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)
The forecast for Amherst, VA yesterday was highs in low 40s..... However, at the trail head for Mt. Pleasant our car suggested it was 24 degrees out. We started with the entrance on the left and had a good climb right from the start getting us warmed up. There were many icy patches to navigate on the path up to the summit. It was beautiful, but very cold.
Date of Hike: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Getting to the trail: Like my review of Cole Mtn last year, I would recommend a vehicle with higher ground clearance, or AWD vehicle since the unpaved road to the trail is narrow and there are some bumpy spots. Be sure to drive past the Cole Mtn parking area and go to the Mount Pleasant trailhead area.
Route: I forgot my HU trail map so I just hit the left trailhead and thought we would go clockwise. This is different than the HU suggested route, but it makes the first half of the hike slower and more difficult and makes the return trip nice and easy. The trails are marked well. I visited the east summit first and explored around it some. The rock climb up to the west summit isn't that difficult. The wind was definitely stronger at that height. The views are amazing. And since we went in the afternoon, we passed quite a few people on the way back, but there was only one person at the summit 2 hours before sunset.
I had hoped that the fall foliage would be better, but the trees on the surrounding mountains and valleys were still in greens and yellows. A lot of leaves had fallen on the trail, in some places the trail was slick and the rocks covered up, so it's definitely something to watch out for. For this year, the weekend of the 20th or 27th might be peak for fall color.
If you've done Cole Mtn, this is a very similar hike in time and difficulty. The views are different, so each hike has something to offer.
Date of Hike: Monday, June 04, 2012
My friend and I hiked the Mt. Pleasant loop, along with the Cold Mountain loop, as part of a two day trip. We stayed at the summit of Mt. Pleasant, exploring all available campsites. We noted multiple (4-5) campsites near the east overlook and stayed there. To find this area, just before the east overlook, you will see a fire pit off to your left. If you follow a path which runs from there back due west (u-turn and parallel to the blue blazed trail in), you will find great, FLAT campsites under the laurel and out of the wind. The location was ideal with superb views east and south and night views of Amherst in the distance. Couldn't have been better! In our view, this is the best place to camp at the summit.
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 29, 2012
I proposed at the top. She said Yes!
Great Hike! Beautiful views. Moderately easy trail. Either route from the parking lot will prove a good hike. Then take the other route on the way down for different views.
Dual summit is cool. If you camp at/near the top, you get the effect of a summit for the sunrise and another great view for sunset.
I've done the hike 8 times now, and will continue to visit it a few times a year.
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 07, 2012
Took my 12 year old son on this hike. It was my fourth time there but his first. This has always been one of my favorite hikes and I couldn't wait to share it with him. Great day for hiking except that the wind was so strong at the top that our knit caps were nearly blown off our heads.