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Trimble Mountain - Todd Lake, Virginia


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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
4.0 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
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3.0 hours with 1/2 hour for lunch
1,050 ft
George Washington National Forest
Todd Lake Recreation Area
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e.g.. 12000 Government Center Parkway 22035 or Fairfax VA
These directions take you to the entrance of the GWNF.
From there follow the directions below:

After entering the GWNF paved FDR95 will veer left, stay left on FDR95 for 3.0 miles, and park at the turnout before the trailer dump turnout on FDR95. Do Not park in the dump station turnout.

The Trimble Mountain loop is an easy to moderate loop situated just opposite the Todd Lake Recreation Area on FDR95. There are several views of Big Bald Knob and Little Bald Knob on the western section of the loop. At the end of the circuit, the short climb up to the Lake Todd dam embankment offers a beautiful lunch spot, and view of the lake.

The Trimble Mountain Hike is just one of many hikes that are located in the Todd Lake area. A great weekend plan is to come in on a Saturday and hike Trimble Mountain, take a dip in Todd Lake, camp at the Todd Lake campground, then hike the North River Gorge circuit early Sunday before leaving.

The Todd Lake Campground has clean shower and restroom facilities, as well as a sandy beach and picnic area at the lake. The campsites are $16 per/night, and are on a first come first served basis. Reservations are not accepted. If the campsite is full, there are numerous free camping spots available along the North River off FDR95. Todd Lake Recreation Area is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

From the parking area walk up to the turnout, cross FDR95 and start up the yellow blazed Trimble Mountain Trail. In 400ft the Trimble Mountain Trail will split at a clearing. We recommend going to the left, or clockwise, as it's less steep on the ascent, and the best views are on the westerly descent of the mountain.

After turning left, the trail will gradually climb Trimble Mountain becoming steeper before arriving at the ridge in 1.2 miles. The trail will follow the ridge climbing the northern summit, before passing through a saddle and climbing over the southerly summit.

As the trail begins to descend the westerly section of Trimble Mountain, there are two good vistas of Big Bald and Little Bald Mountains to the west. The trail will then descend more steeply before arriving back at the clearing, and beginning of the loop 1.0 miles from the last vista. Stay left returning to the parking area in another 400ft.

Lake View Out/Back: After returning to the parking area make sure to continue following the yellow blazed trail up to the crest of the dam for a beautiful view of Todd Lake and lunch spot.

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Hiker Reviews For The Trimble Mountain Hike (5 Most Recent)
Review the Trimble Mountain hike here!   Average Rating:   Share Hike: 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Overall a nice hike. Was put off a little at first by the NO PARKING signs at the dump station. I had passed a ranger on the way in, so I backtracked and asked him where I should park. HE SAID just don't park BEHIND the NO PARKING signs. He said parking on the grass along the street or in front of the sign is 100% acceptable. The main thing they have issue with is blocking the dump station. As long as there is room for a trailer to go through you won't be ticketed. The hike itself was pretty good. We're in the middle of summer at the moment and there were essentially no views, but we saw a decent amount of wildlife. The right side path is much, much steeper and feels a little sketchy when you're tired from the hike up. All-in-all a great morning hike!

By: Garry Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, February 23, 2012
DO NOT PARK AT THE TRAILER DUMP STATION. You are risking a ticket if you do.  I just got home from hiking this and had my truck parked at the dump station but off the gravel out of the way not blocking anything.  Was walking up just as a ranger was getting out to my truck.  Luckily she didn't give me a ticket but said no parking there at all.  There is a pull off a couple hundred yards before the dump station where you can park. 

By: Rachel Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 30, 2011
Nice easy hike that took less than 2 hours.  You can see the lake if you cross the road as instructed and walk up the dam.  The lake is not on the trail but across the road from the trail head.  Would recommend this one for the fall after the leaves are off, better views.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 18, 2011
Three novice hikers did this trial starting about 2PM. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. We went right when the recommendation said left and so we up the steeper path. In the end, we felt like that was the better way for us as we would have been nervous coming down the steeper path at the end when we were tired.

Word of warning, there is no place on this hike that opens up to a lake, so beware that the photo you see on this hikes page of a nice place to sit and overlook the lake is not on this hike.


By: Woods Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 06, 2011
Hiking Trimble Mountain was kind of a spur of the moment thing and I was not disappointed. Over all the hike took around three hours (counting a half an hour break for lunch) and was generally not that difficult of a hike. The trail head was not hard to find and the hike was kept interesting because one there was still snow at the high elevations and two just when you think you've made it to the top you dip into a valley and begin up another summit. On both these summits there really is no clear of the other mountains but if you're willing to give it a little effort the view is beautiful.

I would defiantly recommend this trail to novice hikers as it is a good way to slowly build up mountain hiking skill without to much strain.


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Late July
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