5,729 foot tall Mount Rogers is located in southwest Virginia. The isolated peak is the fourth-highest State Highpoint east of the Mississippi River. The surrounding Mount Rogers National Recreation Area contains approximately 200,000 acres of National Forest land and four Congressionally designated wilderness areas.
The mountain is home to one of only six remaining high-altitude, Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forests. It is the only such forest in Virginia. There are no roads to the mountain’s summit, only hiking trails, including one of the most interesting hikes in Virginia.
Exploring the Mountain
Over one million visitors come to Mount Rogers every year – and why not?
The National Recreation Area offers seemingly endless activities for any outdoor enthusiast. These include camping, picnicking, sight-seeing, bird watching, fishing, hunting, bicycling, horseback riding, swimming, and – of course, lots of hiking trails.
500 miles of trails, in fact, including 60 on the Appalachian Trail and 67 on the Virginia Highland Horse Trail. Come winter, many of the trails are used for cross-country skiing.
One of the most popular and interesting hikes is a 9-mile out and back to the mountain summit. While the trail is long, it’s not difficult. With a little planning and stamina, just about anyone can enjoy it – and it’s definitely worth the effort.
Though the thick spruce-fir forest at the summit restricts the views, the trails to the summit more than make up for it. The trail passes through open meadows and bald ridgetops the provide the eye-popping views of the surrounding region. The area is also home to rhododendron thickets, wild blueberries, large rock formations, wildflowers, and even feral highland ponies!
Many consider it the best day hike in Southwest Virginia.
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area
The National Recreation Area is part of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Prospective hikers should consider stopping at the Pat Jennings Visitor Center in Marion, VA, for maps and trail information.
Visit the US Forest Service website for more information about Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
There is no end to the fun and fascinating things to see and do in Virginia, no matter where you are in the state. You can also count on finding a friendly and welcoming Virginia inn nearby, too. Staying at a Virginia bed and breakfast means personalized service, high-end amenities, and value for your dollar. Even better, Virginia B&B’s are locally owned and operated, giving you local insight into all there is to see and do in the area. Make the most of your Virginia vacation with a stay at a Virginia inn!