Black Ridge Trail

4.5 miles, Easy, $5.50

43 miles from Cave Spring, $4.50 Carpool fee
51 miles from Orange Market, $5.00 Carpool fee
29 miles from Christiansburg. $3.00 Carpool fee

The hike will start on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd at the Rocky Knob Visitor Center, mile 169. It will follow the Black Ridge to the Grassy Knoll and return to the Visitor Center.

Black Ridge Trail (3.0 miles)

The Black Ridge Trail, blazed with blue, is a moderate loop that is most conveniently started and finished at the Rocky Knob Visitor Center. Passing through second growth forest to a seldom-used gravel road, it includes good views to the north from atop Black Ridge, then crosses the Parkway to join the Rock Castle Gorge Trail for its return to the Visitor Center. There are excellent views from this section of trail into Rock Castle Gorge and the Piedmont.

Rocky Knob Picnic Area Trail (1.0 miles)

The Rocky Knob Picnic Area Trail (yellow blaze) is an easy loop and offers a pleasant walk through a mature forest of large oaks, ashes, hickories, Fraser magnolias, hemlocks, and other native trees and shrubs. The area is excellent for bird watching, particularly in the nesting season.

Smart View Trail (2.6 miles)

Several miles north of Rocky Knob (milepost 154.5), the Smart View Trail, an easy to moderate loop around the Smart View Picnic Area, offers good views into Piedmont Virginia. The trail is level for the most part and is generally dry and smooth underfoot. Most of the trail passes through mature woods and has a good display of wildflowers in April and May. Several signs mark access points from the Picnic Area to the trail. Two hours should be allowed for its completion.