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Hiker Comments for the Cove Mountain Hike - 1 to 8 of 8   
Average Rating:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 7, 2019
I hiked this counterclockwise.

As previous reviewers have said, the conditions on non AT portions are still pretty good. Also as previous reviewer said, plenty of spiderwebs. I also found many micro/tiny bugs (maybe ticks, couldn't tell as they were very small) crawling on my the rest of the night. This was after I took a shower and then took a bath.

The hike was very dry when I did it in late summer, Little Cove Creek was not running and Jennings Creek was very very low. My intent was to see sunset on the ridge, the outcrop just north of the AT shelter would have been perfect for sunset. I got there a bit too early so I continued on and ended up passing all the good vistas to the west by the time I reached the Little Cove Mountain junction. I ended exploring the AT SOBO all the way till the Cove Mountain Peak and it was all just a green tunnel.

Full trip report here:

By: Patrick Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 10, 2019
It was a great hike on a good day with great weather in the mountains. We only encountered two other people on the hike. There were a couple of things that we did notice during the hike. This hike will be an amazing hike in the fall and winter if seeking solitude from the crowds going to Shenandoah.

1. The trails, especially the unblazed trail and the Glenwood Horse Trail are in very good shape. Somebody has been doing an amazing job of maintaining those trails. They are in really good shape. Thank you to the maintainer, who is keeping these trails in really good shape.

2. There is a yellow jacket nest on the Little Cove Mountain about a mile from the end of the hike. A couple of people in our group got stung. Please be careful out there if you decide to do this hike.

I am definitely going to do this hike in the winter for the winter time views, which are going to be awesome when the leaves are off the trail.

By: Wrong Pocket Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 28, 2019
My 9 year old son and I hiked this trail backwards from directions. Clockwise, due to my knees donít like descending steeper hills which is on the return trip as listed. I probably would have been ok to do it either way, but if you do it backwards or clockwise you will definitely climb the steeper sections first, probably a solid 2.7 miles. Then you reach the AT and turn right and then itís just a nice steady decline the rest of the trip back. We stopped a little more than halfway up near Glenwood Horse Trail for lunch, then again when we got to the cove mountain shelter to hang our hammocks and rest a for about an hour. Whole trip took us about 6 hours. Very nice waterfalls near end of hike, or beginning if you go listed way. Also a few nice views along the ridge, which would definitely be nicer when foliage is off trees in fall or early spring. Never saw the first hiker. Plan on going back and camping somewhere, maybe near the shelter to make a nice little 2 day trip. Would like to see if the following the trail listed on route then turning left on the Glenwood Horse Trail and following it until you get to the cove mountain trail would avoid more of the steep sections. And if there may be water somewhere through that section, which would be nice to refill and cut some weight. If I try it I will repost my findings. As stated only water is at beginning of trail, so camel up before you begin. I packed 2 liters for each of us which was fine. Overall nice little trail, some of everything. My son enjoyed it and had fun in Jennings Creek near the parking area when we finished. Directions were also very good. Thanks!

By: Diego S Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Solid hike. Using the provided directions, you will not get lost, The unmarked trails are easy to follow and in good condition (except for countless spiderwebs).

Other than the 3 to 4 campsites along Little Cove Creek just past the footbridge, the only other spot for camping is at the AT Shelter. There is also one small campsite across the trail from the AT shelter.

I noted somewhere from 3 to 5 nice view points,all from the AT shelter to the blue trail. Difficulty rating is accurate.

By: Jimboh Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 22, 2018
Overall a nice hike. The directions given here were great and easy to follow. The steep ascents are broken up by some sections of level ground which keeps it from being too difficult. Only saw a few other hikers on the AT section of trail. Good option if you are looking for something away from the crowds.

By: Richmonder Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 20, 2018
This one is a gem. Four of us did this hike on a beautiful April weekday and there was plenty of foot traffic on the AT section of the trail, but it never felt crowded. Lots of really fantastic camping spots worth checking out, especially at the tail end of the descent where the trail follows a stream back to the road. The views along the ridge are spectacular. This is long enough and steep enough to be challenging for beginners, but definitely doable as a day hike for most folks.

This is a bit far for a simple day hike from Richmond, but would make a great addition to a weekend camping trip or a stay at a nearby B&B.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 21, 2017
I recently discovered this hike on the site and quickly hit the trail with our Scout troop. We arrived Friday night at dusk and found two campsites within the first couple hundred yards from the road. Both sites have established fire rings, but they are small and only allow for for 4-5 tents each.

Setting out Saturday morning to day hike the loop, we took a minimum of gear and made the loop in about 5.5 hours with some very green hikers. This included a long pause at the AT shelter to enjoy lunch. The trail was a blend of everything water feature, strong elevation gain, ridge lines, good views, and a nice gradual drop back to the beginning.

A really great hike and camping experience.

By: John Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
It is a pleasure to be the 1st reviewer of this wonderful hike. Our group of "elder hikers" really enjoyed this hike and consider it one of our new favorites...just like the nearby Apple Orchard Falls.

We enjoyed the fact that the loop utilized four separate trails. All of the trails were well-maintained - we came across only one blowdown over the entire hike. The trails were also well-marked although the blazes on the AT were less frequent than what we have come to expect. The length of the hike was perfect (7.5-8.0 miles) as was the difficulty level (of 3). We ran into two other hikers, both on the AT segment. The waterfall was nice at the beginning and we enjoyed following Little Cove Creek on the way back.

The instructions provided here on HU were perfect...Once leaving Jennings Creek, you will face several "Y's" on the "un-marked trail" - just go right each time. The initial ascent up Cove Mountain (primarily on the Glenwood Horse Trail, some on the AT) was fairly gradual. The ridge walk on the AT was quite pleasant - nice views to the west and north - although the final ascent to the junction of the AT and the blue-blazed Cove Mountain Trail (elev 2,525') has us breathing heavy. A nice, steady descent from there on the Cove Mountain Trail brought us back to the bridge over Jennings Creek (elev 1,100').

The shelter (about 1/2 way through the hike on the AT) was very privy and a sturdy picnic table for lunch.

We will certainly do this one again - and wonder why this hike hasn't generated more interest on this site.

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