North Mountain: A Review

Coleman Martinson

Want to seem athletic but don’t want to actually exercise? Want to stay relevant in conversations with your friends? If you answered yes to either (or both) of these questions, then the North Mountain hiking trail is exactly what you need in your life.

The trail provides a beautiful and scenic view overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. However, what makes this trail and overlook so unique is the minimal effort that goes into the actual hiking.

The full North Mountain Trail goes on for eight miles, but the scenic view is only a 0.1 mile hike from the parking lot.

With such a short hike to the overlook, your in-shape and athletic friends will never know from your killer Instagrams that you secretly hate hiking. The view is well worth the stroll through the woods.

“We got out here and parked the car and we started hiking on this little trial. It was really short with a lot of overlooks,” Franklin Rinko, ‘21, said. “It was a big, beautiful valley with colorful trees. It was windy but you could see really really far.”

The trail to the overlook is very flat, with only a few small rocks to climb over to see the landscape. The Washington and Lee Outdoors Club ranked the hiking difficulty as “Leisurely,” according to their website.

“The view–I didn’t feel like I earned it,” Dolph Maxwell, ‘22, said after recalling his time on the short hike. “You’re in a car that takes you all the way to the top.”

The overlook parking lot is a long 45 minute drive each way, but the drive takes you right to the scene of the crime. The W&L Outing Club gives the following directions on its website:

Take I-64 West to Exit 35. Turn left onto US 60/Route 850 West until the intersection with Route 770. Turn left onto Route 770 which will climb to the ridge of North Mountain.

So next time you feel adventurous and want to go outside with your friends, I highly recommend taking a hike on the North Mountain Trail.