Small mountain with fantastic views for little effort. Hiking to the trailhead over ski paths adds another mile or so each way, but it is still short and rewarding.
Trail is heavily rerouted due to construction and maintenance. Access to trailhead adds about a mile each way on wide cross-country ski trails. Signage on ski trails can be confusing, but look for yellow circles nailed to trees, not yellow circles on posted signs.
Need to Know
The ledges are beautiful, but the drop is precipitous. Do not fall off the ledges.
Trail maintenance is ongoing for the footpath section (as of September 2019). Trail is rerouted in several areas.
Access to the trailhead (as of Sept. 2019) is by walking along ski paths for about a mile from the Van Hoevenberg Cross-Country & Biathlon Center. You'll need a map of the ski trails (free at the front desk).
Get a ski trail map from the front desk of the Van Hoevenberg Cross-Country & Biathlon Center, where the hike begins while the area is under construction. Follow the yellow circles nailed to trees that usually (but not always) say 'Trail'. The yellow circles on large signs are for biking paths and do not go to the summit. Go over the bridge over the road and down through the yard of 'Josie's Cabin', named for the love of trail steward Henry Van Hoevenberg (and the namesake for Mt Jo as well). Keep following the ski paths, making sure to note the location of the yellow circles after every ski path junction. Finally, off to the left is a foot trail, about a mile from the Hoevenberg Center. This is the base of the Van Hoevenberg Mountain Trail. From here it is up through the forest (and currently around the construction) until the first ledge. The three ledges have pretty much the same view, although the second is the largest. They are all within about 0.1 miles of each other. To return, retrace your steps.
Shared By: Cameron Flynn