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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:
Elev. Gain:
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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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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.

Calculate roughly how many calories you could burn on the Trimble Mountain hike:

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Hiker Reviews For The Trimble Mountain Hike (5 Most Recent)
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By: Kylena Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 23, 2018
This was a lovely hike in the aftermath of our recent snowstorm! Views of surrounding mountains are incredible since there is no foliage on trees yet. Directions were great and even though we were the first boots to break the trail, the route was an easy follow! A few down trees, but nothing too difficult to crawl over!

By: Rainchell Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 12, 2017
Hiked this with a large group of adult and children (5-12). Great family hike! Not much in the way of views, but still enjoyable. Sheltered from wind and fairly easy (all children made it out). I would do this hike again.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, March 24, 2016
I really like this hike. It's not much for stunning views, but it curves around Trimble Mountain and is nice and quiet. Took me a little over two hours, including a 15 min break. I too went right where left was recommended, and would also recommend that - the climb is steep and would have been a bit precarious on the way down.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, March 23, 2016
We also liked this hike very much.

We parked directly across FR95 from the trailhead in the grassy shoulder on the north side of the road. We followed the clockwise path (turned left at the "t") and found the climb to be consistently gradual. A "3-star" difficulty seems reasonable - perhaps a tad high. We took several breaks but just because we are all retired and are frankly not in too much in a hurry. The trail was fairly well-maintained (could use a chainsaw to clear some trees that now block the path). There also were very long stretches with no yellow blazes. It really didn't matter as the trail was clearly evident - might be different in the late fall with leaf debris potentially hiding the trail.

Lots of interesting plants, a few birds on the back side of the hike and, overall, a very pleasant hike. Passed a pond on the way down with a nursery of frog eggs 6-8' in diameter. Interesting place.

This website rates the views as "3-star", which is about right. We are actually not quite sure when we passed the "lookouts" denoted on the map. The lookouts were certainly less evident as on other trails we have hiked. That said, we had nice views when we could sneak a peek through the trees. Might be more difficult after the trees leaf out.

Our party of six has the mountain to ourselves - could have brought our retrievers in hindsight but we prefer to scout out new hikes first before including them. They would have been fine on this hike...and will join us next time.

Saw a small bear grazing on the east slope of the Todd Lake embankment while we were relaxing afterwards. 1st one of the year.

All in all, a good day in the GWNP.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 18, 2014
The marked parking space on the trail head now is with the "No Parking" sign. We have to walk up half a mile near the Todd Lake recreation area (also closed) to park car outside the gate. The trail is fairly easy to walk through, our four children aged from 5 to 8 all completed on their own in 3 hours. The starting point elevation is 1,935 ft. (by our Garmin eTrex 30), the highest point is 2,600 ft., so the gain is about 700 ft., vs. the 1050 ft. gain claimed on intro page. It is a fun family trip.

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