Mount Pleasant & Cole Mountain Loops
The hikes and combinations listed here all begin at or near Hog Camp Gap on the AT, 62 miles from Daleville. These hikes are 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 these hikes 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 right fork onto Wiggins Spring Rd/VA-755 which becomes FDR-48. Hog Camp Gap AT trailhead parking is about 8 miles from US-60. Continue another 0.2 miles, by foot or by car as the road permits, for the Old Hotel Trailhead. A little farther turn right onto an older dirt road, FDR-51, to the Henry Lanum trailhead parking
Different literature refers to the mountain as either Cold Mt. or Cole Mt. The ATC and the US Geodetic Service go with Cole Mountain and we will try to consistently go with the at RATC. The Pompey and Mount Pleasant trails form a loop. They were reclassified as a single trail and renamed the Henry Lanum Trail. For clarity, we are going to refer to them as the Henry Lanum/Mount Pleasant Trail and the Henry Lanum/Pompey Trail.
Cole Mt., Mount Pleasant, Tar Jacket Ridge Map
Mt. Pleasant and Cole Mountain Figure 8
13 miles, moderate terrain
For this hike do the Cole Mountain Loop and then the Mount Pleasant Loop. It can be nice to pass the car in the middle and replenish your water. Park at the Old Hotel trailhead.
Old Hotel Trail, AT, Cole Mountain Loop
6 miles, moderate terrain, park at the Old Hotel trailhead
Go back to the Hotel Trail sign, start south, cross a fence stile, and begin following the trail, which at this point is an old roadbed. Pay attention at 0.8 mile as the trail makes a turn to the right. It was near this spot that a former landowner, a Dr. Richeson, had a dwelling to which he would frequently invite guests. It eventually came to be known as "The Hotel" (and thus the name for the trail). Foundations of the building are still there, but are hard to find. Be alert once again at 1 mile. The trail turns off the road to the right, crosses a small water run, enters a wooded area, and reemerges back out into the field. The pathway may be indistinct, but follow the blazed posts and you'll be on the right track. Look for the trail to veer to the right immediately after entering the woods. Top the ridgeline at 2 miles and soon descend to the right on a very old road. Cross Little Cove Creek at 2.5 miles and pass the trail to the Cow Camp Gap Shelter on the right. Intersect and turn right onto the white-blazed Appalachian Trail at 3.3 miles and cross over rock formations on the spine of the ridge at 3.7 miles. Break out into the open at 4 miles and continue to the open summit of 4,022-foot Cold Mountain. Descend the ridge to enter woods at 4.8 miles. Follow the white blazes as you cross a dirt road a couple of times. Arrive in Hog Camp Gap and turn right, tracking blue blazes along unpaved FDR-48. Watch for the blazes to turn off the road to the right, go past the Hotel Trail sign, and return to the parking area at 6 miles.
Mount Pleasant Henry Lanum Loop
7 miles, moderate terrain
This loop hike goes to the summit of Mount Pleasant via the Henry Lanum/Mt Pleasant Trail. There are sweeping views to the east and west from two rock outcrops at the summit. The hike will return to the starting point via the Lanum/Pompey Trail.