Virginia Mountains
Bath County Virginia
Hiking Trails
Bike Trails
Looking for places to Stay, Eat or Shop?
Take a look at our listings of:
Local Businesses
Animal Care
Antiques, Arts and Gifts
Bed & Breakfast and Inns
Cabin Rentals
Financial Services
Home & Garden
Motels, Hotels & Resorts
Real Estate
Custom Search

Bath County Virginia Hiking Trails

Fore Mountain Trail

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

Length: 13.0 miles
Rating: Strenuous
Orange Plastic Diamond Blaze

Fore Mountain Trail is a scenic 13 mile hike in northern Alleghany County.  Leaving Covington it rises to the top of Fore Mountain in a series of switchbacks.  The hike to the ridge top is steep but during leaf off it offers some great views of the Covington Area.

Once at the top, the trail runs the length of Fore Mountain.  It switches from one side of the ridge to the other several times on the journey east.  There are many clearings and ponds along the trail that offer good views and peaceful resting spots.  Each of the clearings offer something different for the hiker to enjoy.  Some are open and sunny with views to the north and south, while others are shady and cool with limited views even during leaf off.  Most of these clearings would make good campsites as long as they were kept away from the ponds and a no trace ethic was practiced.  This section also intersects the Dry Run Trail at mile 6.  Dry Run Trail is also known as Skyline Trail and there may still be old signs at the intersection with skyline written on them.  

After leaving the last wildlife clearing on the northeast end of Fore Mountain the trail turns right and winds down the side of the mountain in a series of long and fairly steep switchbacks.  The trail intersects FDR 337, White Oak Flats Road, and is the beginning of a gentler descent.  On a side journey south on FDR 337, about a mile or so, the hungry hiker will find red raspberries and blackberries ready to be eaten (seasonally).

From FDR 337 the trail again follows a series of switchbacks to an intermittent stream and eventually to State Route 606.  You have now hiked ten miles.  The last three miles to the top of the Pine Spur Ridge is a pleasant hike.  Cross Smith Creek and hike up the long switchbacks with some beautiful views of McGraw Hollow, Big Lick Hollow and the Clifton Forge area.  The Alleghany/Bath County line is only a few hundred yards past the ridge top.  This is the end of the Fore Mountain Trail, but the path continues on as Middle Mountain Trail to Douthat Lake in Douthat State Park.  After about one mile turn right into the park on the trail that will lead you to the lake and campground.  From the country line to Douthat is approximately five miles.

Overall this trail is in pretty good condition.  There are a couple trouble spots where tread is partially washed out and trees block the trail, but the hike offers great views and some good wildlife viewing opportunities. There are no potable sources of water along the trail so bring enough for a two day hike.  If you do plan to hike it in one day it will take ten to twelve hours to complete.


Fore Mountain Trail is located on Fore Mountain northeast of Covington in Alleghany County.  From I-64 take exit 16 and turn east on route 1104.  Turn left just before the Western Sizzlin onto Smokey Bear Lane.  Follow this road 0.1 miles to the trail head.  

Advertise on This Site
Albemarle County Alleghany County Amherst County Augusta County Bath County
Bedford County Bland County Botetourt County Buchanan County Buckingham County
Carroll County Clarke County Craig County Dickenson County Fauquier County
Floyd County Franklin County Frederick County Giles County Grayson County
Greene County Highland County Loudoun County Lee County Madison County
Montgomery County Nelson County Page County Patrick County Pulaski County
Rappahannock County Roanoke County Rockbridge County Rockingham County Russell County
Scott Virginia Shenandoah County Smyth County Tazewell County Warren County
Washington County Wise County Wythe County    
Virginia State Parks        
Although we at the Mountain Travel Guide have done our best to obtain the most recent and accurate information, The Mountain Travel Guide accepts no responsibility with regards to the accuracy of information in any of the maps or information provided here or the regulations therein. No personal information is collected by the Mountain Travel Guide unless you provide it by filling out one of our advertising forms or link exchange form, see our Privacy Policy. Cookies my be placed by 3rd party companies.
Alabama Mountains Arkansas Mountains California Mountains Colorado Mountains Connecticut Mountains
Georgia Mountains Hawaii Mountains Kentucky Mountains Maryland Mountains Massachusetts Mountains
New Hampshire Mountains New York Mountains North Carolina Mountains Pennsylvania Mountains South Carolina Mountains
Tennessee Mountains Virginia Mountains West Virginia Mountains    
    What's New provides numerous links to other Websites. These links are for the reader’s convenience and does not accept any responsibility for the content of these other sites, nor for the experience that the reader has with these sites.
Mountain Travel Guide
Copyright @ 2000-2014