Hikes We Like

Looking for hikes near you? We asked our outdoor enthusiast team and we condensed all of their choices down to a few hikes with different levels of difficulty. Have a hike you think we should publish? Email info@WalkaboutOutfitter.com or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Please use caution and common sense when exploring nearby trails. Always be prepared for an emergency situation. Hike with a buddy and Leave no Trace!

Blacksburg

Bottom Creek Gorge
This hike features what is arguable the tallest waterfall in Virginia. More info...

Angel’s Rest
The most strenuous of the three hikes but completely worth the scenic overlooks. At around 6 miles, it is doable in a morning but there are some steep sections.
Travel Time – 50 Minutes – Follow 460 West for 27 miles then take the exit for N Main St. Turn right onto Johnston Ave, then right onto Morris Ave, then keep straight onto Cross Ave. The AT crosses over Cross Ave and you would park along the road there. Then take the AT south to get to Angel’s Rest. More Info...

Bald Knob at Mountain Lake
 
Pembroke, VA – 3/5 Difficulty
There are several ways to make it to the top of this climb but once you are there, the views are incredible. You can actually see all the way back to Blacksburg on a clear day. This is a short steep hike to the top of Bald Knob at elevation 4,365 feet. The trail passes through a dense deciduous forest, which is blanketed with a nice fern undergrowth. At the top, there is a small rock outcropping with expansive views of the New River Valley.
Travel Time – 33 minutes – Take 460 west for 13 miles. Turn right onto Route 700 and follow for 7 miles until you reach Mountain Lake Lodge. More Info...

Cascades
Cascade Falls is one of those must-do hikes in Virginia, featuring one of the most picturesque scenes of a waterfall that you’ll get. An easy 4-mile round trip hike along Little Stony Creek which culminates in a magnificent 66-foot waterfall. Extend the hike to 8 miles round trip by going to Barney’s Wall.Travel Time – 30 minutes –Take 460 West for 19 miles. Turn right onto Cascade Drive and follow until it terminates in the parking lot for the Cascades Day Use Area. $3 parking fee required. More info...
 

Harrisonburg

Rip Rap Hollow, Shenandoah National Park
Riprap Hollow is one of the best circuit hikes in the southern section of the Shenandoah National Park. The views from Chimney Rock, and along the ridge of Rocks Mountain, offer great vistas to the west and north. The spring fed stream in Cold Spring and Riprap Hollow is very scenic, and has a 50ft wide swimming hole fed by yet another mountain spring. More info...

Black Rock Summit
Blackrock Summit is an easy (KID FRIENDLY) 1 mi/1.6 km hike leading to a talus slope with sweeping views of the mountains and valley beyond. From the Blackrock parking area at Skyline Drive mile 84.4, follow the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) south. At the trail post, turn right and continue to the boulder field where you can see the layers and quartzite patterns on the rocks and a beautiful view. Continue south on the A.T. around the slope. At the intersection, turn left onto the Blackrock Hut Road-Trayfoot Mountain Trail and follow the trail back to the parking lot. More info...

High Knob Fire Tower
This hike is short with a big pay-off.  High Knob, at elevation of 4,107 feet, offers incredible views all the way around.  The old fire detection tower was built by World War I veterans and the Civilian Conservation Corps and was once used by fire wardens for spotting fires.  The tower was renovated in 2001-2003 and today is a beautiful reminder of our past; with population increases, fire wardens are no longer necessary in our national forests. On each side of the fire tower, a legend identifying the distant mountains is posted in an upper window. More info...

Dark Hollow Falls
This trail is probably the most popular of all the hikes in Shenandoah National Park.  Due to the short length and the waterfall views, it is a quick hike that gives you a lot of bang-for-your-buck.
I used to hike this trail a lot while a student at JMU.  We would choose the coldest day of the year and sit under the falls for as long as we could stand it.  It was our version of the Polar Bear Club, but we always brought a change of clothes to save us from hypothermia. Read More...


Lexington


Chessie Nature Trail
The Chessie Nature Trail is a 6+ mile section of the old Chesapeake and Ohio Rail Line connecting Lexington and Buena Vista. The trail follows the Maury River with several areas with river access. It is a popular hike due to its proximity to Downtown Lexington and common to see walkers, joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and occasionally a pack of VMI Cadets fully geared up marching along the trail. More info...

