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Pine Mountain Trail: Highland Section

 4.7 (6)


16.4 Miles 26.4 Kilometers

3,370' 1,027 m


-3,607' -1,100 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (21°)

3,298' 1,005 m


2,364' 721 m


Shared By April French


Minor Issues 92 days ago
Fallen Trees History

Getting forecast...

A portion of the Pine Mountain Trail, with scenic mountain top views and beautiful forest.

April French

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife


From the southern trailhead, cross 119 and enter into the forest. You'll start your outing by heading up a steep stair case. Watch your step, as the stairs are uneven in height. This is the steepest climb of the day; however, it is not the last hard climb.

Once in the forest, the trail is clearly marked with bright yellow blazes. The terrain through the rest of the trail is rolling, with some smaller climbs and descents along the way. There are lots of opportunities for breaks at scenic overlooks. One of the most notable, the Lemon Squeeze is a bit of a tight fit, but you can ride your pack over the ledge and slide right through.

You'll follow along a number of shared ATV paths along the way and pass through a number of well marked gaps. The southern half had plenty of water available, but contrary to maps of the trail, we couldn't find any water available in the northern half, so be sure to fill up when you can!

Flora & Fauna

The trail travels through a forested mountain area, and there was plenty of evidence of bear activity, so beware!

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Your Check-Ins


Apr 1, 2018
Melissa West
I went from the trailhead at US23 and back again as a backpacking trip. http://melissa.hiddenmoonfarm.com/?p=229 29mi
Jul 21, 2017
Scott Reedy
Sep 3, 2016
April French

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes


in Eolia


  4.7 from 6 votes
5 Star
4 Star
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in Eolia


in Kentucky


67 Views Last Month
1,747 Since Sep 5, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Melissa West
Melissa West   Eggleston
So would I recommend this hike? Absolutely! (Though I can imagine it would be hot and muggy in the summer, and I am glad I hiked it in the spring; fall also has potential.) As I surveyed the land from the immense expanse that is Mar’s Rock, with its unhindered view, I was suddenly struck not only with the beauty of the trail but with the ridiculousness of what I was experiencing. Here we have cliff after cliff after cliff offering expansive views, a well-marked trail, and even a loop option for day hikers (visiting only a couple of the views) and shelters for backpackers. On this entire trip, I saw three people. Closer to where I live, there are some highlights of the Appalachian Trail: McAfee’s Knob and Tinker Cliffs. Literally hundreds of people will hike these sections each weekend. On the Pine Mountain Trail, I felt like I had entered some alternate, people-less universe. Of course, the Pine Mountain Trail is not a part of the Appalachian Trail; the Great Eastern Trail will perhaps one day, when complete, raise this section’s profile, but for now you should take advantage of this secret gem that’s just a bit further from the East Coast’s major metropolitan areas. melissa.hiddenmoonfarm.com/… Aug 18, 2018
Daniel Dotten
Wise, VA
Daniel Dotten   Wise, VA
My wife and I started at the northern trail head and hiked west to the Adena Spring Shelter about 8.2 miles. (The map said 7.1 but it was wrong) The trail is in good shape despite some dead fall about a mile and a half in but nothing too difficult to navigate. There are a few vistas available in the section we hiked as the trees are fully leafed out but when you can see into KY, it does look beautiful. Note: We did not do the Twin Cliffs Overlook due to rushing on the way in and being too tired on our way out. The Adena Spring Shelter is in good repair and there were some stove fuel canisters in a box as well as a bear pole to hang your food. There are two water sources shown near this shelter. The first was dry but the second one (about 0.2 miles up the trail) was running. We had the fun of a coyote coming to visit in the night, not in the campsite but fairly close, no worries just thrilling. WE hiked back out the same way we had come in the next day and we encountered no one. I wish that people knew of and took more advantage of a great trail. Sep 4, 2018

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