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Trails

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Upcoming Events:

Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 2:00pm
Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 2:00pm
Sunday, September 29, 2019 - 2:00pm
Trails

An investment of little more than an hour's time offers a high return as the beauty and diversity of the park are best seen while hiking along its trails. Spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and a closer look at the park's vegetation are just a small part of the rewards reaped from a walk in this mountain forest.

 


Lost Province Trail
Location: Near furthest bend of Rhododendron trail (See Park Map)

Description:

Traveling along the south-eastern facing slope of Mount Jefferson, the moderate Lost Province Trail explores a virgin oak/chestnut forest, providing views of false Solomon's seal and other understory species.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.75 miles
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
Blue triangle
Lost Province Trail at Mount Jefferson Natural Area



Mountain Ridge Trail
Location: Access at each overlook, and across from park office (See Park Map)

Description:

This trail offers the hikers beautiful views and an intimate trip through diverse plant communities, while enjoying the craftsmanship of native stone steps. As you enter the strenuous 2-mile trail from the park office, it ascends the mountain through each overlook, to the upper parking area.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
2.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous
Blaze:
Red circle
Mountain Ridge Trail Mount Jefferson State Natural Area



Rhododendron Trail
Location: The trailhead is near the terminus of the Summit Trail.

Description:

The self-guided Rhododendron Trail follows a ridge southeast along the crest of the mountain from the summit to Luther Rock, an outcrop of metamorphosed amphibolite. This black volcanic rock is what gives Mount Jefferson its dark appearance. Here, hikers may look back along the horseshoe-shaped ridge to the summit and tower. Beyond, is a spectacular view of neighboring valleys and peaks. On clear days the New River is visible to the east. Bluffs extend along the ridge below the trail where outcrops of amphibolite are visible in winter.

The return segment of Rhododendron Trail descends the south side of the mountain. As this area is less exposed to the frigid winds of winter, the trees are somewhat larger than those on the ridge. The trail returns to the picnic area parking lot through a rare virgin forest of large northern red oaks and skeletons of American chestnuts.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.10 miles
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
Red circle

Spur Trail
Location: Sunset overlook (1st overlook)

Description:

Beginning at the Sunset overlook, the Spur trail ascends .5 miles up the mountain, and intersects with the Mountain Ridge trail at the rock staircase. This trek makes for a great one mile “out and back”, if you don’t have too much time to hike.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.00 miles
loop
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
White Diamond
Spur Trail Mount Jefferson State Natural Area



Summit Trail
Location: Picnic Shelter

Description:

Beginning at the parking lot, Summit Trail passes through the picnic area and ascends 0.3 miles to the highest point on Mount Jefferson.


Surface: gravel

Length:
0.30 miles
loop
Difficulty:
strenuous
Blaze:
Green diamond
mount.jefferson@ncparks.gov

1481 Mount Jefferson State Park Road
West Jefferson, NC 28694

336-246-9653
mount.jefferson@ncparks.gov

 

Map of North Carolina

GPS: 36.393564, -81.468012

 

8am - sunset
Closed Christmas Day

Park Office
8am - 5pm weekdays
Closed state holidays