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Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area, NC

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
4.3 mls N/A N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:
2 hours and 15 minutes with 30 minutes of breaks
1,416 ft
Mount Jefferson State Natural Area
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Park at the Sunset Overlook. 36.40173, -81.46991

By Trail Contributor: Zach Robbins (Contact Zach)

Mt. Jefferson looms more than 1,000 feet over the small towns of Jefferson and West Jefferson in the South Fork New River Valley. The state natural area (and National Natural Landmark) only covers the top half of the mountain but boasts outstanding views and impressive ecological diversity. Until 2015, the only hiking available in the park was a short 2-mile loop at the summit.

Recently the Mountain Ridge Trail was constructed, climbing from the park office past two wonderful overlooks on its way to the summit loop. This trail gives you the option to extend an otherwise short and easy hike, attaining the overlooks via foot rather than vehicle. Sitting at the northeast edge of the Amphibolite Range, the Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area has many great views of the region, most notably the craggy Three Top Mountain, Bluff Mountain, Grandfather Mountain, and Whitetop Mountain in Virginia. If you decide to bypass the longer hike for the short summit loop be sure to stop at the Jefferson Overlook for the best view in the park.

Mid April
Mt. Jefferson Hike Comments
Archived Comments

By: Rachel Bowman Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 25, 2016
Rangers at the New River State Park recommended we come here. No one was at the office and the longer hike is not on the maps yet. Didn't see signs for the longer hike so just did the summit loop. Pretty easy and the views were really amazing. Looks like there would be lots of flowers later in the spring, but not much for green plants or leaves yet. Had already run 6 miles and hiked 3 miles earlier in the day so legs were tired. Definitely recommend hitting if in the area. If don't have time to do the hike at least drive up and check out the views.

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