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Hiker Reviews for the Fortunes Cove Hike - 1 to 44 of 44   
Review the Fortunes Cove hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Kevin g Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, December 26, 2018
This is a great hike but there are dozens of places where huge trees make the trail impassable so be prepared for slow and tricky going on the upper section and also challenging to see the trail. Beautiful day but much tougher hike than normal due to downed trees.

By: Drew Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 18, 2018
So many big trees down across the trail. Made it an adventure, but very slow going. Probably not best for small children at this time.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 18, 2018
This is a challenging hike. Bring plenty of water if it is warm, and be prepared to start climbing right from the outset, if you do it in the preferable, counter-clockwise way. We did the upper loop, and it was a hard 3.5 hours of steady walking, with a brief pause at the radio translator at the summit. The descent was hard as well, with lots of steps based on round posts anchored in the soil. The blazing is excellent, but the trail could use some maintenance, including a chain sawyer to clear the 2-3 large trunks fallen across and blocking the trail. At the ridge at the top, the trail was overgrown, with poison ivy and other weeds, in several short sections. In the summer, you are usually shaded, but there are very few views.

By: Lea Ann Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 28, 2018
Loved this hike! The mountain laurels in bloom were magical. There are lots of rocks on the trail up going counterclockwise which made it very fun but I wouldn't want to come down on that side, way too hard on the quads having to balance. Even though the descent is steeper going counterclockwise it is a smoother trail with some steps. The apres hike at the Mountain Cove winery was fantastic. They'll fill your water bottles and let you use the facilities even if not partaking in the free samples.

By: Shari Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 17, 2018
Loved this hike!! This was an excellent hike with a lot of great views. I would say it was pretty strenuous. You are basically hiking up the whole way, get a little ridge walking in, and then it's back down again. When you are hiking down, the scope of the mountains is almost dizzying. It was very secluded when we hiked it, although snow had been forecasted so I'm not sure how busy it gets if the weather is nicer. I hiked this trail with 4 others and we all had a great time. Definitely would recommend it!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, December 18, 2017
A great hike. Did the outer loop (5.3 miles). Very steep and I rate this as a "5" in difficulty.--not "4" as stated. Very steep and narrow trails--only a few areas where hikers could stand abreast, side-by-side. The view from the ridgeline trail was awesome--especially looking west to see "The Priest" on the Appalachian Trail. The summit (High Top Mtn), where the towers are, was disappointing but we lunched at the nearby trail intersection and that was pleasant. Water is available but involves steep climbs down off trail. Recommended loop is counterclockwise which is long but steep followed by Ridgeline trail to the Towers. Route down then becomes very steep. Naturally, we did the opposite--we went clockwise--the shorter steep climb to the towers. I'm better going up than down so this was the right choice for me. No foliage on my hike, so all views were nice but I think other than on the Ridgeline, when foliage is out the views must be less spectacular. Mountain Laurel was abundant and there is a nice walk thru a grove. I was impressed by the care taken of the trail and markings are abundant and visible. Bottom line: put this trail on your list.

By: Lower loop trail Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 3, 2017
We wanted a quick but pretty hike so we did the lower loop trail of fortunes cove. It was so beautiful this time of year! We put in fortunes cove preserve in google maps and the parking lot was so easy to find and the trailhead is just up the road a little from there. The hike is very close to Charlottesville which is also nice. There was not an amazing view if that is what you are looking for. The lower loop trail is more beautiful due to the solitude and nature around you. It took us around an hour and 30 minutes without breaks. We were confused when the trail finished and spit us out on a road. However, if you take a left going downhill on the road and just keep going (around the gate), you will end up at the parking lot. Seriously recommend!

By: Run n hike Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 20, 2017
Lovely views on a mild day. Went in with intention of a trail run and did some, but hiked several portions because of the grade, both steep incline and steep descent with stairs that I could not run.. Note when driving there you'll see winery sign at a fork in the road, stay left on single lane gravel road. Time with running and hiking was about 1 hour 40 minutes.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 19, 2017
My hiking group was looking forward to this hike all month! However, DO NOT GO HIKE HERE UNTIL IT IS COLDER! We were swarmed and attacked by yellow jackets two miles in! We saw them out in the woods off the trail for awhile but thought nothing of it, then we must have come across a nest on the trail and aggravated them. All five us got stung very badly. We had to cut our hike short and do the smaller Loop. We saw yellow jackets throughout the hike and noticed wherever there were sun spots on the trail they were packed together on the trail.

