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Little Stony National Recreation Trail

Description

Elevation: 2244 ft.; 1528 ft. (lower end)

The Little Stony National Recreation Trail is a 3.0-mile trail with an upper trailhead at Falls of Little Stony Creek, and a lower trailhead at Hanging Rock Picnic Area. The trail follows Little Stony Creek through a 400-ft deep and 1700-ft wide gorge. Large outcrops, rock ledges, and boulders form the scenic edges along Little Stony Creek.  A scenic 24-foot waterfall, along with two smaller waterfalls, gives the upper trailhead its name. Though much of this region was logged during the early part of the twentieth century, cove hardwoods and hemlock forest cover much of this area. Mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets lace the edges of these trails in various areas, as well. This rock-bedded drainage of Little Stony Creek is excellent for finding Louisiana waterthrush in the summer. Blue-headed vireo and Swainson’s warbler may also be spied along the trail. Several species of wood warblers and songbirds are common during the breeding season. In spring and fall, look for migrant thrushes, warblers, and tanagers.

Please note: This is a moderately difficult hike; in some areas of the trail, hikers will need to climb around/over boulders and large rocks to remain on the trail.

Vault toilets and picnic facilities are available at the lower trailhead in the Hanging Rock Picnic Area, which is open seasonally.

An additional trail originates out of The Little Stony NRT trailhead area: the Chief Benge Scout Trail, an 15.7-mile trail that travels northwest to Bark Camp Lake, Edith Gap, and to the High Knob Tower and Recreation Area.

Directions

To Upper Trailhead (Falls of Little Stony Creek)

Location Coordinates: 36.8695, -82.4636

From Coeburn, VA: At the intersection of Alternate 58 and Highway 72 South, follow 72 south for 3.4 miles. Turn right on SR 664/Corder Town Road and follow for 1.1 miles. Turn left on FR 700 and follow for 1.3 miles, then turn left on FR 701. It is 0.8 miles to the Falls of Little Stony parking lot.

From the Previous Site on the Appalachian Wonders Loop of VBWT: From Guest River Gorge Trail, return to SR 72 South and turn left, traveling south 0.8 miles to Rt. 664. Turn right on Rt. 664 and follow it for 1.1 miles to FR 700 (this road is not labeled, so mark mileage!). Turn left on FR 700 and go 1.3 miles to FR 701. Turn left on FR 701; travel for 0.8 miles to Falls of Little Stony.

To Lower Trailhead at Hanging Rock Picnic Area

Location Coordinates: 36.859165, -82.44611

From Abingdon, VA: Follow US 58 West/19 North to Hansonville, VA. Turn left onto US 58 West Alternate and drive to Coeburn VA. Take the first Coeburn exit and make a left onto 72 South. Follow for 8.3 miles to destination on the right.

From the Previous Site on the Appalachian Wonders Loop of VBWT: From Guest River Gorge Trail, return to SR 72 South and turn left, traveling south 0.8 miles to Rt. 664. Continue on SR 72 South for 5.7 miles, towards the Town of Dungannon. Hanging Rock is on the right, at a sharp curve on SR 72. Turn right and travel 0.2 miles to parking area.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: U.S. Forest Service, Clinch Ranger District: 276-679-8370
  • Website
  • Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Bike Trails
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms