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Best Places to hike near Liberty University!

December 12, 2018

There are many recreational facilities on Liberty’s campus. However, there are also many hiking locations not to far away from Lynchburg that you can visit! Here is a list of some places I have enjoyed over the past two years while attending Liberty University. I hope you find these places to be a great getaway from campus and an experience to explore nature!


Sharp Top


View from Sharp Top Mountain

Driving Distance from Liberty: 43 Min (32.3 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 2.6 Miles (45 Min to the Top)

Description: Sharp Top was the very first hike I completed when I arrived at Liberty University. It is a hike every Liberty University Student should try at least once. It's only 2.6 miles in total, but do not let that fool you! It is uphill most of the way so it takes longer than expected. Along the hike, you might even be able to spot some deer on the trail. Plus, the view at the top is incredible. There is a full 360-degree view of mountains at the top. Just keep in mind it can get very windy and cold at the lookout, so you'll want to check the weather before you go to make sure you're fully prepared. I have hiked Sharp Top six times and I am still planning on going a few more times before I graduate from Liberty!

McAfee Knob


Sitting at the lookout point from McAfee knob

Driving Distance from Liberty: 1Hr 12 Min (61.9 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 8.8 Miles (1 Hour 40 Min to lookout)

Description: This has to be my favorite view on the list. It’s a little over an hour drive from Liberty and it is one of the longer hikes I have done. The hike has a gradual incline but doesn't have any steep parts. Once you get out to the lookout there is a ledge that peers over the cliffside. However, be careful at the top since the dropoff point is very steep and high up. The first time I hiked McAfee Knob, I pulled an all-nighter to capture the milky way with my camera and tripod. Then, the next morning I photographed the sunrise and it was amazing! If you want to get some epic photos with friends this is the place for you!

Dragon’s Tooth         


Standing on Dragons Tooth looking out to the mountains

Driving Distance from Liberty:1 Hr 18Min ( 65.9 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 4.5 Miles (1 Hour to the top)

Description: Dragon’s Tooth is the next door neighbor to McAfee Knob and it too has a great view. Unlike McAfee Knob, Dragon’s Tooth has a full panoramic view. In addition to a great view, you will also find rocks to climb on and explore at the top.

Devil’s Marbleyard Trailhead


Sunset at Devils Marble Yard

Driving Distance from Liberty: 1 Hr 2 Min (40.1 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 3.0 Miles (50 min to top)

Description: If you like climbing rocks…this is your hike. It’s one of the shorter hikes but you will still get a workout in. The last half is on the steeper side but is completely manageable. This hike feels different every time I go since the last half of the trail is just giant marble rocks. Still, the sunset from the top is well worth the hike. Just be careful because climbing down in the dark can be especially tough.

Humpback Rock


Humpback Rock viewpoint

Driving Distance from Liberty: 1 Hr 19 Min (68.0 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 2 Miles (30 min to the top)

Description: This is one of the shorter hikes on the list. The hike is steep on the way up, but doesn't take long to reach the peak.

Cole Mountain


Field up at Cole Mountain

Driving Distance from Liberty: 55 Min (42.6 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 1.2 Miles (25 Min to the overview)

Description: This is the easiest hike you can do on the list. At the top, you come across a big field that points out to the mountains. This is a great spot to go have a picnic and hang out with friends. It's also a great spot for portrait photos in the fall and spring.

Spy Rock


Spy Rock lookout

Driving Distance from Liberty: 1Hr 13 Min (50.6 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 3.1 Miles (1 Hour to the top)

Description: Once you get to the top you'll find a great 360-degree view including Liberty University in the far distance.

Big Rocky Row


Drone Shot of Big Rocky Row lookout

Driving Distance from Liberty: 52 Min (28.6 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 8 Miles (1 Hr 30 Min to viewpoint) unless you want to do the full 10.8 Mile Loop.

Description: If you want a challenge, Big Rocky Row is the hardest hike on the list. There are many switchbacks and elevation gains. However, the view overlooking the James River at the top is amazing.

Terrapin Mountain


Terrapin Mountain overlook

Driving Distance from Liberty: 36 Min (24.5 Miles)

Hiking Distance: 10.1 Miles  (1 hour to lookout)

Description: You don’t have to complete the entire 10.1 miles to enjoy the view. In fact, the lookout is within the first couple of miles. This is a great hike if you just want to spend the day enjoying nature!


During my time at Liberty, I've enjoyed exploring Virginia's many hidden gems. I hope you find some time to get out and see God's wonderful creation!


Bailey Rapp

Digital Media and Video


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