I heard (afterwards) of other hikes having a warning sign for aggressive yellow jackets but this trailhead had no warnings. It would have been a beautiful hike otherwise. We'll hopefully try it again in the winter.

By: Kris Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 9, 2017
Map My ride measured the Yellow loop we did at 5.82 miles with 1572' elevation gain. We did the spur to the overlook, but it's not that far. Hiked the loop counter clockwise and there is absolutely no streams or access to water until about the last mile, when you cross 2 creeks close to the bottom. The creeks were very low flow this time of year, but in a pinch you could get some water from them. Took us about 4 hours 15 minutes to hike this yellow loop and stopped at least 15 minutes for lunch. Hikers we passed doing the trail clockwise we met back in the parking area and they had been out over 6 hours. No water or toilet facilities at the trail head. Beautiful trail and views. There was a lot of under growth along the ridge facing east with plenty of poison ivy. Would do it again.

By: SnakPak Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, May 25, 2017
Hiked the 5.3 mile loop trail on a cool May evening. Took 2 hours 15 minutes at a quick pace and minimal breaks.. I really enjoyed the serenity of the area. Beautiful and peaceful area and a few wildflowers were blooming. The hike also provided a nice workout. Some views were obscured by the leaves but overall very enjoyable.

By: Katiec24 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 19, 2017
This was a great loop. There were vistas throughout the trail and it was a good challenge. The overlook at Hightop Mountainwas definitely cool, but weird that it was a shared space with cell phone and radio station towers with warning signs up About emissions. Also, when you go downhill and are returning back to the parking lot, DO NOT turn left on the gravel road as the directions say. My husband and I were a little mislead and ended up trespassing on someone's property because of that. Just cross the gravel road and keep following the trail signs! It is a very well marked trail, which we appreciated, until hiking Upward lead us astray. On a positive note, The day was great and we had some clouds and sunlight in the mid 50s. It was quiet and peaceful and a challenge with the ascent.

By: Horsedoc Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Write up on upward hike is very accurate. Well marked trails, few hikers and a challenging initial ascent. Around 45 minutes from Charlottesville but worth the drive. Multiple mountain laurel "tunnels' that must be beautiful in the spring. Did not see any wildlife but did see where turkeys were scratching in the leaves. Trail is kept so well it is almost manicured.

By: Marc R Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 22, 2016
Three friends hiked today - 50 degrees, sunny and windy.  We hiked counterclockwise starting behind the large Fortune's Cove wood / stone sign.  If you are a regular hiker, you would find this not very challenging, but for beginners it is challenging with several steep parts.  A few good views.  No running streams today. Yellow trail is well marked - you can't get lost. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 26, 2015
My wife and I hiked this site today and found it to be quite difficult. We hiked the longer loop. It could easily be a 5 on the difficulty scale, but I must say we are in our mid 60's so younger folk may not find it that tough. Kudos to the Nature Conservancy, the trail was very well kept, the trail markers were numerous and easier to follow than color blazes painted on trees. Our suggestion would be to hike this trail when the trees shed their leaves or early spring before full foliage occurs,the views would be much more spectacular if the trees were not in full leaf. Overall, this trail is worth the effort and very enjoyable!

By: Ken D Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 9, 2015
I walked this with my wife and daughter and was very pleasantly surprised. It's not long but has a good climb. The views were good, though it was difficult to see west through the leaves. The trail up is enjoyable...not rocky, a good variety of switchbacks, straight stretches, and some ups and downs. The walk down was initially much steeper than we anticipated but eventually leveled out. Weather was great, flowers are beginning to bloom...all in all a great short hike for the family.

By: Shawn R. Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
I took the outer loop and it was a fairly difficult, but enjoyable hike.  The hike itself was very neat and fun, but I cannot speak for the views.  I am quite confident that there were good views, but unfortunately there was very thick fog along the ridgeline, so I could not see anything aside from at the first opening (because it was at a lower elevation).  The trail is very well marked, so it would be difficult to get lost.  If you are looking for solitude, you should find it here, as there was nobody else on the trail when I hiked.  The streams and creeks look nice and there is even a beautiful, little waterfall at the end of the trail to top things off.

By: Stephen Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 7, 2015
This trail had a little bit of everything you want in a minimal effort day hike: pleasant views, a few streams, interesting ecology and geology. We hiked on a cloudless 50 degree day with most of the trail still covered in snow. The snow made the hiking itself more difficult than it would have been, but made for a beautiful aesthetic and revealed what critters had been there before us. I was most excited by the big cat and coyote tracks.

By: Holly Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, January 9, 2015
This was overall a really enjoyable hike with some good views, especially so with the leaves off the trees. Once I got onto the upper loop, the leaves got very thick -- they were up to my knees at one point -- and made for some tricky ascents and descents. The stream was frozen and I enjoyed having lunch next to it on the way down. The upper loop took me about 4 hours, including time for lunch seasoned hikers would probably do it quite a bit faster, especially without the leaf cover. I'd love to do this one again in Spring, when those trees at the top are in bloom.

By: Steve Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, December 1, 2014
This is really a nice 3 hour hike or less if you take the lower loop. Add another hour if you do the upper loop. It took us 3 hours but the leaves were so thick on the trail we really had to be careful on the down slopes. No great view but a gook hike in the woods. I think the better views are if you take the upper loop.. The turn off Hwy 29 , 718 is right before the town of Lovinton from I64 so be on the lookout for it. The trail is really marked, so almost impossible to miss the correct way. Good family hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 30, 2014
Beautiful trail, will definitely do this again. Long views with all the leaves down, really nice hike

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 22, 2014
It took my husband and I three and a half hours to hike the upper loop. Weather was great, mid 50's all day, we left the parking lot at noon. The first ascent is not that difficult, but over all I agree that this hike is 4 out of 5 for difficulty. The final ascent was very difficult for me, probably because it's a bit past halfway and I am out of shape. The spur trial to the top is worth the break, because the first mile of the descent was very steep and rough on our knees. Once you get off the mountain the trail ambles around a creek. The creek was very low this late in the fall, but the trail had many helpful bridges built to keep your feet dry. One note: the description doesn't mention but the trail crosses a fire road with a red gate. Cross the road, you will see white markers telling you where the trail continues. Lots of leaves on the trail made a few parts tricky, and this hike does provide many great views in late fall. Only saw five other people the whole time. Would recommend if you want a workout!

By: Kivotos Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, May 30, 2014
Have had this hike on my radar for some time and finally made it out here. It was threatening to rain but never actually did-- unfortunately that meant that it was very humid, so much so that we were in the clouds and missed out on some of the views. Directions and write-up were accurate and quite helpful, the summary from my GPSr is below.

5.4 miles
2 hours 51 minutes (22 min for breaks)
1938 feet elevation gain

The first mile was a pretty intense ascent, followed by a flat-ish half mile, before yet another big climb... could have sworn we made it to the top several times before we actually did. Definitely want to do this hike again but perhaps when there are fewer leaves on the trees.

By: Nick Jensen Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 17, 2014
The hike was more strenuous than I had planned as it was about 7.6 miles long total if you take the outer loop. There are a number of beautiful views and I loved the stream. I only saw one small group of people and other than that I had the trail to myself.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, May 16, 2014
Planned this trip for a short hike that was within driving distance from Charlottesville, Va. As you drive on Fortune Cove Rd, the gravel parking lot is on your right. Park, walk back to the gravel road, turn left, and the trail head will be on the right in a few paces. This hike quickly gains elevation, but is mostly shaded. I was the only hiker there. The views are especially rewarding after so much elevation gain. There is a nice stream that you pass by but don't cross. This is a fairly tough hike, I completed in about 3 hours. When you finish the hike, you will turn left onto a gravel road. It winds downhill, through a field, and then you must pass through a gate and past a house. I felt as though I was intruding on someone's property, but I was on the right path, just had to follow the gravel road for awhile and then you will see the parking lot. I would recommend this hike to anyone!

Also, I lost my sunglasses on the hike. They are brown with no other markings. If found, please contact me! Sidenote: Th

ere is also a nearby winery, Mountain Cove Vineyards - which has a port-a-john (as well as indoor bathroom), picnic tables, and offers free wine tastings. I spent about 40 minutes there eating lunch and talking to the owner. Very friendly and produces wonderful blends.

By: Dave Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, May 9, 2014
I had planned on doing a different hike with a group of friends today, but they had to bow out. Left without a plan, I headed up here with the wife for a quick hike to break in a new pack. I didn't really know what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised. Fortune's Cove is a gorgeous little valley, tucked between some beautiful, tree covered mountains. The beginning of the path is a bit steep and a bit of a workout, but levels out a bit once you reach the ridge. At about a mile, the upper and lower trail split. We did the longer, upper trail. I agree with the other reviewers, if you've had trouble getting to here, take the lower trail. The upper trail just keeps going up, but every once in a while the trees thin and you get a stunning view of the valley. You then just walk along the ridge that surrounds the cove. We saw multiple deer, a turkey, and also heard what must have been even more deer running through the lower areas. But the best part was a cold glass of wine from Mountain Cove Vineyards, one of the oldest vineyards in the state, located in a ramshackle farm nestled next to the trailhead. Definitely worth the stop if you have the time.

I'll definitely do this one again. We loved it. The only downside today was the TICKS!!! I haven't seen them this bad in a while. Load up on repellent, and take any precautions you can. I probably pulled 30 or so off me today. Fortunately, before they could start feasting on me. I hate those things. :(

By: RiverGirl Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 18, 2014
Hike is easy to find  I approached from the south (Lynchburg) and mostly followed signs to the winery but also used directions.  Hike is very steep and thus strenuous, so be prepared for a workout.  Redbuds and dogwoods were blooming in the lower sections, making for beautiful woodlands.  I took the upper loop trail and would again, but if the first 20 minutes have you struggling, I think you would also enjoy the lower loop.  The views on top were alright but kind of obscured by trees, which is probably even more true in the summer.  It took me three hours including brief stops, but I hike fairly quickly. 

I agree with previous poster that you should bring hiking poles or at least use some sticks found along the way, as the descent is very steep at points also.  Coming back down along the stream was fun you watch it grow from a trickle at the top of the mountain to a full-fledged stream as it goes steeply down.  The waterfalls near the bottom are lovely (and if you take the lower loop trail, you will still see them).  If you really just want an easy experience in the woods, you can take the trail backwards to the most spectacular of the falls and picnic there.  To do that, park in the lot but walk back on the road past the stream and look for an opening on the right.  That is where the trail comes out.  Then it is a pretty easy walk to a nice waterfall.

I was alone and saw no one also heard no dogs as mentioned in some reviews for this hike.  The nearby winery has a sign inviting hikers for restrooms, water and wine tastings, all free.  I didn't go but it might be a fun ending to the hike.

By: SilverHare Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Arrived before sunrise to find 8 deer in the field at parking lot. Was on the trail by 6AM in order to be on top of the ridge to enjoy a sunrise with my breakfast. The ascent and descent provide a great workout and trekking poles or a couple of found sticks are recommended.

Trail conditions are excellent - well marked, well maintained. Many of the tulip poplars on the top of the ridgeline are starting to bloom.The stands of laurel are thick in several spots and I definitely will return to see them in bloom. The spur to High Top Mountain to see the repeater is worth doing if you're not pressed for time. The views are OK but if you're looking to preserve the natural feelings of the rest of this great hike, give it a pass. You're not missing much if you don't go up.

Wildlife was abundant - deer, rabbit, doves, cardinals, a LOT of spiders near the streams. I also came across what appeared to be bobcat scat on three separate rocks.

The streams were running fast. If you make this hike, plan to get your shoes wet and muddy on several sections of the trail.

I didn't run into any hikers on Sunday but given my start time, I'm not surprised. On my return to the parking lot though, there were 6 or 7 other cars.

By: Mark Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 22, 2014
My buddy and I ended up here after turning away from the ice/snow closures on Skyline and the BRP. Trails are beautifully maintained and well-marked. Views were great with the bare trees and it was cool to look back into the valley and track our progress. We ran into a few groups of 2-4 people each but overall this was fairly secluded. I typically aim for 8+ miles to justify the drive from Richmond but we agreed that this has a lot to offer for a 5-miler. Overall just a good, solid hike.

By: QW Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 10, 2013
I enjoyed this hike very much. It was an excellent workout. The steep downhill at the end was kind of tough on the knees. Trekking poles would probably help on that section. I did run into dogs but they were collared and I believe lived at one of the houses nearby. They were friendly (one did scare the daylights out of me by running up to me from behind). From the previous review I was expecting to run into aggressive dogs. Perhaps a little annoying but not aggressive luckily. They stuck with me throughout most of the hike. I was alone until a couple of other hikers caught up to me (I don't know where they came from maybe the lower loop trail) and we were pretty close for the rest of the hike. They were the only other people I saw so I'd say the solitude rating is right on. The views were great although high top mountain was a let down after the awesome view just before it even with most of the leaves off of the trees. All of the signs warning of radiation and magnetic emissions from the cell tower were a bummer too I'd say skip it. The trail was very well marked. Any time I started to wonder which way the trail was going I'd look up and there'd be a marker. I would definitely do this hike again.

By: gio Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 19, 2013
This was a great hike, got started late but was able to get through it easily before sundown. The only problem was that there were some aggressive dogs on the trail. They were blocking the way about 3/4 of the way through the route, and while they didn't come after me they didn't back down either. They looked like shepherd mixes but I think they were feral, as I did not see collars and there are plenty of farms they could have run off from. I just went off the trail downhill and caught another switchback without a problem. Other than that a great short hike.

By: Amelia Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Amazing hike! Fairly difficult, but definitely worth it. We went on a rainy sunday and even in the nasty weather the views and mountains proved to be beautiful. Excellent trails and trail markings, no litter, you can tell the volunteers put in a lot of great work out there. Nice and secluded too, we only saw one other couple all day!

By: cville-pbj Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 14, 2013
This was a great quick 2.75 hour hike. After a lot of rain, everything was lush, the streams on the hike down were all full and unexpected. The views were good, the trails well marked, the climb up was a fun workout and I can imagine those views would be amazing in the spring and fall with a few less leaves on the trees. Only two things to note, ignore the side hike up to Hightop peak - it is a sad clearing with a cell tower in the center and not a view in site, an unfortunate reality check on an otherwise great hike. And the second one, we went in mid July and had to stop every 30 minutes to get the ticks off ourselves. You might want to wear pants and give them a spray with something to prevent ticks in advance. We removed about 16-20 each during the hike. I would also note that on a Sunday afternoon, we did not see a single person, the parking lot was empty and we did feel like it was our own secret cove for a bit there.

By: Angela & Joe Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 27, 2013
This was a really nice hike! Pretty steep right at the beginning, and then a steep descent on the end of the loop hike. But really beautiful rich cove forest and a few nice views of the mountains. We went on Memorial Day, and although there were 3 other cars in the parking area when we got there, we did not see a single other person while hiking. One warning though, WEAR PANTS!!! There was quite a bit of poison ivy along the trail, particularly on the second half of the hike (we did the upper loop). Overall a great, quiet hike to enjoy getting out in the mountains.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 11, 2013
We picked to do this hike as part of our mother's day weekend, my best friend Cassie, her husband & two kids were ready to hike. The start of the hike was pretty difficult. I didn't expect such a steep incline to start. I started carrying my 9 month old son on my back which added 30lbs to my load. I had to pass my son over to my husband just a few minutes into the hike. Other than that beginning the hike was nice and the challenging parts were expected after that first climb.** I would note to anyone thinking about this hike, just be very alert with the rocks along the trail as the under ground water sources make these rocks slick without running water. There were a few slips (not resulting in a fall) but even hiking boots didn't prevent this from happening.
The water spots are lovely there are bridges to cross the streams which is very helpful especially because we were hiking with children.
**When you take the short route (to the left when you get to that sign) changes the trail directions as they are printed. So when you come to the "road" that looks more like a driveway keep going straight across this road/driveway the trail isn't over yet. THEN once you are at the end you will come out on the road you drove in on, then turn left back towards the parking lot. (we turned left down this driveway and luckily this little detour didn't add much time onto our trip. When you get back to the car, look up at the mountains and its amazing what you can accomplish.

By: nancyb Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 20, 2013
A fairly challenging hike with some beautiful views along the ridgeline and a few fun, not difficult, rock scrambles. Hardest part for me was the downhill, which was very steep, but The Nature Conservancy has installed some very nice log steps in just the right places. They also have some bridges and boards to cover some of the lower elevation wet areas.

By: Neko loco Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 15, 2013
What a great hike! Thank you HU for all that you do, especially for these hidden gem hikes. A friend (who seems to have hiked just about everything in the Charlottesville area) & I planned an impromptu outing today. I pulled up Fortune's Cove & he wasn't familiar, so off we went. We were the only hikers out on this breezy, early spring day & it was absolutely gorgeous! Plenty to look at, lots of crunchy leaves, springs, waterfalls, boulders, all on a really enjoyable moderate hike, minus the start. The beginning is a bit strenuous, but it didn't seem to take very long to me. Can't wait to return when there's some foliage on the trees, I bet it's lovely!

By: Tony & Sonja Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, February 14, 2013
We did this hike on February 14 with the temp avg around 52 degrees.  We never saw anyone while venturing through this journey.  We finished the 5.5 m trail in 2 hrs and 35 minutes!  We were surprised at the last 2miles ( approximately) being quite a steep decline which made the latter part of our venture much easier.  This definately is a challenge in the the beginning with much of the trail being quite vertical.  We saw a small amount of snow dusting on the north side of the trail and enjoyed the tranquility of the area.  I would recommend this hike to someone looking for a challenge and willing to increase their heart rate!

