Blue Ridge Highlands, Virginia
Facebook RSS Blog Twitter
Photos of the NRV and Blue Ridge
Videos of the Blue ridge

We've added some new hikes

I'm going hiking when I get to heaven! If God created such beauty here in Southwestern Virginia, I can only image what it will be like there. From trails of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the well know Appalachian Trail - we cover 100's of miles of wilderness and provide breathtaking vista around every twist and turn .
Make it a Green Vacation this year. Take only memories. Leave only footprints.

hikingCascade Falls | Giles

Cascades Recreation Area is a scenic and popular destination located in the Little Stony Creek Valley. Visitors can hike to view spectacular Cascades waterfall and afterward enjoy a picnic lunch. This is a 4 mile loop trail to 66' waterfalls with elevations from 2200 to 2900 feet.

View and Print Trail Map | View video of the fallsWDBJ7 Video 


hikingWar Spur & Wind Rock Trails | Giles

These trails are moderately easy trails through the Mountain Lake Wilderness as both trails lead to scenic overlooks with elevations from 3100- 3800 feet. Some of this trail follows the Appalachain Trail eastward. The Wind Rock Overlook offers sweeping views of Rocky Mountains (3300'), Fork Mountain (3645') and Peter's Mountain (4000'). Photo of view isshown above.

View and Print Trail Map


hikingKelly Knob Overlook | Giles

Kelly Knob Overlook - This is a 2 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail to Kelly Knob Overlook. Trailhead also accesses Johns Creek Mountain Trail. The elevation is from 3300 to 3800 feet, with the difficulty rating considered to be moderate.

View and Print Trail Map


hikingAngels Rest Overlook | Giles

Day Hike - Out and Back 4.6 miles - Strenuous
Hike the Appalachian Trail 1 1/2 miles up Pearis Mountain to a scenic overlook. The Appalachian Trail ascends the northern end of Pearis Mountain. At the top, the Angels Rest Trail (a blue-blazed trail) leads 50 yards to view rock, with views of the New River Valley, Pearisburg, and Peters Mountain on the left; Butt Mountain at the center right; and Bald Knob at the extreme right. The trail passes through many thickets of rhododendron and azalea on top of the mountain. Follow the trail around the edge of Pearis Mountain to a rock ledge overlooking Wilburn Valley and the mountains to the east.

Driving Directions: From Blacksburg, follow VA 460 west to VA 100 at Pearisburg. Turn right onto Johnston Avenue (Beside the Dairy Queen). Take the next right onto VA 634 (Morris Avenue) and follow approximately 1/2 mile to where the Appalachian Trail crosses VA 634. There is limited roadside parking.

View and Print Trail Map


hikingRice Fields | Giles

Day Hike - Out and Back 10.0 miles - Strenuous
The Appalachian Trail ascends Peters Mountain and follows the ridge line. The crest of the Peters Mountain ridge is the West Virginia - Virginia state line. The ascent to the ridge is steep and rocky. Once on the ridge the trail crosses many saddles and peaks featuring sweeping westward views. The Rice Fields are extensive open pastures with rock outcroppings and are located on the southern end of Peters Mountain.

Driving Directions: From I-81 Exit 118B, follow Rt 460 west. Cross the New River on Senator Shumate Bridge near the Celanese industrial site. Turn right on Rt 641 (Stillhouse Branch Road). There is a small parking lot within one half mile, where the Appalachian Trail crosses Rt 641.

LAT: 37.3543643753 LONG :-80.7653474808


hikingDismal Falls | Giles

Dismal Creek is about 50 feet wide (depending on water volume) at this point as it flows down over several ledges. The ledges on the left side of the falls are step-like while the middle and right ledges are more of a straight drop. In lower water, the middle and right are not covered and the stream is much narrower. Despite the width of the stream, the waterfall is not particularly open with trees lining each bank and throwing much of the falls into shade most of the day.

Driving Directions: Take exit 98 from I-81 going north on VA-100. Go 11.6 miles and turn left on VA-42. After 10.1 miles turn right on SR-606. After 1 mile, turn right on SR-671 which becomes unpaved after .4 miles. .5 miles after the pavement ends, there is a sign for the falls and a small pull-off on the right of the road.
Fees for Access: none


hikingComers Creek Falls Trail | Marion

The main attraction of thisshort trail is the small Comers Creek waterfall, as well as the beautiful forested area.  While you are on the Homestead Road, look for signs of where the old homesteads used to be.

