Love hiking? Check out these trails in the City of Norton and wider High Knob Region.
New to hiking? Check out these hiking tips.
City of Norton Trails
Flag Rock Recreation Area
- Flag Rock Area Trails: This 10-mile trail system loops through Flag Rock Recreation Area and is open to mountain bikers and foot travel. More trails are being added, with plans to eventually expand the system to include as many as 30-40 miles.
- Legion Park Trail: This 1.1-mile trail climbs about a thousand feet one-way as it travels from Legion Park to Flag Rock Recreation Area.
High Knob Trails
High Knob Observation Tower
- Chief Benge Scout Trail: This 15.6-mile trail travels from the High Knob Observation Tower, located about 5.5 miles above downtown Norton, to the Little Stony National Recreation Trail in Scott County.
Coeburn/Scott County Trails
Little Stony Falls (Photo: Kyle LaFerriere)
- Little Stony National Recreation Trail: This 2.7-mile one-way hike, located in Scott County, meanders along Little Stony Creek downstream to Hanging Rock Recreation Area. The trail passes several waterfalls, including Little Stony Falls. Note: A 2-mile section of the trail is currently closed due to landslides. See https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gwj/recarea/?recid=79249 for updates on trail condition.
- Bark Camp Lake: This 3.5-mile loop trail, located in Scott County, begins at Bark Camp Recreation Area and circles Bark Camp Lake. There is a $3 day use fee at this site.
- Kitchen Rock: This .64-mile trail, located in Scott County, passes by a sandstone rock shelter and climbs the ridge behind Bark Camp Lake. There is a $3 day use fee at this site.
- Devil’s Fork Loop: This popular hiking trail, located in Scott County, is a three-mile round-trip hike to the Devil’s Bathtub landmark.
Trail Notes: Technical terrain and multiple stream crossings. Check weather conditions before starting as water levels could be higher following a significant rainfall. Start your trek early enough to finish before sunset. Allow at least 3 hours to complete the trail. Multiple hikers have had to be rescued from this trail because they did not take proper precautions.
Parking: Trailhead parking is also limited. If the parking lot is full, please consider finding an alternate hike. There are plenty of other equally beautiful places to explore in this area. Be respectful of neighboring private property owners and of the trail.
- Guest River Gorge: This 5.5-mile rails-to-trails gravel footpath travels along the Guest River to its confluence with the Clinch River.
- Powell River Trail: This 1.7-mile rails-to-trails path meanders along the Powell River from Appalachia toward Big Stone Gap. Call the Town of Appalachia for more information. The trail will eventually link the towns of Appalachia and Big Stone Gap.
Big Stone Gap Trails
- Greenbelt: This paved path meanders along the Powell River and through Big Stone Gap.
- Roaring Branch: This 7.2-mile round-trip trek travels from a trailhead located on U.S. Business 23 (about 1.5 miles from downtown Big Stone Gap) to the High Butte Overlook. This is also the eastern section of the 14.2-mile Stone Mountain Trail, which ends at Cave Springs Recreation Area.
- UVa-Wise Campus Trails: This map offers suggested routes, including some trails and roads, on the University of Virginia’s College at Wise’s campus. Trails are open to the public.
St. Paul Trails
Clinch River, St. Paul, Va. (Photo: Wally Smith)
- Clinch River State Park: Eight miles of trails travel along the Clinch River, into downtown St. Paul, and climb atop a ridgeline above town that offers sweeping views of downtown St. Paul and distant mountains.
- Pine Mountain: This 42-mile trail travels through Kentucky and Virginia. Click here or here for two Pound-area treks.
- Laurel Fork: This 1.5-mile one-way hike wanders along the shores of the North Fork of Pound Reservoir.
- Phillips Creek: This 1.2-mile loop on the south face of Pine Mountain begins at Phillips Creek Day Use Area.
- Cranesnest Trail: This 3.5-mile one-way gravel multi-use trail is open to hiking and bicycling. The trail is located outside of Clintwood and travels above the Cranesnest River.
Other Regional Hikes
Breaks Interstate Park (Photo: Wally Smith)
- Natural Tunnel State Park: The state park, located 28 miles from Norton, offers seven hiking trails, including the path to Lover’s Leap, which offers an impressive view of a gorge below the overlook.
- Lake Keokee Loop: This 3.7-mile trail, located in Lee County and about eight miles outside Appalachia, circles Lake Keokee.
- Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve: Located almost 50 miles from downtown Norton and near the confluence of the Clinch River and Big Cedar Creek, this 890-acre tract offers several hiking trails. It also features an impressive rock formation, the Pinnacle, that sits 400 feet above Big Cedar Creek. The preserve also harbors at least nine rare species and two rare natural communities.
- Breaks Interstate Park: This 4,500-acre park, one of only two interstate parks nationwide, is located in Kentucky and Virginia. Activities include hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, fishing, among others. Click the link to the left for more information on other activities and amenities. The park is located about 50 miles from downtown Norton.
- Cave Springs Recreation Area: This recreation area is located almost 24 miles from downtown Norton. Amenities and activities include a 37-site campground, picnicking sites, swimming, and hiking, including access to the 14-mile Stone Mountain Trail and Wilderness and a shorter hike to an overlook of the Olinger Gap community. There is a $3 day use fee.
- Cumberland Gap National Historic Park: This 24,000-acre park is located almost 80 miles from downtown Norton. Features 85 miles of hiking trails, camping, and a glimpse into the region’s storied history and culture.