Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Beginning on the northeastern end (near Appalachia, VA), the first mile of the trail is a series of rock stairs that were constructed by Youth Conservation Corps in the 1970's. Many small falls cascade along the rock streambed exposing interesting rock formations. Part of this trail goes through the Stone Mountain Wilderness Area.

Trail Open To:

Trail HikingBicycle RidingHorse Riding

At a Glance

Fees $3.00 Day Use Fee at Cave Springs Trailhead.
Open Season: Open Year Round
Restrictions: A portion of this trail is in the Wilderness.  Group size is limited to no more than 10 people on these sections. 
  • Trail is open to:  Hiking, Bicycling, Horse Riding.
  • Trail is closed to all motorized vehicles.
Closest Towns: Big Stone Gap, VA - LEE COUNTY
Water: Drinking water available in the recreation area.
Restroom: Flush Toilet at Cave Springs Recreation Area; Open May 15 - Sept 15.
Operated By: Clinch Ranger District: (276) 679-8370
Information Center: Trail is located on National Geographic/Trails Illustrated Map #793.  It is recommended that all trail users carry a reliable map at all times.  Maps may be purchased at some local District Ranger Stations, at outdoor retail locations or by visiting the National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated website.

General Information


From Big Stone Gap VA:  Follow Alternate 58 West for 2.5 miles. Turn right onto SR 621 and follow for 6.1 miles to the entrance of Cave Springs Recreation Area on the right.  Parking for the trail is the swimming area parking lot. 

General Notes:
  • Trail Length:  14.32 miles
  • Blazes:  Yellow
  • Trail Difficulty:  Moderate
  • Connecting Trails:  None
  • Elevation:  1640 feet to 3000 feet
  • Trail Access Points (Approximate LAT/LONG):
  • 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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking