|Name||Land Of Goshen|
|Summary||Loop through Goshen Pass, Jump Rock and Viewing Rock overlooks|
|Type||Day Hike - Loop|
|Distance (Total)||8.3 miles / 13.4 km|
|Elevation Gain||1,850 feet / 564 meters|
|Minimum Elevation||1,350 feet / 411 meters|
|Maximum Elevation||3,200 feet / 975 meters|
|Hiking Season||- All Year Long|
|Things To See||- Canyon - Cliffs - Creeks - Gorge - Lake Views - Mountain Views - River - Rock Formations - Scenic Views - Summit - Wildflowers - Woods|
|Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Nearby Town||Lexington, Virginia, United States|
Goshen Pass is Virginia's oldest state-managed natural area. Located in Rockbridge County, about 10 miles north of Lexington, the Commonwealth first acquired the property in 1954 to help protect the spectacular views of the 3.7-mile long gorge along the Maury River. More recently a number of biological treasures were discovered on the property. Among them are outstanding examples of chestnut oak forest, pine-oak-heath woodland, rocky riverside scrub communities, a state-rare damselfly called the Appalachian jewelwing, and several rare plants. The preserve, which encompasses the southwest face of the gorge, was dedicated as a State Natural Area Preserve in 2001.
This loop will take you through Goshen Pass along the Maury River, to the summit of Jump Mountain with spectacular views and finally to Viewing Rock for amazing views of Lake Meriweather.
Start the hike from the parking area by crossing the swinging bridge over the Maury River. Take a hard right onto the Goshen Pass Trail and follow the river (There is no sign at the intersection). About 0.5 miles take a left onto the Chambers Ridge Trail. The trail will start climbing very steeply to the top of the ridge. The trail will then take a right at the end of the ridge and start descending to the intersection with the Little Peak Trail. Take a right onto the Little Peak Trail following the sign to Jump Rock. The trail will be very steep climbing Little North Mountain. At the top of Little North Mountain, make sure to stop at the rock formation and walk onto the rock outcrop to enjoy a beautiful view of Goshen Pass.
Continue on the Little Peak Trail descending into a saddle where you will meet the Tuscarora Trail. The Little Peak Trail will disappear before you reach the Tuscarora Trail. However, you should be able to spot it through the trees at the bottom of the saddle. Take a right onto the Tuscarora Trail climbing Jump Mountain (There are no signs at the intersection). At the summit you will reach the Jump Rock overlook for another beautiful view of the land of Goshen to the North.
To continue the hike, backtrack to the saddle and continue on the Tuscarora Trail on the ridge of Little North Mountain. Take a left at the next intersection onto Viewing Rock Trail (There is a sign at this intersection). Start descending on the Viewing Rock Trail to Viewing Rock. Enjoy breathtaking views to the West of Lake Meriweather.
To close the loop, continue down the very steep Viewing Rock Trail until you arrive at a 4-way intersection (No signs there). Take a hard left onto the Hunter's Ridge Trail. The Hunters Ridge Trail become an abandoned forest access road. The Hunters Ridge Trail becomes the Round Knob Trail. Follow signs to Camp Bowman. Before reaching a road, turn left onto the Anderson Trail which follows the road to Camp Bowman. When the Anderson Trail merges with the road, take a left. Pass the entrance to Camp Bowman and look for a green sign on the left side of the road indicating the Goshen Pass Trail back to the Swinging Bridge. Continue on the Goshen Pass Trail back to the Swinging Bridge and the parking lot.
From Lexington, go North on US 11. After crossing I-64, take a left onto VA-39 towards Goshen. Drive about 15 miles. Towards the end of Goshen Pass, look for a view of the swinging bridge on your right. Shortly after, take a left on the gravel road (There are no signs there). Drive down the gravel road to the parking area at the swinging bridge.
|Latitude||37.9484817 degrees / 37° 56.909' / 37° 56' 54.53"|
|Longitude||-79.46038 degrees / -79° 27.623' / -79° 27' 37.37"|