Lexington, VA: Lake Robertson Loop

Look for blackberries and bears on this 4.4-mile loop around an activity-filled lake complex in the southern Shenandoah Valley.

Take your pick of eight intersecting trails at Lake Robertson Recreation Area, a 581-acre sportsman's hideaway tucked in the eastern foothills of the Alleghanies. The recreation area, which is managed by Rockbridge County, is open for hiking year round, weather permitting.

This moderate loop starts at the boat landing, curving east along the water-hugging Lake Trail before skipping across a short, grassy dam. From here, head into the woods, picking up Opossum Pass on the northwestern edge of the lake for a short climb to Deer Lick Trail. This woodsy path dips and climbs - mostly the latter - until reaching a cozy wooden shelter near the junction with Squirrel Run. Keep your ears on alert at the upcoming junction with Grouse Haven where a cacophony of bird calls should test even the sharpest of birdlovers in a shady all- natural aviary. In summer, after passing a second shelter, look for patches of blackberries beside the trail as it heads toward the campground.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.0



Location: 37.802583, -79.610472

Park at the boat landing. Hiking and fishing are permitted all year, and the campground is open April through the end of November.


Location: 37.802582, -79.61004

Turn right onto Lake Trail which circles the 26-acre lake. The lake area can be a bit buggy in summer so pack some insect repellant if you're a bug magnet.


Location: 37.802264, -79.609427

Turn left at unmarked junction to follow Lake Trail. Just ahead is a wooden deck and viewing area.


Location: 37.801139, -79.605572

Cross dam.


Location: 37.802153, -79.60472

Turn right to continue on Lake Trail.


Location: 37.802596, -79.604575

Marked junction with Turkey Roost Trail. Stay left.


Location: 37.807318, -79.609602

Veer left at junction to stay on Lake Trail.


Location: 37.808333, -79.610531

Second junction with Turkey Roost Trail. Stay left.


Location: 37.807882, -79.610758

Turn right at signed junction to leave Lake Trail and join Opossum Pass, a wide path through dense foliage that soon starts a short but steep, gully-pocked ascent beside a small creek.


Location: 37.808979, -79.615083

Sharp left.


Location: 37.808392, -79.615317

Opossum Pass ends. Turn right to join Deer Lick Trail.


Location: 37.814042, -79.618878

First wooden shelter.


Location: 37.814575, -79.618816

Turn left at marked junction to join Squirrel Run Trail.


Location: 37.813262, -79.621671

Cross power line easement.


Location: 37.812911, -79.622062

Signed junction with Hawk Creek Trail. Turn left onto Hawk Creek to return directly to Lake Robertson. Continue straight on Squirrel Run for a longer loop.


Location: 37.810209, -79.623442

Turn left onto Grouse Haven Trail. Look and listen for birds at the start of the trail.


Location: 37.809696, -79.622807

Pass second shelter.


Location: 37.809605, -79.622902

Intersection with signed Fox Path. Stay right. Trail becomes steep - and slightly sloped - in places as it descends, eventually crossing a series of small wooden bridges.


Location: 37.807301, -79.61962

Sharp left. Trail parallels a fence. Look for blackberries in July.


Location: 37.806338, -79.618408

Cross second power line easement.


Location: 37.801963, -79.612001

Grouse Haven ends. Turn left onto Hawk Creek trail at amphitheater.


Location: 37.803983, -79.612589

Turn right at unsigned junction to return to boat landing parking area.


Location: 37.802708, -79.611501

Spur trail ends at parking area beside boat landing.

Waterside Wildflowers

Location: 37.802061, -79.608698

Lake Robertson

Location: 37.800569, -79.607311

Northern Shore

Location: 37.802569, -79.606085

Deer Lick Trail

Location: 37.809759, -79.61595

Deer Lick Trail Shelter

Location: 37.814042, -79.618878


Location: 37.807183, -79.619476


Location: 37.802116, -79.612169

Lake Robertson from Spur Trail

Location: 37.802708, -79.611501