Mountain hikes

Appalachian Trail

Twenty-five miles of the Appalachian Trail lie in Nelson County with moderately challenging to rugged terrain. It is accessible from Route 56 in Tyro and at trail crossings along the Blue Ridge Parkway: Reeds Gap/Route 664 and Rockfish Gap/Afton Mountain (exit 99 off Interstate 64).

Appalachian Trail from State Route 56 (Swinging Bridge) to Harpers Creek: A 2.6 mile hike along the Appalachian trail to Harpers Creek, where the waters gurgle through the large rocks. Directions from SR 56 at Crabtree Falls. Take SR 56 east for approx 3-4 miles. The Appalachian Trail crosses SR 56 and the parking lot is available to the left of SR 56.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Milepost 6.0 Humpback Rock; Milepost 18.5 White Rock Falls at Slacks Overlook

Crabtree Falls

Visit the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi – a series of five major cascades and a number of smaller ones that fall a total distance of 1,200 feet. The first overlook is just 700 feet from the new lower parking lot. The more adventurous hiker may continue to other overlooks, to the top at Crabtree Meadows, where the trail ends, or to the Appalachian Trail, just one half mile beyond Crabtree Meadows.

Fortune’s Cove Nature Preserve

The Preserve contains a 5.3 mile hiking trail within the mountainous property. Other features are 7 viewpoints and a stream. A parking area and informational kiosk at the base of the cove will help orient visitors. From Route 29, Route 718 to Route 651.

Henry Lanum Memorial Trail and the Mt. Pleasant Spur

A 4.8 mile circuit hike through the Mt. Pleasant National Scenic Area that encompasses two 4,000 foot mountains ñ Mt. Pleasant and Pompey Mountain. Take a short spur trail (.3 miles) to see the spectacular views from Mt. Pleasant. Directions from SR 56 at Crabtree Falls: Take SR west to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Follow the BRPW south to US Rt 60. Take RT 60 east to SR 634 (Davis Mill Creek Road). Continue on SR 634 to intersection with SR 755 (Wiggins Springs Road). Follow SR 755 to the end of state maintenance and continue on forest Development Road 48. Moderate + hike – last mile is Moderate ++