Carvin’s Cove/Hay Rock – Daleville, VA
This 8.0 mile round trip hike should be considered as moderate to strenuous. The hike begins at the Park and Ride just off I-81 at the US-220 Troutville/Fincastle exit (150B). The gravel lot is by the first turn on your left after you cross under I-81, next to the Exxon. There is an unmarked trail by the parking lot guardrail leading away from US-220. Follow this trail for 0.2 miles and take a left (go South) at the junction with the Appalachian Trail (white blazes). You’ll follow the AT for about 0.8 miles and cross Tinker Creek and railroad tracks shortly after. The trail begins to steepen from here and there will be switchbacks all the way up Tinker Mountain with a total elevation gain of 1640′.
At 2.0 miles you’ll reach the ridgeline under a powerline. The view to the northeast here is of Daleville. Continuing on the AT, there are numerous (at least 4-5) viewpoints of Carvins Cove to the south. Carvin’s Cove is the second largest city park in the United States, with many great biking trails and water sport opportunities. Follow the AT on the ridgeline for 2.0 more miles, at which point you’ll encounter a very large boulder overhanging the trail-this is Hay Rock. The panoramic views of Carvins Cove and McAfee Knob are breathtaking, and a great spot to eat lunch or snack after your hike up.
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