Rock Castle Gorge

Roanoke, Virginia 24048

Rock Castle Gorge

Rock Castle Gorge Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This long loop has it all—widespread panoramas, human history, waterfalls, wild?owers, geological wonders, and trail challenges galore. Make a circuit over highland meadows, down the gorge of Rock Castle Creek, then up a steep track, past pioneer homesites, to the crest of the Blue Ridge and Rocky Knob, where more highland vistas put an exclamation point on this both rewarding and demanding federally designated National Recreation Trail.

This long loop has it all—widespread panoramas, human history, waterfalls, wildflowers, geological wonders, and trail challenges galore. Make a circuit over highland meadows, down the gorge of Rock Castle Creek, then up a steep track, past pioneer homesites, to the crest of the Blue Ridge and Rocky Knob, where more highland vistas put an exclamation point on this both rewarding and demanding federally designated National Recreation Trail."

More Rock Castle Gorge Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Virginia - 4th Edition (Falcon Guides)
Bill and Mary Burnham
View more trails from this guide book
"This strenuous loop begins innocently enough: in the cow pasture and mountain balds that flank the Blue Ridge Parkway. Its true nature soon reveals itself as you descend some 1,800 feet in just 3 miles to the edge of bubbling, rock-strewn Rock Castle Creek. The hillsides and stream valley of this national recreation area harbored a sizable community of mountain settlers leading up to the Great Depression; evidence of their homes—vine-encased foundations, clearings, and fruit trees—are visible throughout the trip. After a walk along the lush streambed, the return to the Parkway will be sure to prompt that age-old hiker question: Which is more difficult, hiking uphill or downhill?" Read more

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Trail Information

Roanoke
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
10.7
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
6.5 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
3,210 feet
Trailhead Elevation
3,560 feet
Top Elevation
Hunting, Fishing, Camping
Additional Use
Views
Features
Blue Ridge Parkway, 199 Hemphill Knob Road, Asheville, NC 28803; 828-298-0398, nps.gov/blri
Local Contacts
Blue Ridge Parkway–Rocky Knob Trail, USGS Woolwine
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018