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.
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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Reviews For The Mount Pleasant Hike (5 Most Recent)
We did this hike combined with the Cold Mountain loop to make an overnighter. We parked at the Mt. Pleasant trail head, did that loop with only day packs, got back to the cars to get our full packs, and headed over to the Cold Mountain loop to hike to the campsite. We saved the Cold Mountain meadows for last. This hike starts out pleasantly flat before making a gradual ascent to the two summits. Both of them are awesome.....and windy!! Check them both out. I loved seeing the Cold Mountain meadows from the west summit! There are some sweet campsites up there, but it might be too windy for my liking. The second half of the loop heading down to the cars was pretty boring to me, but those views were worth it.
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 29, 2016
I did this hike on a beautiful bluebird day to enjoy the fall foliage and it met all my high expectations. Unfortunately , that is not the reason I am posting this review. Mt Pleasant has been on fire for a week now and the scenic area is closed currently. Inciweb maps indicate that 11000 acres have burned including the Mt Pleasant summit and Cold Mt. So do a little research before heading out to this area for a hike in the future.
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.
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.
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.