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Alleghany County Virginia Hiking Trails

Rich Hole Trail


George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

The 5.5 mile Rich Hole Trail begins at the parking area on U.S. Route 60 and heads west in the Rich Hole Wilderness Area.  The trail leads to the top of Brushy Mountain and is steep and rocky in places.  Within one mile of the trailhead there is an overlook on the left that offer a great view of North Mountain and the valley below.  A little further up the trail there is a view of a deep gully with Brushy Mountain in the background.

There are many rock outcroppings and jagged boulders on this route to the top of Brushy Mountain.

On the ridgetop, the trail turns southwest and heads towards a spur ridge saddle.  Large craggy boulders line the southside of the trail for a short distance, then the normal deciduous covertype resumes.  There are many game trails criss-crossing Rich Hole Trail on the ridge and grouse, deer, and squirrel are abundant. Bear aren’t seen often, but they have been reported.

After reaching the saddle, the trail drops down into a drain that follows North Branch to FDR 108.  The trail crosses North Branch 16 times on its way south and the first crossings are shallow and easy to negotiate.  By the fifth crossing North Branch is deep and difficult to cross without getting wet.  At this crossing a tributary spills down a rock face to join the now swift North Branch.

The path is rocky and sometimes steep along the creek.  Stone steps are in place in the steeper sections.  At the eleventh creek crossing, the trail opens to a two track road that follows FDR 108 through the remaining creek crossings.

Rich Hole Trail offers a great opportunity to the hiker in search of solitude, wildlife, and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.  In order to provide this opportunity motorized vehicles are not allowed in the wilderness area, as well as, mechanized equipment like bikes, carts, and wagons.  A No Trace ethic is also required and includes such things as “pack it in-pack it out” and hiking only on system trail.


Rich Hole Trail is located in the Rich Hole Wilderness Area in eastern Alleghany County.  Take the Longdale Furnace exit and go east on U.S. Route 60.  Then left onto FDR 108 and continue to parking area or continue east on U.S. Route 60 to Rich Hole parking area on left.

Parking is available on U.S. Route 60 just south of the Alleghany/Rockbridge County line or on FDR 108 on southern edge of the wilderness area.


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