Hoop Hole is located about 30 miles west of Lexington VA. on the eastern side of Pine Mountain. The Hoop Hole circuit is actually two loops, the lower 3.8 mile loop follows two streams and is the more scenic with rhododendron and small swimming holes, and can be combined with the upper loop to make a 9.7 mile circuit.
The Hoop Hole circuit can also be accessed from the Roaring Run Recreation Area by taking the out/back Iron Ore trail. This will add 4.8 miles and make a total circuit hike of 14.5 miles from Roaring Run.
The hiking directions on this page are for the 9.7 mile circuit starting at VA615/Craig Creek Rd. The yellow blazed Hoop Hole trail starts from the left of the parking area passing the informational kiosk, and in 250 yards reaches the intersection for the lower loop.
Turn left as the trail heads uphill and begins to follow Hipes Branch Creek. In 1.3 miles from the intersection arrive at the best camping spot on the circuit on the banks of Hipes Branch Creek. Continue uphill for 0.7 miles and arrive at the intersection of the upper loop and cut over trail.
NOTE. As of July 2010 the upper section of the trail, before arriving at the ridge, has a significant amount of Stinging Nettles. Long pants are highly recommended.
Turn left uphill on the upper loop as it winds up the valley. As you get near the top there will be a small saddle between Bald Knob and Pine Mountain. Stay to the left to remain on the yellow blazed upper loop trail.
After arriving at the ridge follow the trail to the right where there are several views through the trees to the east. The trail will follow the ridge for 1.2 miles before beginning the descent on the eastern side of Pine Mountain. In 0.5 miles after stating the decent reach the yellow blazed Iron Ore Trail that leads to Roaring Run in 2.4 miles.
Turn right remaining on the upper loop trail and continue descending for 1.5 miles to a large group campsite situated on a spur. In another 0.4 miles reach the intersection of the lower and cut over trails. Stay left downhill as the lower loop trail crosses over Stony Run several times then returns to the beginning of the loop in 1.2 miles. Turn left and return to the parking area in 250 yards.