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Hale Lake


Elevation: 3374 ft.

Hale Lake is popular among anglers who come to these quiet mountainside waters in search of a good day of fishing. The Hale Lake Trail, a 2/3-mile loop trail is a pleasant hike around that lake, occasionally veering away from the shoreline and into the surrounding hardwood forests. Birders will probably find this site most productive during migration. In spring, it should be easy to spot several species of warblers and flycatchers. In fall, the lake is likely to invite migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. Wood duck breed in the area and can occasionally be seen on the lake. White-tailed deer and wild turkey roam through the surrounding woodlands, and might be found approaching the lake to quench a thirst.

An juvenile eastern red-spotted newt that was seen in Hale Lake

The eastern red-spotted newt is just one amphibian species in Hale Lake. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease/DWR

Quiet coves on the eastern end of the lake are amphibian breeding grounds in spring. Look for the large American bullfrog tadpoles and eastern red-spotted newts hiding among the submerged vegetation.


  • Only 4WD/AWD vehicles with high clearance should attempt SR-672/Blue Springs Rd and Hales Lake Rd west of the lake.
  • Do not use FR-57/Hales Lake Rd. It is unpaved and very steep with deep potholes and large rocks. Please see detailed directions below.


Physical Coordinates: 36.760151, -81.249606

From Independence, head north on US-21/N. Independence Ave, turn left onto SR-658/Comers Rock Rd, continue straight onto SR-672/Blue Springs Rd, in approximately 2.3 miles, turn right onto Hales Lake Rd, and the parking area will be on the right in approximately 0.6 miles.


Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: US Forest Service Mount Rogers National Recreation Area District Office, 276-783-5196,
  • Website
  • Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset

Seasonal Bird Observations


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