

hiking
4 months ago

Went on a Monday in early June and didn’t see a single person. It was amazing. My girlfriend and I took the reverse route, clockwise around the loop which I would recommend as it gets a longer harder hike out of the way first.

Incredible pink/purple flowers in full bloom at certain points and so much incredible green everywhere.

The hike is very enjoyable, the perfect mix of leisurely strolling and some moderate climbs. Took us about 1hr45 to get to the summit and 1hr10 to get back to the car.

Both summits have amazing views but the west facing summit is something special. The rocks look great and it’s almost as if there’s a man made flat rock there just for people to sit and have lunch. One of the most enjoyable hikes I’ve done in this area.

The gravel track leading to the trailhead is kinda rough so be prepared to drive very slow for a few miles if you have a normal car.

Also, I have read a lot about a fire affecting the blaze markers - this has clearly since been rectified as I felt the trail was incredibly maintained. Almost too easy!

I will def be back and want to try and do it overnight!

hiking
4 months ago

This was such a nice treat to hike! We decided Sunday morning to go hiking, found this one and couldn’t resist the views. Despite a large number of cars at the first parking area (passed “no motorized vehicles” sign), we continued down the road to a more secluded area (recommend SUV or truck, etc) where we parked. From there we decided to take the clockwise loop. We only passed 3 groups our whole time—also had overlooks to ourselves. We took our too dogs with us and they enjoyed it as much as we did! Highly recommend as a day trip or overnight.

camping
5 months ago

Myself and 5 of my students did the longer version of this hike. We parked off the parkway at mile post 23 and hiked down mine bank creek trail, then to st Mary’s river trail, then to st Mary’s fall trail. The hike was amazing, exploring the old mine was fun too. It’s very easy to find, the trail runs right through it. We had the first 2 trails to ourselves, but in the falls trail we ran into ~10 other people. All these people came in from the st Mary’s fall trail parking. After exploring the falls we hiked back and camped on the st Mary’s river trail. The next morning we hiked back out, which is a pretty rough, steep hike. However it follows a creek, so plenty of views and water. In total it was probably around 13 miles, but most of it was easy walking. The trail is not marked, but it was easy to find your way. Hiking to the falls up the falls trail is fun with all the creek crossings, but the campsites take away from it beauty. There’s many of them , large, trees smacked with machetes, and toilet paper. I would recommend camping on the river trail, far more secluded. I would do this trail again and look forward to doing it when it’s a bit warmer so we can swim!

Such a beautiful quiet trail. This is where I solo hiked for the first time and it is a hike I will never forget and find myself visiting at least once a year!

We hiked in and found a spot to set up camp for an overnight stay. Still wanting to explore a little further we set out to see the sights in the remaining daylight.

The river and streams were pristine. There was no avoiding traversing the waterways as they were clearly marked as part of the trail. Which by the way, is listed as moderate but by most folks’ standards, it would easily be considered difficult. The trail was rocky, steep and narrow (at many spots almost too narrow considering the drop off).

When you’re not crossing the river, the trail follows along side it from above at varying elevations. We spent the better part of day 2 enjoying the challenging hike and exploring the water access.

There’s an amazing swimming hole with its own natural slide along the way to the top. This spot is an absolute must stop! Not only is it lined with gorgeous smooth rock for picnicking, sitting or sunbathing on along the trail side but it butts right up to a beautiful jagged rock wall on the opposite side. The likes of which I have only seen in Mexico & the Caribbean. Surprisingly, we were the only ones taking advantage of the crystal clear water! It was invigorating to say the least. Even in July it was far from warm.

What we found at the top was better than what I could’ve imagined-a waterfall that spilled over into a pool from which another waterfall fell. The pool at the top was a bit more crowded but truly amazing and big enough to be shared.

This trail is one I won’t soon forget and definitely one I hope to return to in the near future!

