7 Great Hikes in the Greater Blacksburg Area

Blacksburg is surrounded by gorgeous trails and great views all located in and around the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. With the warm weather coming, now is the perfect time to get outside and hit the trail for some hikes. Hiking is a great way to get off the computer and get exercise too. 


  1. Buffalo Mountain Trail

Located in Wills, Virginia, a little over an hour away from Virginia Tech, is the Buffalo Mountain Trail. This is a 2.2 mile out and back trail that goes up over 560 ft of elevation. There are views of the ridges along the trail as it goes up the mountain. The trail is rated as moderate on all trails and is also dog friendly. 



     2. Kelly Knob (via Appalachian Trail)

This 4.8 mile out and back trail is located near New Castle, Virginia. The trailhead for this loop is only 30 minutes from Virginia tech. Over the course of the hike, there is a 944 foot elevation gain. This is a relatively rocky hike but has a lot of green areas. This hike features many wildflowers during certain seasons and plenty of overlooks. 



      3. John’s Creek Mountain 

Located in New Castle, Virginia, John’s Creek trail will have you walking through forests and green patches. The trail is a 6.5 mile out and back trip that gains 1,650 feet of elevation. This area is also known for bird watching especially and the trail is dog friendly. Wildlife sightings are common on this trail. 



      4. Angel’s Rest (via Appalachian Trail) 

This intense hike is located near Pearisburg, Virginia and is a 5.6 mile out and back trip. It starts with an uphill climb and overall gains 1,843 feet of elevation. The hike passes through many rocky spots surrounded by greenery. The top of the mountain is a rock ledge that looks out to the beautiful valley of the Pearisburg area. 



      5. Tinker Cliff (via Andy Layne Trail)

Tinker Cliff is 7.3 mile out and back loop and part of the Virginia Triple Crown. This hike is located near Troutville, Virginia and is in the McAfee Knob area. This hike is rated as Hard on AllTrails and gains 1,945  feet of elevation. The hike features a river and many camping spots. Portions of this hike are on the Appalachian Trail and there is a AT shelter on the trail for thru hikers. 



      6. Cascades Falls Trail

The Cascades is popular for Virginia Tech students as it is only 30 minutes away from campus and features a 66 foot waterfall. The trail is a heavily trafficked 3.8 mile trail located in Pembroke, Virginia. The trail is a steep down and back that goes along the flowing stream and the trail also features other beautiful views. 



      7. Dragon’s Tooth Trail

This out and back trail is 4.1 miles and is located in Catawba, Virginia. Dragon’s tooth is part of the VA triple crown which also includes Tinker cliff and Mcafee’s Knob. The hike gains 1,227 feet of elevation throughout a rocky hike to the top of the ridge. The hike features plenty of views and fun rock scrambling. 



All trails can be found on Alltrails.com 


Top Activities To Do Around Blacksburg During COVID

Stuck inside bored and wondering what you could possibly do? COVID-19 has significantly restricted what we can do any given day and left many of us with this miserable dilemma. I found myself struggling with this last week so I decided to create a list of some of my favorite activities that are COVID safe and get back outside. Here’s what I got:

Play Disc Golf

Blacksburg features 2 disc golf courses just minutes away. In Christiansburg, there’s the Golden Hills course featuring 37 holes split into two courses that weave through the woods which a bunch of elevation change. Golden Hills is not easy and there’s always a risk of throwing straight into a tree but it is a top course in the region and attracts quite a few players. Regardless of your skill level, it can still be very fun. Playing one of the courses is a great afternoon activity that takes about 90 minutes with 1 or 2 others. 

The VT CRC also has a 9 hole disc golf course that weaves through phase 1 of the research park. With more open and flat shots, this course is a fair bit easier and less of a workout than the Golden Hills course. I’d recommend trying both as they are a great way to get outside and exercise while having fun.

Hit up Some Breweries & Wineries

Blacksburg offers several great brewery and winery options not too far away. For breweries, check out Rising Silo and Eastern Divide. Both offer a great selection of beer and have plenty of outdoor space to enjoy. Eastern Divide has a larger food menu which can be seen on their website. Highly recommended visiting both of these places as they are very popular among students and families. 

For wineries, A popular one is Beliveau Farm Winery which is 12 miles northeast from downtown on a secluded 165-acre estate. Plan a ride ahead of going as cell service is iffy and I wouldn’t expect Uber’s to be picking you up out there. They offer overnight stays at their Inn. More information can be found on their website. In the other direction, outside of Radford, there is The New River Vineyard & Winery. I have never been but have heard great things. It is a 30-minute drive from Blacksburg.

Visit Hahn Horticulture Garden

Many students don’t know about VT’s Hahn Horticulture Garden which features 6 acres of gardens right next to McComas. The gardens are a great place to walk around, hang out, and relax in a mini oasis. You can easily be entertained for over an hour here. There are plenty of spots to take a seat and relax but if you have a hammock I highly recommend bringing one as they have several stands to accommodate them. Overall, Hahn is a great place to walk around, study, or watch an episode or two of your favorite show.

Go Mountain Biking

Just 10 minutes west on 460 is Pandapas Pond in Jefferson National Forest which features some awesome mountain biking trails for all levels. One thing to note: park at the upper lot (on the left as soon as you enter the park)  as biking is not permitted around the pond but is allowed on the Poverty Creek trail system. The trail map can be found herePandapas pond also features tons of walking areas, fishing, canoeing, and more. Information about this can be found on their website.

Blacksburg Rotary Mountain Biking Skills Park is a great place to get comfortable on a bike and push yourself in a consistent environment. It features plenty of jumps and other features to enhance your skills not too far from downtown. Definitely a fun place to head out to for an hour or so. If you drive, parking is across the street in the Heritage Park trailhead lot. 

Starlite Drive-in Movie Theatre

While you might not be going to a traditional movie theatre at this time, a drive-in theatre can be a great alternative. Located in Christiansburg, Starlite usually offers showings every Friday and Saturday. The first showing starts at dusk with a second starting after the first ends. Admission is $6 for adults.

Go on a Hike

There are tons of options to hike around Blacksburg with a variety of difficulties. Touched on Pandapas Pond above but some other popular options are Bald Knob, The Cascades, Dragon’s Tooth, and McAfee’s Knob. I would suggest checking out a site like Alltrails or a list like this to see all options nearby and their ratings.

If you want to stay in town, there is the Huckleberry trail and Heritage Community Park which are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Hang Out on the Drillfield

One of the most stunning aspects of VT’s campus is the drillfield. The large grass field offers many outdoor activities to students and visitors. Some of the most popular include having a picnic in front of Burress, throwing a frisbee or football, or playing games such as Spikeball.

Go to Cox’s Driving Range

Cox’s is a great spot if you can’t think of something to do for the day. They offer a wide driving range, an 18 hole mini-golf course, and a batting cage with a variety of speeds.


Hopefully, this list gives you some ideas for fun things to do in and around Blacksburg. If you have a great activity that you think should be added, feel free to leave a comment with it below and a little bit on why. Will try to incorporate as many as possible.