Driving Directions: From I-81 (interchange 45) take VA16 south. At 16.5 miles (the top of Iron Mountain) take VA 741 (Homestead Road) to the right.  In about half a mile, you will spot a small pull-off on the right side of the road for a couple of vehicles.


hikingBottom Creek Gorge | Bent Mountain Falls

Day Hike - 3.5 - 5.0 miles Moderate loop
Meadows, abundant springs, wildflowers, 2nd highest Waterfall in Virginia.  Bottom Creek is a powerful mountain stream that forms a stair-step series of broad-basin waterfalls known as the "kettles." One of the headwater streams of the South Fork of the Roanoke River, Bottom Creek boasts a 200-foot high waterfall. Flanking Bottom Creek are forests of mixed hardwoods (tulip poplar, maple, oak, hickory) and upland meadows. Five rare species thrive in this habitat.

NO DOGS NO Horses  LAT: 37.1324031198 LONG :-80.09702682495117
Directions | Map

 


HikingRock Castle Gorge Trail | Floyd

Day Hike - 10.8 miles - Strenuous loop
Mountain views, streams, waterfalls.  From the Saddle Overlook start hiking southbound on the green blazed Rock Castle Gorge Trail. You will pass Rocky Knob and a few overlooks. In about 3 miles you will reach Grassy Knoll. Take a left to start descending down the valley. In 1.5 miles you will reach Rock Castle Creek. Keep following the trail down the hill for 2.8 miles passing an old house on the right. At the bottom, take a left onto the ascending trail. You will face a very steep ascend back to the top of the ridge for about 3 miles. Shortly thereafter you will reach the parking lot.

Driving Directions: Drive to the Saddle Overlook at Mile Post 167.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. LAT: 36.8223058436 LONG :-80.3426313400
Map


HikingBuffalo Mountain | Floyd

Day Hike - 1.0 mile - Easy to moderate
Windswept bald with panoramic views. The combination of high-elevation (3,971 feet), wind-exposed openings at the summit, and magnesium rich soils make it unlike any place else in the Commonwealth. The south face of the mountain contains grassy, prairie-like openings composed of wildflowers and native warm-season grasses more typical to the Midwest than to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wet, magnesium-rich seeps along the base of the mountain support globally rare grasses and wildflowers. Public access facilities include a small parking area and a steep 1 mile hiking trail to the summit.

Driving Directions: Drive to the Saddle Overlook at Mile Post 167.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. LAT: 36.7943712286 LONG :-80.4665279388
Map


HikingSarver Hollow Shelter | Appalachian Trail

Haunted Hike


The Sarver Hollow Shelter is relatively new, built in 2002 by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club to fill in a 22-mile gap between resting spots for thru-hikers trekking between Roanoke and Blacksburg. But, like all good horror stories surrounding new construction, this shelter was built near the site of an old homestead that, according to legend, has been haunted for decades. Henry Sarver built his family a two-story cabin in the 1850s and his family scratched out a life from the rocky terrain for more than 70 years, living in the cabin from the Civil War to the Great Depression. A family cemetery near the home site shows that many of the Sarver children died young. One of the only gravestones that you can read belongs to Mary Sarver, who died in 1909 at the age of 9. It seems that after the Great Depression, the Sarvers abandoned their home in the mountains, leaving it essentially intact. For years before the shelter was built, thru-hikers would camp inside the dilapidated Sarver home. Some time during the 90s, the roof collapsed on the home. Today, the cabin is completely in ruins, but you can still find the stone chimney and the family cemetery.

Hikers tell of a ghost that walks the woods after dark and often shakes campers awake in the middle of the night. Some say the ghost even shows up in photos they’ve taken of the home. Other hikers claim they’ve heard footsteps in the woods around the shelter. For whatever reason, hikers have named the ghost “George,” even though the Sarver patriarch’s name was Henry.

The Hike
It’s a 2.5-mile hike heading north from Va. 630 to the blue trail leading to the Sarver Cabin. Along the way, you’ll pass the Keffer Oak, a 300-year old live oak, the biggest on the Southern portion of the A.T. Along the ridge of Sinking Creek Mountain, you’ll also get to take in views of Sinking Creek Valley and Craig Creek Valley. It’s a steep drop from the ridge down to the homestead and shelter. The Sarver home site is downslope from the shelter. From there, scope the woods and small fields for the cemetery. If you’ve got the guts, spend the night at the shelter and wait for George to visit.