House Mountain
Towering over the City of Lexington, House Mountain is a must do for anyone spending time in Lexington. This hike consists of two peaks, Big House Mountain, with views facing west and Little House Mountain with views northeast of the Shenandoah Valley. There is a shelter, seasonal spring and several areas to camp at the saddle. More info...

Cole (Cold) Mountain
For amazing views with little effort, this is the hike can not be missed. Hike along the Appalachian Trail to witness 360 degree views from a mountaintop meadow. You will swear you are in the Sound of Music from the top. This hike can be combined with the Mount Pleasant loop for an 11+ mile circuit hike as well. *4x4 vehicles recommended*  More info...

Spy Rock
This 3.1 mile out-and-back takes you up a steep and rocky road and along the Appalachian Trail.  After a short scramble up a nearly sheer rock face, hikers are treated to what is arguably one of the best views in central Virginia. The views from Spy Rock are simply breathtaking. It's a short hike, but from the top you can see the Religious Range: The Priest, The Little Priest, The Friar, The Little Friar, and The Cardinal. More info...

Mt. Pleasant
Hiking Upward describes this hike as “a short day hike suitable more most fitness levels” and we describe it as one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the area. It can be turned into a loop (5.4 total mileage) or an out and back for around the same distance. Highly recommended to carry all water needed from the beginning. More info...
*4x4 vehicles recommended*

Click here for more hikes in the Lexington Area
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Richmond


North Bank and Buttermilk Loop Trail
Even though Buttermilk is in the same park as North Bank and Belle Isle, it definitely has a much different feel. The most difficult of the three different sections of the James River Park System, Buttermilk combines tight, twisty, fast descents and steep climbs with lots of rocks and roots. Several creek crossing and some bridges and rock gardens add character to one of the most beloved trail systems in the Richmond area. More info...

Belle Isle
Belle Isle is a deceptively named, family friendly, wheelchair accessible hike in the middle of the James River with the downtown skyline of Richmond, VA visible in the background. If you just walked around and looked only at the river, the trees, the birds, the climbing cliffs, etc, you would certainly agree that it is a “Belle Isle”. On the other hand if you read some of the posted signs and looked around at the evidence of its prior use, you might be transported back to a time when it was not a Belle Isle: a granite quarry pit, a power plant, an iron milling factory, an iron foundry, and the most haunting of all – A Civil War prison camp where over 1,000 Union soldiers died from deprivation. (2.1 miles – Difficulty: 1/5) More info...

Three Ridges
 
1hr 40min from Richmond City
Three Ridges is one of Virginia's most popular backpacking circuits. Situated in Central Virginia, just 30 miles southwest of Charlottesville, the hike has vista after vista along the Appalachian Trail, and many small waterfalls and pools on the Mau-Har Trail on Campbell Creek. (14.4 miles – Difficulty: 5/5) More info...

Old Rag Mountain

2hr from Richmond City
The Old Rag Mountain hike in the Shenandoah National Park is one of the most popular hikes in the mid-Atlantic region. With many spectacular panoramic views, and one of the most challenging rock scrambles in the park, this circuit hike is a favorite of many hikers.But be prepared for the crowds. This hike gets a 0 star rating for solitude, so the best time to enjoy Old Rag is during the week when there are significantly fewer people. More info...


Roanoke

Hay Rock
Daleville, VA
This 8 mile round trip hike is great for many reasons but the top two are that there are not as many people as some of the more well known hikes and once you get to the top of the ridge you have views both directions for the remainder of the hike. For more information click More info...

Dragon’s Tooth

Catawba, VA
This hike is beautiful at any time during the year, but becomes more challenging in the Winter when ice and snow cover the rocks. Make sure you climb the tooth at the top for the best view, but do be careful as you’re scrambling up the rocky incline. For more information click More info...

Mill Mountain Park

Mill Mountain Park is one of the region’s most distinguished parks. Home to the famous Roanoke Star, Roanoke Parks and Recreation’s Discovery Center and Mill Mountain Zoo, Mill Mountain Park is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. Spanning 568 acres, the regional park is occasionally reserved for private events, including parties and weddings. Located beside the Blue Ridge Parkway, the park is easily accessible by road or trail. More info...

Read Mountain / Buzzards Rock

Bonsack, VA
Read Mountain is a 243-acre park in Roanoke County and one of the county’s largest passive recreation areas.
The park includes a 5-mile trail system with moderate to strenuous levels of difficulty. The main feature of the park is a 2-mile trail to Read Mountain’s summit, known as Buzzards Rock. The view from the top is one of the best in the Roanoke Region. More info...