Bear Cliffs via Spring Trail
In December I was in Blacksburg, Virginia so I took the opportunity to explore a new overlook. I went to Bear Cliffs on Salt Pond Mountain which features a view of the Virginia Tech campus.
There are a couple of routes you can take to Bear Cliffs. You can go up the Bald Knob Road (which Tony and I took up to Bald Knob in November) about 0.5 miles and turn left on Bear Cliffs Trail and take a 1.9 rocky miles to the overlook. Alternatively, you can do what Jimmie and I did– we hiked from the Biological Station off of VA-613 up the Spring Trail about 1 mile to the overlook.
It took some research to find the Spring Trail. From Blacksburg, Virginia, you head west of 460 and turn right on VA-700 to head up to Mountain Lake. Once at the lake, you bear left on VA-613. When you get to the fork in VA-613, instead of heading left like you would if you were going to War Spur or Wind Rocks, head right to the Biological Station.
As soon as you reach the Biological Station, a burgundy sign is on the left side of the road and a gated fire road is on the right. You can walk up that gated road.
Shortly after the fireroad, you’ll start to see small posts on the side of the trail. If you look closely, you’ll see evidence that you are on the right track.
Before long, you reach the namesake of the trail, a spring.
After the spring, a yellow blazed trail takes you the rest of the way to Bear Cliffs. it is a heavily blazed trail. No worries about getting lost here!
At an elevation of 4000 feet, Bear Cliffs has extensive views southeast, including Blacksburg, Virginia. The rocks at the cliffs are filled with caves and crevices.
The views were grand, but it was the little things that really made this hike– the ferns and the lichen, leaves in the ice, the contrast of snow and rocks. There was plenty to see.
|Bear Cliffs Via Spring Trail
Length: 2 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~160 Feet
Directions From Blacksburg Virginia
1) Take 460 West
2) Turn right on VA-700 and take about 7 miles to the top of Mountain Lake
3) Bear left on VA-613
4) At the fork, take a right to the Biological Station