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LYH Series: Top 5 Hikes

October 27, 2022

Hey there all you hungry hikers! Here is another addition into our Lynchburg Series! Today we’ll be doing a comprehensive review on some of the top hikes to do in Lynchburg this semester. Fall is here and that foliage is waiting to be seen and admired, so whether you’re a hiking pro or a newbie, it’s time to get out of that musty dorm room and lace up them boots! We’re going to break down some of my favorite hikes, and ranking them on:

Difficulty, Distance, and of Course their Views!

5.) Abbots Lake Trail:

Distance: 0.9 Miles

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 32ft

Route type: Loop

Rating: 4.2 Stars

Abbots Trail is for the new hiker. This 1 mile trail is prefect for those that aren’t super into hiking but still may want to be able to get outdoors and enjoy the fall season. This trail loops around the beautiful Abbots Lake and is also close to the Peaks of Otter State Park. Maybe the next time your parents come for family weekend and are saying they wanna go for a hike, (even though we know they don’t actually wanna go hiking) take them here! They won’t complain, they’ll see the pretty leaves and momma bear will be happy and satisfied.

4.) Cole Mountain

Distance: 5.9 Miles

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1286 ft

Route type: loop

Rating: 4.7

We all know it. Every hall hikes it. You’ve probably gone up it with your girlfriend and her parents, I know I have. Cole Mountain is a staple of Lynchburg area hikes. Its summit is the perfect place to watch the sun cascading over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the trail itself is easy enough that you can manage if you’re not the best at hiking. The summit is found about in the middle of the hike, which allows you time to stop, take a snack break and check out some sweet views. Is it anything crazy? No not really. But is it worth going? Absolutely!

3.)  Mt. Pleasant

Distance: 5.5 Miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1350 ft

Route Type: Loop

Rating: 4.7

If you wanna look for something a little more challenging than Cole Mountain then I would recommend Mt. Pleasant, located literally right next to it. This trail, while a little bit longer, is soooo worth the effort. The views from the peak are absolutely Stunning!  This trail offers multiple overlooks to get multiple views from the summit, and even offers overnight camping for you adventurous boys and girls. I would advise that you make sure you grab a trail map or take downloaded pictures because this trail can be a little confusing at times. There are quite a few switchbacks that are poorly marked, which can be hard to find at times, but if you know what you’re doing you will be fine. Also make sure to wear a pair of waterproof boots on this one, there are quite a few stream crossings. If you can handle all of that then be sure to try this hike out!

2.) Sharp Top Trail

Distance: 3.3 Miles

Difficulty: Moderate-hard

Elevation Gain: 1253 ft

Route type: Out and Back

Rating: 4.8

We are now getting into our more challenging hikes. While only three and a half miles, Sharp Top has quite the intense trail, challenging even for experienced hikers. With a 1253 ft elevation gain in just 3 miles, there is a reason why they call it Sharp Top! If you think you can handle this hard elevation gain, then be ready for some sweet 365-degree views! The summit offers plenty of area to rest and take in the mountain air and even has a cute little cabin at the top that I have NO IDEA how they managed to bring all the lumber and tools up there to build. This hike is not recommended for the newbie, but it is a must while you are still in the Lynchburg area!

1. Dragons Tooth
Distance: 4.5 Miles

Difficulty: Hard

Elevation Gain: 1256 ft

Route Type: Out and Back

Rating: 4.8

Capping out our list of top 5 hikes is Dragons Tooth. This hike is NO JOKE. like Sharp Top, this trail has quite the extreme elevation gain, 1256 ft to be exact; however, over a longer distance than number 4 on our list. This hike is one of the most difficult hikes in the Lynchburg area and is definitely not an afternoon stroll. This hike takes an average of 5-6 hours to complete, so make sure you plan your trip out accordingly to have enough daylight to complete its trek. If you have conquered all the foes on this list, then I have no doubt that you can take on this hike no problem, I believe in you!!


Honorable Mentions:

Well, there you have it top five hikes to take on this fall! If you’ve already taken on all these hikes and need a few more notable recommendations here are a few more:

  • Mcafee’s Knob- Moderate, 7.8 miles
  • Apple Orchards Trail- Hard, 2.6 miles
  • Flat Top Mountain- Hard, 8.7 miles
  • Crabtree falls Trail- Moderate, 3.6 miles

I hope you guys are inspired to head out onto the trails and check out the fall views. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my other blog, “Top 5 Tips for Hiking,” to make sure that you’re prepared before venture out onto your Lewis and Clark adventure. And of course, be sure to look at some of our other Lynchburg Series blogs on: Places to eat, Coffeeshops, and Churches all around our favorite little city, Lynchburg Virginia!


Written by Jarad Alpert

Jarad is a Junior here at Liberty University. He is currently studying Marketing Sales: Promotions and Professional Selling, with a Minor in Studio Arts. In his free time, Jarad goes by the nickname Jay-Rad, because he is indeed RAD. Also, he play’s drums in the student band, Off The Record. He is passionate about art and music, loves hanging with friends, and being out in nature.