Tar Jacket Ridge, Cole Mtn – Old Hotel Trail loop
11.0 miles, moderate terrain
64 miles from Daleville, $6.50 carpool fee
This hike is in the Mount Pleasant National Scenic and because of that, the Group size is
limited to 10 hikers.Look at
National Geographic/Trails Illustrated Map #789, K-14. Note: The drive to
this hike is not recommended during icy conditions.
Take I-81 to exit 188A and go east on US-60/Lexington Turnpike.
In 9 miles, near the Long Mountain Wayside,
(7200 Lexington Turnpike) turn left, NE, onto Davis Mill Creek
Road/Coffeytown Rd/VA-634. In about 3 miles, take the left fork and in
2 more miles turn right at the intersection onto USFS-63.
It will be about 5 more miles to Salt Log
Start south on the AT from Salt Log Gap, go over Tar Jacket
Ridge and come to Hog Camp Gap on 2 miles. Continue south over Cole Mountain.
Both of these summits are open and offer extraordinary views in all directions
– Cole Mountain especially. In 4 1/2 miles come to the Cow Camp Gap shelter
and the Old Hotel Trail. Turn left and
pass a shelter. (During the stagecoach
days there was an inn in this area, but nothing remains of it today).
After passing a shelter, the trail climbs a hill and then passes some old rock
fences on its way to a beautiful, open park-like area (a great camp
site). At mile 7.5 you will come to the Old Hotel trailhead.
Take jog on the dirt road, a little to the
left, west, and then to the right, ENE, NOT south.
The last part of the hike is along a Forest Service road back to
Salt Log Gap.
Cole Mt., Mount Pleasant, Tar Jacket Ridge