Lexington, VA: Roaring Run/Hoop Hole Loop
Reach waterfall nirvana in the Jefferson National Forest.
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The hits just keep coming on this moderate 11.8-mile trip: Civil War relics, habitat for deer, turkey, and black bear—and, by April—waterfalls galore. From the Roaring Run parking lot, start with a dayhike up the easy 2.8-mile Roaring Run loop trail. The path passes the ruins of a significant Civil War iron furnace as it winds through a hemlock-laden canyon, leading to deep pools, pourovers, and more than a dozen beautiful cascades. Back at the trailhead, begin ascending Pine Mountain on the 9-mile Hoop Hole loop trail—to tag the 3,700-foot summit, you’ll have to take a 0.25-mile spur. The trail crosses numerous streams, many of which are filled with native brook trout; take your pick from any of the prime creekside campsites along the loop.
Info: Map: Trails Illustrated Covington/Alleghany Highlands #788. Hiking Virginia, by Bill and Mary Burnham (Falcon). (540) 552-464; www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj
Hike provided by Tidewater Appalachian Trail ClubEvent and membership info: tidewateratc.org
Location: 37.697265625, -79.9345321655274