Great trail, your going to get wet unless you have ninja rock creek crossing skills..lol. We packed found a great spot near the river. The trail has changed due to erosion so we had to back track a few times (maybe some better trail markers). I made a few cast with a fly rod 25-35 at different spots. I caught 1 native brook and expected to catch none..lol. I haven't had a fly rod in my hand since I was 17.. but I picked back up fairly quickly and didn't lose my fly.... I didn't say I didn't get snagged a few times.. Great hike moderate walk a few narrow spots and loose rock under the leaf litter. Watch your step the rocks are sliiippperryy crossing the creek at least 3-4 times.. I will go back and hit the trout a little harder..

hiking
10 months ago

My all-time favorite hike in Virginia

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked the Old Hotel Trail in November after the leaf drop. Completely different than when everything is in bloom. Both times are a great time to hike it. Moderate 6 mile hike with great views all along the way. Windy at the top. One of our favorite hikes. We keep coming back.

camping
10 months ago

Great hike, although I think I ended up on st marys gorge unless I’ve become the fastest hiker ever. Was to the falls in about an hour and a half. When I hiked out the next day, I looked st the map and there’s a spot where you can go left or right and I chose Left. Beautiful scenery either way. I’ll definitely be going back in the spring. I went in November, and was the only person I saw for 2 days!

hiking
11 months ago

love it so much fun good hike. places to camp. There are multiple fun water holes.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice hike.when my dog and I did it we only saw one other backpacker with his daughters. Their very first backpacking hike. We went counterclockwise since they were heading in clockwise. Beautiful hike my setter was pointing unknown critters most of the way. Not a lot of water so pack in plenty. Beautiful views this was done mid October. Will go back with less foliage,

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Great trail and will be doing again. I did the trail clockwise and will do it the same way again. Puts you at the summit just past halfway. My trail recorded this trail at 5.2 miles but I noticed it did not record the summits. that adds another mile to the total distance.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Very nice trail. Has camping spots. Needs a little more parking. A few different ways to get to the falls. Nice stop offs to play in the water. Falls were not as big as pics I have seen but still worth the hike.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

I absolutely love going to Mount pleasant! I've done the hike twice now! the second time seemed much harder but I think that's because the trail was much more overgrown than the previous. no matter how difficult, THIS HIKE IS WORTH IT! literally the BEST views in VA! Very Rocky, so be prepared for that

hiking
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

This is a fantastic hike. I really wanted to give it five stars, and it totally deserves it for scenery, but I gave it four because it could stand to be blazed. Someone has recently placed survey flags at the stream crossings, but it's still confusing to know where to cross the stream.

In terms of difficulty, I think this hike breaks down into several areas. First, for distance its definitely easy/moderate. The listing says 6 miles, but from parking lot to waterfall it's just shy of 5. Second, in terms of elevation gain, this is an easy hike. You gain about 600 ft, but it's very gradual. I honestly never experienced any of it as an incline. Third, and finally, the trail it's self is a bit on the moderate/difficult side. As said before, it's not clearly marked at times. It also has some areas where it's very narrow, rocky, and/or swampy. There are also a couple of very steep embankments to navigate when crossing the stream. This is not a trail for someone who doesn't feel sure footed.

I got to the trail head at just before 7am and the parking lot already had 5-6 cars in it. These were all overnight hikers. In general the overnight hikers were fine, however I think it's disappointing that there is a campsite at the base of the waterfall, this monopolizing the space where hikers might want to spend some time before the return hike.

In general, I would say this is one of the top 5 hikes in the area. It's not to be missed!

backpacking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Chose this as my girlfriends first overnight backpacking trip. Perfect distance and difficulty for someone right off the couch. Views were great on the east summit, picturesque camping site on west summit. We chose to go counter clockwise. Make a figure 8 loop with Cole/Cold Mountain trail for a great multi night outing.

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

Great hike! The trail was well marked and well kept. The woods were beautiful and so was the summit. I definitely recommend it.

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ok, so first off... you have to cross the stream multiple times to get to the fall. We learned this after a very hard hike. If you cross the stream, the hike is actually a moderate. If not, it can get difficult.

Now that that is out of the way. I loved this hike, even though we did It the difficult way. There wasn't a ton of elevation change. You follow the stream for the most part which makes for great scenery. There were tons of butterflies and a few other hikers were looking for snakes.

Monday, May 29, 2017

so beautiful!! even in the rain and fog. we clocked more than 6 miles. added an additional 1 to the east summit and back, so over 7 in total. The trail is very well marked...except for one spot where the fallen trees made it confusing. look forward to coming back!

This was a great hike for my 4 yr. old grandson and I. Beautiful views and loved the saddle up on Cole Mountain. This was our first time here and we will definitely be back. It was an absolutely perfect day with gorgeous weather.

hiking
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Awesome views-both East and West overlooks!

Monday, April 10, 2017

It was a enjoyable hike. Trail could be marked better.

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