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Mount Pleasant - Oronoco, Virginia

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
5.5 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
3.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
1,350 ft
George Washington National Forest
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From VA634/Coffey Town Rd: Right onto gravel VA755/Wiggins Spring Rd. following the Mount Pleasant Sign, In 1.3 miles VA755 enters the GWNF and becomes FS48, In 1.4 miles from entering the GWNF pass a small parking area on the left where the AT crosses the road, It may be necessary to park here if the seasonal gate is closed. Continue 0.2 miles turn right at the sign for the Mount Pleasant trailhead, park in 100 yards at the trailhead. 37.75891, -79.18876

A short day hike suitable for most fitness levels. Mount Pleasant has both an east and west summit, each with spectacular views. Designated by congress in 1994 as the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area, the trails are kept in fantastic shape by the NBATC. For the campers, the ridge has several large campsites suitable for multiple tents.

At the parking area there are three trail heads. The two Henry Lanum Memorial trails pass through wooden horse gates. Take the right Henry Lanum Memorial Trail. You will return down the left one. Once passing through the gate the blue blazed trail is mostly flat for the first 1.1 miles. Make sure to follow the blue blazes at 1.1 miles as the trail turns off the old FS road to the right, then in 0.1 miles arrives at a trail junction.

Turn left uphill following the sign and blue blazed trail. This is the steepest section of the trail where it traverses up the mountain arriving at the ridge in 1.0 miles, and intersection of the Mount Pleasant Summit Trail. Stay straight on the blue blazed Mount Pleasant Summit Trail, and in 40 yards pass a trail marked 'Water' on the left that heads downhill to a seasonal spring. Continue on the Mount Pleasant Summit Trail as it winds its way up the mountain.

In 0.3 miles be alert to follow the trail back to the left, the old summit trail continues straight. In another 0.2 miles arrive at the saddle between the two peaks. Make sure to visit them both!

The westerly summit, turning right at the saddle, has two small campsites, the second just before the overlook. Keep in mind that because of its geology the Mount Pleasant summit can experience strong winds. Also, to reach the overlook at the westerly summit you have to scramble 7 feet up through a rock scree.

Return back down from the summit to the Henry Lanum Memorial Trail intersection. Turn right, along the ridge towards Pompey Mountain. There are two large campsites within the first 0.1 miles. In 0.8 miles, and at the high point of Pompey Mountain, take the unmarked trail to the right for 75 yards to a rock outcrop and views to the northeast.

Return to the Henry Lanum Memorial Trail, turn right, and now head downhill for 0.5 miles before the trail heads to the left along the ridge for another 0.4 miles, then descends the remaining 0.7 miles back to the parking area.
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Hiker Reviews For The Mount Pleasant Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 08, 2016
GREAT hike and is a Virginia hiking highlight!!! Regarding mileage error. I carried my GPS and found the mileage was correct, matching the sign at the trail head. The loop is 5.2. If you take the .5 spur trail to East and West peak you will cover an additional 1 mile with a grand total of 6.2. I would rate this hike as easy to moderate. When you're at the West peak you can look over and see the hikers on Cole Mountain. Definitely pack a camera and binoculars. You can see FOREVER!!!!

The parking lot and the adjacent road can be crowded. The road leading to the trail head is rough but a 2WD drive car can make the trip up the mountainside. Would not suggest a car that doesn't have normal/reasonable ground clearance.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 08, 2016
I did this hike as part of a 2 day hike with Cole Mtn (Cold Mtn on this website). I started on Cole mtn and finished on Mt Pleasant summit where I set up camp. There are actually 3 camp sites on the summit, one on each end and the one in the middle that is on the map. Parts of the trail are very muddy. The trail going to the summit is a mudbog from the snow melt so be prepared for that going into the rainy season.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 20, 2016
This hike was spectacular though longer than the website suggests. The Henry Lanum Trail marker at the beginning of the hike states that Pompey mountain is 1.6 miles to the left and that Mt. Pleasant is 2.6 miles to the right with the entire loop being 5.2 miles. We began the trail by heading to the right. After some time(i'm a terrible judge of time while hiking) we reached a trail maker stating that the summit is .5 miles ahead. (And let me tell you it's the hardest half mile of the hike.) Also at this trail maker there is a split in the trail. You can follow it up to the summit or continue on left. Another trail maker suggests that you've walked 2.8 miles and continuing along the trail will take you another 3.5 miles. So added up the total loop would actually be 6.3 miles with another mile added to get to the Eastern and Western summits making this hike closer to 7.3 miles in total. There was some snow on the ground when we hiked even though the temperature peaked at 65 making this hike a little harder than it would be in spring or summertime while also making it much more comfortable then it would be in higher temperatures. Although it's longer than the website suggests I assure you that the summits are worth every step.

By: Jam H Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, January 01, 2016
This was a great day hike. It took us about 3 hours and change to complete the loop, stopping at the west summit for a few photos. The hike had some great views at the top and several small stream crossings at the beginning of the circuit. I kept thinking of how nice this hike would be in the spring and summer when everything is in bloom. We will definitely be doing this hike again once the weather warms up. The trail was very well marked and was not very difficult or technical in any area. It looked like there were some great places to camp as well. I plan on hiking the sister trail, Cold Mountain, and planning a backpacking trip for this spring and summer. Overall great hike to start off the new year. The hike was not super crowded but we did run into a few groups of people near the summit. I would highly recommend this hike because of the views, variation of terrane, and it was a nice distance (not too long, not too short).

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 01, 2015
Great hike. Went with four other people and the weather turned out to be great. Did the whole loop and went to both summits on Mt Pleasant. I would like to point out that there seems to be some discrepancies with the mileage. the sign at the trailhead says the loop is 5.2mi, but when you get to the middle where it splits off to the summit, there's another sign that says 2.8mi back one way and 3.5mi the other, equaling 6.3mi. Then it's about .5mi up to the summit and then another .5mi back (plus the distance between East and West summit). So thats about 7.5 miles total. My group made the mistake of parking at the upper lot which was about .4 miles from the trailhead, adding .8mi overall to our excursion. Grand total equaling 8.1mi for us, by far the biggest hike i've done, but well worth it. We took the north half first, which was pretty intense hill wise, but that knocked out Pompey on the way to Pleasant. Taking the southern route on the way back was a great plan. You're rewarded with great rock formations, many creeks (i ended up with wet feet), and the trial is nice and gradual for the most part. I didnt go, but there's a water source at the mid-point where you can refill. Overall a great way to spend a day.

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