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The James River Wilderness Area is a 9,000-acre area known for its diversity of plant and animal life and well-maintained trail system.
Elevations range from 650ft to 3,073 ft. Six trails are contained within the area. Directions: US 11 South to Rt. 130E, right on Rt. 759, left on Rt. 781.
Hikers from around the world stop in Glasgow for rest and recuperation as they make their way along the Appalachian Trail. For those who need it, we offer a hiker's shelter at 1429-1437 Kanawha Street, Glasgow, VA. The shelter provides :
Area Hiking Resources
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a public footpath that follows more than 2,100 miles of Appalachian Mountain ridgelines between Maine and Georgia.
The trail is open year-round and accessible from many locations. Glasgow access point is at US 501/ VA130. 775.3 miles from Georgia, traveling northbound.
Established as a Virginia state park and as an extension of the National Park.
Visit https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/natural-bridge for more info on these trails: Buck Hill Trail, Cedar Creek Trail, and the Blue Ridge Trail
Devils Marbleyard via Belfast Trail is a 4.5-mile light out-and-back trail located near Natural Bridge Station, Virginia, that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult.
The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are allowed on this trail.
Devil’s Marbleyard offers an unforgettable impression of huge house-sized boulders tossed about the ridgeline and an amazing view of the valley below.
The Gunter Ridge Trail begins off Gunter Ridge Road and climbs through a series of switchbacks to the top of Gunter Ridge in the James River Face Wilderness.
Continuing along the top of Gunter Ridge and through a gap, the trail is joined by the Belfast Trail, and intersects with the Appalachian Trail. It is also a horseback riding trail. Hikers are to yield to horses on the trail. Horse trail know as Hellgate Horse Trail and Glen Wood Horse Trail.
Sulphur Spring Trail is a 5.6-mile lightly trafficked out-and-back trail located near Natural Bridge Station, Virginia, that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate.
The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
Wildcat Trail is a 3.9-mile lightly trafficked out-and-back trail located near Natural Bridge Station, Virginia, that features beautiful wildflowers and is rated as difficult.
The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Access through Cave Mountain Lake.
Mostly following old roads, Balcony Falls Trail begins with a gentle climb. It overlooks the town of Glasgow and the James River, offering hikers fantastic scenery to reward their steep ascent across switchbacks that are no leisurely stroll. There are no waterfalls along this trail like the name suggests. Moderate 7.6-mile hike.
From the parking lot, the start of the trail is at the farm gate to the right and is open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders. After one mile, the trail turns right onto another old road and continues through the woods at a slight incline. The first 2.2 miles of this trail is a leisurely stroll, but as you enter the James River Face Wilderness it begins to climb along the ridgeline. This section is significantly steeper but offers fantastic views of the James River.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a ribbon of road that weaves through the region’s vibrant living traditions.
From Cherokee life and agricultural history to Southern Appalachian crafts and music, the Parkway’s 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina offer many ways to explore rich traditions.