Like a Local

Hike Like a Hokie: 4 Top Trails in Southwest Virginia

hiking west virginia

Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, the Inn at Virginia Tech is blessed with miles and miles of gorgeous trails and enthralling adventures within easy reach.

Cascading streams, beautiful forests, postcard-picture vistas, wildflowers, and waterfalls. This is what outdoor enthusiasts dream of. To find the must-try hikes near Blacksburg, we turned to the town’s biggest nature fans – Hokies!

Finding a green escape is always in reach with their favorite gems. Allow our Hokies to lead the way. First the basics:

When to Hike

The locals agree – hiking near Blacksburg is gorgeous no matter the time of year. Every season delivers a beauty all its own:


It’s all about the views. Once the leaves have fallen, hikers are left with expansive spectacular views once obscured by a thick, leafy canopy. Cooler temperatures keep the crowds away, so you can savor nature’s quiet stillness with the shimmer of snow.


The true glory of spring usually doesn’t hit the peaks until mid-April or May, when the mountains come alive with blooming wildflowers and the trees teem with migrating birds.


Summer hikers are treated to a wonderland of nature at its fullest splendor: lush forests, mountainsides peppered with colorful wildflowers and all the locals to enjoy the peaks with.


Locals don’t waste time being sad when summer winds down. They’re too busy anticipating the moment when our green forests become ablaze in fiery oranges, golds and reds. The crisp air and cooler temperatures add to its autumn appeal.

hiking west virginia

Hokies’ Favorite Hikes

McAfee Knob

Distance from The Inn at Virginia Tech: 35 minutes

The most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail, McAfee Knob hangs off the top of Catawba Mountain and is legendary for its signature ledge that offers stunning, panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. This popular six mile (roundtrip) Blue Ridge hike is on the bucket list for hikers across the globe and was once recognized by USA Today as one of the most spectacular hikes in the nation.

The Cascades

Distance from The Inn at Virginia Tech: 30 minutes

Ask any Virginia Tech student (and perhaps any Virginian!) to name their favorite waterfall hike and they’re likely to start gushing about the Cascades. This four-mile hike takes you on a meandering journey along a shaded mountain creek ending in the grand finale – a stunning 69-foot waterfall surrounded by vast cliff walls. Wooden stairs and platforms make it easy for you to get close to the falls for epic photographs.

hiking west virginia

Pandapas Pond/Poverty Creek Trail System

Distance from The Inn at Virginia Tech: 15 minutes

A pastoral 8-acre pond, Pandapas Pond is located at the edge of the Eastern Continental Divide. True hikers will skip the paved 1-mile trail around the pond and instead link up to the 7.4 mile (roundtrip) Poverty Creek Trail, which branches off onto several other trail loops if you choose to explore even further. The trails are great not just for hikers, but also horseback riders and mountain bikers. So, keep your eyes and ears peeled if you need to give them clearance.

Dragon’s Tooth

Distance from The Inn at Virginia Tech: 35 minutes

Creekside rambles, valley forests, rock scrambling. Dragon’s Tooth trail is a varied and rugged 4.6-mile (roundtrip) wonder with stunning views that make the strenuous climb all worth it.  Along the way, you’ll discover Cove Mountain’s unique geological features, including its many remarkable rock outcrops. The most noticeable is ‘Dragon’s Tooth’ a rare spire towers 35 feet over surrounding rock.

Virginia’s mountainous landscape is a must-visit for hikers of all skill levels. From rolling hills to plunge-worthy watering holes, you’re certain to find a trail to satisfy your inner adventurer. When it comes time to plan out your next adventure, take it from the Hokie’s and visit these top spots and stay with us here at The Inn at Virginia Tech. Check out our latest Packages & Offers here.

You might also like