This 4.7-mile loop marked by blue blazes follows the Henry Lanum Memorial Trail, traversing Pompey Mountain before reaching the summit of Mount Pleasant.
Near the summit, two overlooks provide an east-facing and west-facing view. Large, flat rocks serve as perfect seats for the spectacular panorama. However, the westerly summit requires a seven-foot rock scramble. Keep an eye out for rare peregrine falcons.
Note that the U.S. Forest Service recommends high-clearance vehicles as the road to the trailhead is steep and rocky.
For an extended trip, combine with the nearby Appalachian Trail at Cole Mountain for a total of 12 miles.
Also within the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area, the Old Hotel Trail is a 3.2-mile hike that offers views of surrounding peaks and passes through old rock walls from long-abandoned hog farms. For another extended loop, connect with the Appalachian Trail. — By Hannah Gillespie
In addition to the natural treasures, this trail meanders through history by taking visitors through the Swede Tunnel, constructed in 1922. The tunnel and trail is a part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nationwide network of hiking and biking trails built on unused or abandoned railway paths. The Guest River Gorge Trail has been reclaimed from the old Norfolk Southern railbed and transformed into a beautiful hike along the Guest River.
This trail is not steep, and with a crushed stone surface it is an easy-to-moderate hike and a great option for bikers. Trout fishing, canoeing and kayaking are permitted in the Guest River. — By Sara Crouch