Steeles Tavern Manor B&B and Alpine Hideaway Cottages sit in the Shenandoah Valley with the Blue Ridge Mountains and Allegheny Mountains reaching to the sky forming the valley. There are lots of great hiking trails in the area with some of them providing 360-degree views of the beautiful valleys below. Spring time provides extra beauty with wild flowers greeting you on the trails.
One of our favorite hikes in our area is Humpback Rocks Trail located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. At milepost 5.8 of the Parkway, you will find the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. You can start by getting all the statistics on several trails that start at the end of the visitor center and about the peak of the trail at Humpback Rocks. There is also a farm museum at the visitor center that tells the story of life on a farm on the Blue Ridge between 1850 and 1950. Start the Humpback Rocks Trail at the south end of the parking area. Access to the lookout on the rocks is just 1 mile on the trail. The vistas are simply amazing! You will see spectacular views of the Shenandoah and Rockfish Valleys. Behind the valley is the Allegheny Mountains and West Virginia. Looking to the east, the land flattens into the Piedmont region that reaches to the sea. Although the trail is strenuous, the views are worth the effort it takes to get to Humpback Rocks!
The Priest Hiking Trail in the George Washington National Forest offers wonderful views over the Tye River Valley. From Steeles Tavern, take VA Rt 56 to the east for about 32 minutes to arrive at the Priest Wilderness Parking Area/Appalachian Trail Parking area. Be sure to start out right from the parking lot because if you cross the road you will be hiking on the AT in the wrong direction instead of the Priest Trail! Although this trail elevates by 3000 feet (YES – 3000 feet!), it is a slower but continuous climb for a little over 4 miles. Plan about 6 hours for this hike that continues for about a 13% grade for most of the hike. There are several scenic stops on the trail for great views even before you reach the peak where you will view Three Ridges and mountains in the Shenandoah National Park. If you look carefully, you can see the Blue Ridge Parkway snaking it’s way through the mountains. If you coordinated 2 vehicles for this hike, you could return by way of Crabtree Falls Trail – not as steep going back down the mountain.
If you are looking for a slightly easier hike, try the Mount Pleasant Hike. Plan about 3 ½ hours for this loop hike that you can start to the east or the west – with beautiful summit views both ways. The parking area is just off of VA Rt 755 in the George Washington National Forest. There are not many places to get water on this trail so be sure to bring water with you. The views from the summits are of more mountain ridges than you can imagine. It is just awe-inspiring! One person who hiked this trail called it a “Virginia hiking highlight”!
To get to the summit of Bluff Mountain, hike on the AT from the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 51.7. The hike is about 4 miles and takes you to the summit of Bluff Mountain. There you will find a plaque marking the spot where a young boy, Ottie Cline Powell, was found dead in 1891. The young boy went missing from Dancing Creek School and was found atop the mountain. The story has become a local legend and the mystery of his disappearance and death still has not been solved. There is no mystery about the beautiful views found atop Bluff Mountain! Looking west, you will see the Maury River Valley and on to Lexington. Looking to the east, you will see the James River Valley.
All of these fantastic 360-degree scenic views are within a 45-minute drive from Steeles Tavern Manor B&B and Alpine Hideaway Cottages. We will start you with a hearty breakfast, some water, directions or maps to get you to the trailheads. Mother nature will supply the awesome views over the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains down to the valleys below. Make your reservation now for a spring hiking getaway.
The blog lists 4 hikes that are nearby us: Bluff Mountain, Mt Pleasant, The Priest, & Humpback Rocks