Nathaniels Hiker

Top 10 Hikes near Fancy Gap

Check out our guide to the best hikes around Fancy Gap, Virginia. Most are less than an hour from Pilot’s Perch Cabin.

Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve

Location: Willis, VA (Between Fancy Gap and Floyd, VA)

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~50 minutes

Distance: 1.1 miles out and back (2.2 miles total)

Skill Level: Moderate

Highlights: 360 views; views of Pilot Mountain and the Peaks of Otter

Notes: Gravel road to the top can be tight; navigate Buffalo Mountain Parking Area when using GPS.

Cumberland Knob Recreation Area

Location: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 217.5

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~45 minutes

Distance: 2.5 miles (loop)

Skill Level: Strenuous

Highlights: Small waterfall and numerous cascades

Notes: This was the starting point for construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a picnic area with an easier 1 mile hike.

Devil’s Den Nature Preserve

Location: Fancy Gap

Distance: .5 mile (1 mile out and back)

Skill Level: Strenuous

Highlights: Devil’s Den Cave

Notes: It is close to the old Appalachian Trail.

Doughton Park

Location: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 238

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~1 hour 10 minutes

Distance: Numerous trails (2-7.5 miles)

Skill Level: Numerous trails (Easy to strenuous)

Highlights: Features stream crossings, historical cabin and homestead. Cross country skiing allowed in the winter.

Grayson Highlands State Park

Location: 40 miles west of Galax, VA

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~1 hour 30 minutes

Distance: Numerous trails

Skill Level: Numerous trails (Easy to strenuous)

Highlights: Get up close and personal with “wild” ponies. The Appalachian Trail passes through here. Beautiful view from the park’s balds.

New River Trail State Park

Location: 20 miles north of Fancy Gap just off I-77

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~30 minutes

Distance: 57 miles

Skill Level: Easy

Highlights: It is a 57-mile linear park along an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The trail’s gentle slope makes it great for visitors of all ages to hike, bike and ride horseback. Guided horseback trips, canoe and bike rentals are also available. Popular spot for fishing.

Pilot Mountain State Park

Location: almost halfway between Winston-Salem and Mt. Airy, NC

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~30 minutes

Skill Level: Numerous trails (Easy to moderate)

Highlights: The summit of Pilot Mountain offers great views of the Sauratown Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains.

Note: It can get very crowded, and parking is limited.

Rocky Knob Recreation Area/Rock Castle Gorge

Location: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 169

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~1 hour

Distance: Several trails (1-12.5 miles)

Skill Level: Several trails (Easy to strenuous)

Highlights: There are great views up top and a babbling brook down in the gorge, with ruins of old homesteads in between.

Stone Mountain State Park

Location: Off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 229

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~50 minutes

Distance: Several trails (.5-6 miles)

Skill Level: Several trails (Moderate to strenuous)

Highlights: Stone Mountain is a very unique rock formation. There is a 200′ waterfall and a mid-19th century farm. It is a popular destination for trout fishermen.

Thurmond Chatham Wildlife Management Area

Location: Off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 229 (close to Stone Mountain)

Travel Time from Fancy Gap: 1 hour 15 minutes

Distance: 5.5 miles (11 miles out and back)

Skill Level: Moderate to difficult (slick rocks and river crossings)

Highlights: There are many river crossings, so prepare to get wet. That along with shade over most of the trail can make this a pleasant summer hike. There is a historic church on the grounds. Features a waterfall and a historic church and cabin.

Note: Tip from a fellow hiker: Check the weather prior to heading out, if the weather turns some crossings could become dangerous if not impassable.

Honorable Mention:

Beaver Dam Trail

Cascade Falls

Fred Clifton Park

The Great Channels