Hidden Valley in Bath County VA is one more hidden gem in the crown of mid-Atlantic hiking. There are many interconnecting trails in the valley itself, as well as a campground at the Forest Service Hidden Valley Recreation Area. The post-Civil War love story Sommersby was also filmed at Hidden Valley with Richard Gere and Jodi Foster in 1993. Once a year we'll hike this area and spend the weekend in our favorite B&B Gristmill Square just a few miles away. The food and staff are fantastic.
The printable map has green, yellow, and red trails that are no longer maintained and now pass through private property. They are listed for reference only and are no longer part of the trail system.
Start out on the blue blazed Cobbler Mountain Trail as it ascends then descends the spur before arriving at a wooden footbridge that crosses Chimney Run in 0.7 miles. Cross the run and continue left on the blue blazed trail as it follows Chimney Run downstream. The trail to the right dead-ends on private property within 0.2 miles.
Follow the blue blazed Cobbler Mountain Trail for 2.0 miles as it winds along the bottom of Cobbler Mountain with Chimney Run to the left before passing through a wetland area and descending to the intersection of the blue blazed Muddy Run Trail. Turn left on the Muddy Run Trail for 0.1 miles where the trail ends at the Hidden Valley Trail and where a small wooded footbridge crosses Muddy Run.
At this point you can take one of two trails back downstream on either side of the Jackson River. For the Jackson River Gorge Trail on the opposite back of Jackson river cross Muddy Run on the footbridge and in another 0.2 miles arrive at a large suspension bridge that crosses Jackson River.
Cross Jackson River on the suspension bridge and turn left on the Jackson River Gorge Trail as it follows Jackson River downstream and arrives at a closed gate in 1.8 miles. Pass the closed gate and turn left on the gravel road and shortly cross Jackson River over a concrete ford. Continue to follow Hidden Valley Road for 1.2 miles. The road will become paved then pass the Hidden Valley GWNF campground on your right before you arrive back at the Cobbler Mountain Trail parking area.
Interactive Hike Map BelowPrintable
Topo Hike Map (PDF)
Hike route in Drag the map with your mouse using the icon Zoom with the controls on the left Mouse-over the icons in the map below for location shots
Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Hidden Valley hike:
Reviews For The Hidden Valley Hike (5 Most Recent)
This was a very enjoyable hike. The views of the river are amazing. The trails are marked clearly, but I would suggest taking the map posted on this site. The location of the swinging bridge wasn't marked on any signs that we could find.
Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 16, 2011
An easy hike for the entire family, easy climbs, good quality trails, and some very nice vistas. The trail description was very accurate, and we had never any doubts as where to go. The swinging bridge is a highlight for kids, of course, yet no too high for anyone to cross. For those who have eyes to see, some wildlife (deer, rabbits) can be spotted.
I would suggest to leave the car in the parking near the concrete ford, it is easier to climb the road at the beginning of your hike than at the end.-)
For those interested in geocaching, a cache is right on the trail (GC1H8D4 Kids Hidden Valley Cache (http://coord.info/http://coord.info/GC1H8D4))
Thank you for this one!
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 30, 2010
We took on the more difficult 7.0 mile route.
After crossing the stream, you need to decide what route to take up the mountain. The route suggested by HikingUpward actually takes you through private land, which we were uncomfortable with. If you take the route suggested by Hiking Upward, you hang a right after the stream.
We took a left, followed the trail a bit more, than decided to go straight up - no trail, no blazes. The hill is do-able, but in a few places we did have to crawl up.
When you are 4/5 the way to the top, you will run into a trail. Although you are trying to head NW, you need to take the trail east (left). It'll take you to the top of the ridge in no time.
Once at the time, there are blazes. Follow the ridge NW. Even though it was fall, we could not see much of a view. Had dinner at the top though :).
Going down is just as tricky as going up. I could not imagine going down when it wasn't autumn, we used the leave cover to our advantage to slide down. We went 15 degrees west of north and just slide down, using trees to stop our slide. On your way down, you will see a rocky ledge to your left. We went to the right of this and found that below the rocky ledge is an awesome rock formation! Giant rocks are slanted onto each other, forming a mini cave. It is not hard to get into the cave.
Keep sliding down until you get to the stream. If for some reason you do not want to cross to get to the trail, the trail eventually crosses onto your side.
The whole hike, from the campsite and back, took us about 6 hours. We are not experienced campers, this is the first time I used the compass while hiking.
L. P. Thomas
Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The part of this hike that is labeled as difficult is not really a trail and leaves the National Forest and trespasses on private land. There is no maintenance and should not be recommended as a trail for the public. The lower "easy" Cobbler Mountain trail is the real trail and is signed and maintained by the National Forest and is entirely on public land.
The actual Cobbler Mountain Trail is a very enjoyable, hike, with the reward of seeing Muddy Run and the Jackson River at the end.