HikingJohns Creek Mountain Trail  | Craig County

Day Hike - Easy to moderate - 4 miles one way - Ele.: 3300 feet

Beginning on VA 601, the ascent on the Appalachian Trail to the Johns Creek Mountain Trail is a steady uphill grade for less than half mile. This is the most difficult section of the trail. At the top of the grade, Johns Creek Mountain Trail veers off to the east. The trail follows the ridge line out to VA 658, crossing several peaks and saddles along the way. There are a number of outcroppings and scenic vistas. The mountain is an area of abundant wildlife.

Location: Johns Creek Mountain
Driving Directions: Western Trailhead: From Blacksburg, take VA 460 west to VA 42, turn right onto VA 42 and proceed 1 mile. Turn left onto VA 601 and go 7 miles to the intersection of VA 601 and the Appalachian Trail. Total travel distance: 15.5 miles. Eastern Trailhead: From Blacksburg, take VA 460 west to VA 42, turn right onto VA 42 and proceed 9.5 miles to VA 658. The trailhead is on VA 658 at the crest of the mountain. Total travel distance: 16 miles.

 

Glen AltonGlen Alton | Giles

The property is owned by the U.S. Forest Service. It has been in use for many years by local residents for hunting, fishing, bird watching and, more recently, wedding receptions.  It is currently undergoing a major restoration to accommodate larger groups of visitors wishing to explore the pristine and rustic scenery which abounds in this county.

website |


TrailsMountain Lake Conservancy Trails | Giles

2,600 acres waiting for you to explore...The Mountain Lake Conservancy is a non-profit organization founded to help manage and protect the 2,600 acres of Mountain Lake property, and to provide environmental and cultural education for the public.

View and print Map

Appalachian TrailAppalachian Trail | Maine to Georgia

Southwestern Virginia includes some of the most spectacular sections of this famous Maine-to-Georgia footpath, with wilderness high summits, mature timber and vivid floral displays from May to October.

The Southwest Virginia section of the Trail covers 166 miles from Pearisburg south to Damascus.

website | (304) 535-6331


Mount RogersMount Rogers State Park | Grayson Highlands

Encompasses the highest mountains and has some of the most spectacular scenery. At 5,729 feet, Mount Rogers is the highest peak in either of the Virginias, and it is a popular backcountry destination. If you like to hike, bicycle, ride horses, camp, canoe, or photograph nature, you’ll like the Mount Rogers region.  From the Massie Gap parking lot take the rhododendron trail until you reach the white blazed Appalachian Trail. Take the AT towards Rhododendron Gap and enjoy the breathtaking views. Then keep following the AT past the Thomas Knob shelter to the Mount Rogers spur trail. Follow this trail as it ascends into thick woods to the summit. To catch the beautiful blooming rhododendrons at Rhododendron Gap you need to hike around early/mid-June. It's a hit and miss game to catch them at the right time.

Driving Directions: From I-77, take Hillsville Exit 14 to U.S. 58. Travel west on U.S. 58, 40 miles to Volney. Turn left to stay on U.S. 58 and go eight miles to the park entrance.

website


HikingVirginia Creeper Trail

Day Hike - Car Shuttle 33.4 miles - Intermediate
The Virginia Creeper is a shared-use trail connecting Abingdon, Virginia, with the Virginia-North Carolina border 1.1 miles east of Whitetop Station, Virginia. The total length of the trail is 33.4 miles. Virginia's finest rail-trail, the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail occupies the bed of what was once a rugged mountain railroad between Abingdon and the Virginia-North Carolina border about a mile east of Whitetop Community. At the trail's lowest point, where it crosses South Holston Lake on a huge curving trestle, it is 2,000 feet above sea level, but, by the time it reaches Whitetop Community, it has ascended 1,600 feet, some of it at nearly 7 percent grade!

From Abingdon to Damascus, the trail right-of-way belongs to the two towns, but most of the actual land is private. While you do have the right to use the trail across their property, please respect landowners. Stay on the trail, close gates, keep dogs under control, don't frighten livestock and be friendly!

Map

Roanoke Outside

Giles County

Wildflower Walks

cascades

line

Resources...

Virginia Tourism