Cascading waterfalls, dramatic mountain ranges, and miles of forest make Southwest Virginia an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. The region is a vast landscape filled with walking trails and plenty of untapped nature ready to be explored. Some of the best trailblazers in the area are the adventurous student body at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. If you’re looking for that perfect weekend jaunt, then take into consideration some of their favorite hiking spots around Blacksburg.
Hands down one of the most photographed spots in the area, McAfee Knob tops our hiking list, and was recognized by USA Today as “a classic must-do for hikers of every stripe.” The knob itself is a jutting cliff face that gives you an astounding panorama view of Virginia’s impressive landscape, from Catawba Valley in the West to Roanoke Valley in the East. With a vista that will leave you flabbergasted, it’s no wonder why this hike is a crowd favorite.
Water-lovers will rejoice in the peaceful setting of this four-mile hike that starts at a trickling mountain creek and ends at a powerful 69-foot waterfall flanked by sheer cliffs. Talk about bang for your buck. This is a great hike for those who aren’t “hardcore” but still want to see something spectacular during a morning meander
Unique rock formations and geological features make Dragon’s Tooth hike a playground for those who love climbing and exploring nature parkour-style. You definitely won’t get bored on this 4.6-mile trail, where you’ll be challenged with uphill climbs and distracted by the surrounding valley forest and rock outcrops. And of course, get a glimpse of the most notable rock formation on the trail – the 35-foot tall spire tower that locals deem ‘Dragon’s Tooth.’
Hiker Home Base
Only a half hour drive from all these top hiking trails is The Inn at Virginia Tech, a world-class hotel in the heart of Virginia Tech’s campus. Explore the beautiful campus or soak in the old town charm of downtown Blacksburg. Wander past brick facade buildings and discover Blacksburg’s open-air farmers market where you can stock up on hiking snacks and staples before heading out on your next escapade.