By: Dan Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The Nature Conservancy has done a very nice job with this trail. Great hike on a beautiful day in early January, with excellent visibility and views throughout the hike, thanks to the barren trees. (The view from the base of the cell tower on High Top Mountain is actually not that good compared to the views from the trail, but it's worth the short spur trail anyway.) One of the best things about Fortune's Cove is that unlike so many of the other hikes in this region, you get to start at a lower elevation and then achieve something by climbing up, instead of starting high on the Blue Ridge where the views are already nice, descending, and then having to hike back up to return to where you started. As others have commented, the trail starts out with a considerable climb for the first 20-30 minutes or so. Get loosened up before you start, because you will be climbing the moment you leave the parking area. That said, I would probably have given this relatively short hike a 3 for difficulty rather than a 4, because once you get through that first mile or so (where the trail forks between upper and lower loops), it feels significantly easier. Don't be put off by the sign at the fork saying that the upper loop is steep -- at that point the hardest part is behind you. Solitude: The trail probably deserves a 5. Not only did we not see any other hikers, but the leaves covering the trail looked crunchy and untrampled, as though no one had passed through in a long while. Part of the reason for the 4 rating might be that you can see in the distance a house in Fortune's Cove and a couple of houses in adjacent valleys, so you don't have the sense of being in a remote wilderness. But I liked being able to see the houses they're picturesque and they give you a sense of perspective from your high vantage point. Didn't see any notable wildlife.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 30, 2012
We hiked this trail on my 65th birthday, and I felt everyone of those years! The elevation gains were as described, and it was definitely strenuous. There was some snow & ice at the top, and we didn't have our traction devices with us. That made some of the downhills interesting, but we made it without incident. Our car was the only one in the parking lot, and we didn't see another soul on the entire hike. My Fitbit pedometer gave me 7.2 miles for the entire circuit, but all of the signage said 5.3. Whatever, it was definitely a good workout.

By: David Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 22, 2012
It was a beautiful day for a hike, and this one got my attention from the website. I knew it could be a challenge but decided to invite my two grandsons ages 14 and almost 11 to go with me. They said yes, so we took off. They proved to be great hikers from the start so when we got to the cut off to the lower loop I decided that it was worth going the distance on the upper loop. The trail is well marked and mostly well maintained. But it is steep. The biggest challenge on this day was the zillions of acorns that in some places covered the trail, creating problems at times with footing. My grandsons suggested that someone might want to vacuum the acorns to make the trail safer. We were all alone for the entire hike. The views were spectacular, even with the foliage here and there we felt a need to clear the blow down that littered the trail, we stopped to rest a few times, and were intrigued to find a chestnut near the top. Mostly we zipped along. The kids chattered a good bit and no doubt scared off wildlife. We were limited to one deer sighting. We snacked at the top, then headed back down to the parking lot and the car. We completed the upper loop in just under 4 hours.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 11, 2012
I went into this hike knowing it will be strenuous. that is exactly what it was. i broke a good sweat, and pushed my body. the weather was perfect, 75-80 degrees. i never saw another person, so i felt very isolated. the views were pretty much restricted, so i will have to go back in the winter. The summit is getting pretty overgrown, and a few times i was unsure if i was still on the trail or not, even though it is well marked. All in all, i had a good time. with a 15 minute lunch, i was done with the upper loop in 2.75 hours!

By: 50something Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 4, 2012
On the Sunday Stroll, Breaking a Sweat, Kicked my Ass or Death March scale this hike scored a Kicked my Ass for the 50 something bodies of my wife and I. We have just started getting back into hiking after a few years. Did three 3.5 mile hikes the last month fairly easily. Thought we would challenge ourselves with Fortunes Cove and did! Distance isn't bad, but be prepared for some constant though gradual climbing during the first half of the hike. Views are restricted when the trees are in full foliage. Probably a better Fall or Winter hike.

By: scudder Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 23, 2012
Did this hike with my 13 yr old son today. We really enjoyed it! Great views! Blueberries, wineberries and blackberries are starting to ripen. Small surprise we saw bear scat. Trail is very well marked, but is getting grown over a bit especially at the Hightop summit- beware of poison ivy. Substantial elevation gain- if you're out of shape think twice- maybe the shorter loop is for you. I want to emphasize that the NATURE CONSERVANCY PROHIBITS DOGS from using the trail so please leave Fido at home.

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