Hiking

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Apple Orchards Falls This trail begins at an elevation of 3500 feet on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Sunset Field Overlook near milepost 78. It leads in a northwesterly direction, crossing into the Jefferson National Forest at 0.1 mile, crossing the Appalachian Trail at 0.2 mile and a seeded logging road at 0.8 mile. At 1.1 miles the trail passes a huge overhanging rock on the right that would give shelter from rain. It begins a steep descent around the falls at 1.2 miles. At 1.4 miles, look back for a beautiful view of a 200-foot high falls. The trail leads into the headwaters of North Creek, following old woods road downstream. At approximately 3.4 miles the northwest end of the trail(elevation 1500) joins FS Road 59 at the end of Cornelius Creek Trail.

The trail can also be accessed from FS Road 59. From Interstate 81 take the Arcadia exit (exit 168). Follow Route 614 approximately 3 miles to FS Road 59. It is 4.5 miles to the trail head at end of FS 59

Balcony Falls

Sharp Top Mountain Beautiful hike and a plane crash site.  1.5 miles UP to a rocky point with amazing 360* views

Appalachian Trail  click here for info from the AT Conservatory    here more info on AT hikes  There are lots of great AT day hikes in the area.  You can leave the campground and continue up Middle Creek Rd past the store, at the stop sign go left, at the fork in the road, go left to the end of Inn Rd.  If you pretend the dead end is a clock and look to 3:00 you will see a blue blaze trail that will .5 mile to the AT just north of Bryant Ridge Shelter.  Head south back towards the Jennings Creek Road crossing.   All together about 5 or 6 miles.  Gradual, long climb.

Look towards 9:00 and you will see a 2nd blue blaze.  This will take you to the AT between Bryant Ridge Shelter and Jennings Creek Rd crossing.  The Blue blaze intersects the AT near the ridge top of Fork Mtn.  At the intersection with the trail go left up hill to return to Jennings Creek road crossing, go right down hill toward Bryant Ridge Shelter and take blue blaze at the intersection just north of shelter.  Bryant Ridge is an awesome 3 level shelter on the AT.

From the Jennings Creek Road Crossing take the SOBO trail head up Cove Mountain.  Hike all the way to Rt 43/ Bear Wallow Gap or take the blue blaze trail back down to the footbridge .5 miles up the road from the trail road crossing.  See Little Cove Mountain Trail below.

Cornelius Creek Trail ~This trail begins at an elevation of 3300 feet on the Appalachian Trail, 1.5 miles south of FS Road 812 (Parkers Gap Road). It descends steadily, following old logging roads. During its 2.9 mile northwesterly route to North Creek, the elevation drops to 1500 feet ~at its junction with FS Road 59 and Apple Orchard Falls Trail. From end of trail, follow FS 59 west for 4.5 miles to junction with Va. Route 614, then 3 miles to interstate 81, (Exit 168).

Specs Mine Trail ~ 2.8 miles long;elevation change 1060 feet to 2440 feet.From the intersection of Va. Routes 606 and 640, east of Troutville and Nace, go east on 640 about 1 mile. Watch for the sign. Trail ascends and intersects the Blue Ridge Parkway about 600 feet south of Montvale Overlook.

White Tail Trail ~ Trail has 2 loops. Shorter is 0.9 mile,elevation change 1150 feet to 1380 feet. Longer loop is 2.3 miles,elevation change 1150 feet to 1430 feet. The trail begins on North Creek Road, about 400 feet past (east of) the entrance to North Creek campground.About 400 feet from the road is a trail intersection,where the hiker will complete the loop hike. Keep right at the intersection.After about 0.4 mile is another trail intersection where the hiker will decide whether to take the short loop to the left (about 0.5 mile back to the road) or the long loop to the right (about 1.75 miles).The long loop goes past a wildlife waterhole and a wild life opening, which is planted with food for wildlife. It then follows down a small scenic creek, where the hiker may enjoy some relief from the summer heat before climbing over the ridge to the first intersection.

Buchanan Trail ~ 1.6 miles long;elevation change 1240 feet to 1720 feet.From Buchanan, go east on Va. Route 43 about 1.2 miles. Turn left on a wide gravel road (private road, no number).Gate maybe locked. About 1 mile down the gravel road, the Buchanan Trail intersects from the right. At 0.9 mile, trail begins to follow old logging road. At 1.4 miles, small spring by the trail. At 1.6 miles, intersect with Cove Mountain Trail. Trail leads off to the right and intersects with the Appalachian Trail after 260 feet. Trail, which continues on old logging road, becomes Cove Mountain Trail

Little Cove Mountain Trail  ~2.8 miles long; elevation change 1100 feet to 2680 feet. From Exit 168 on I-81, follow Va. Route 614 through Arcadia, past intersection with North Creek Road and about 0.5 mile past intersection with Middle Creek Road. Watch for sign and foot bridge across Jennings Creek on the right. Room for parking about 3 vehicles by the road. Cross the creek on footbridge. The trail continues up the creek, crossing it 3 times before starting to ascend at about 0.3 mile. At 1.0 mile, trail reaches top of the ridge.The trail crosses the Yellowstone Road (gravel) twice. Watch for vistas between road crossings. At the second road crossing, the trail begins ascent and intersects the Appalachian Trail at 2.8 miles.

10 Great Trails in the area

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