Pine Mountain Trail (Forest Trail #201)

Area Status: Open

The Pine Mountain Trail is a challenging trail through rugged country. It is often steep and rocky, with scrambling required in some sections. This trail has great overlooks and views of interesting rock features. Fourty-four miles of this 120-mile trail are closed to the public as it crosses through private property. Because of the rugged nature of this trail, is not recommended for bikes or horses.

Trail Open To:

Trail Hiking

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Portions of Pine Mountain Trail remain closed between US23 and Birch Knob.
Open Season: Open year round
Restrictions: Certain sections of privately-owned land near Tucker Gap, Bryant Gap, and The Doubles (all three places being between Pound Gap and Birch Knob) along the Pine Mountain Trail are closed to public access. When recreating on Forest Service Lands, follow the Forest Rules for Visitors and Forest Supervisor’s Orders.  Motorized use, including e-bikes, is prohibited. Trail is to hiking, biking, and horseback riding, although biking and horesback riding is not recommended.  

All visitors should follow Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace guidelines.   
Closest Towns: Jenkins and Elkhorn City, KY; Pound, VA; and Clintwood, VA  
Water: No drinking water available. All water taken from natural sources should be purified before use.
Restroom: Vault Toilet at Birch Knob; Open Seasonally
Operated By: Clinch Ranger District: (276) 679-8370
Information Center: For more information contact: Clinch Ranger District 1700 Park Avenue SW, Norton, VA 24273. 276-679-8370 Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 - 12:00 and 12:30 - 4:30 Current weather conditions for Pound, VA:

General Information


West Trailhead:  From Wise, VA, travel north on US Highway 23 to the Kentucky State Line at Pound Gap. The gas station on the southbound side of US Highway 23 serves as the parking lot for the trailhead to the western section of the trail. Please park in the very back of the lot.  

Birch Knob Tower Trailhead:  Travel north from Clintwood VA on State Route 631 for 2.8 miles.  After crossing the Pound River, bear right onto State Route 611 and follow for 2.3 miles to Forest Road 616 (Birch Knob Road).  Turn left onto this road and follow to the observation tower parking lot.  Forest Road 616 is closed from January to April.

General Notes:
  • Trail Length:  44 miles
  • Blazes:  Yellow
  • Trail Difficulty:  Difficult
  • Connecting Trails: Austin Gap Trail (Forest Trail #201A);  Bob's Gap Trail (Forest Trail #201B); and Count's Cabin Trail (Forest Trail #201C) 
  • Elevation:  1040 feet to 2960 feet
  • Trail Access Points (Approximate LAT/LONG):
    • West Trailhead from US Highway 23:  LAT 37.24 LONG -82.63
    • Birch Knob:  LAT 37.24 LONG -82.46
  • Trail Etiquette:  Trail etiquette for multiple use trails calls for horses to have the right-of-way.  Hikers should yield to horses.  Bicyclists should yield to horses and hikers.  Horse riders are responsible for the control of their horse at all times.
  • Trail Map: It is recommended that all trail users always carry a reliable map. This trail is shown on the Interactive Visitor Map and the National Geographic/Trails Illustrated Map #793.  Maps may be purchased at some local District Ranger Stations, at outdoor retail locations or by visiting the National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated website.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
44 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
1040 feet - 2960 feet