A hike through the forest along the Appalachian Trail to a western view and a great look at columnar jointing, an exciting geologic feature.
Distance: 2.4-mile round trip hike
Difficulty: Moderate (explanation of our hiking difficulty scale)
Hiking Time: 1 hours 45 minutes
Elevation Gain: 855 feet
- From the Compton Gap Parking Area (mile 10.4), cross Skyline Drive and look for the concrete trail marker indicating the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).
- Take the A.T. south to the intersection and go right. This will lead you to the western viewpoint.
- Turn around, and return to the same intersection.
- Continue straight to the eastern viewpoint. From this viewpoint, you have the option of following the blue blazes below the cliff to see a prime example of columnar jointing, an amazing geological feature. It is well worth it, but be aware that this part of the hike is rough and rocky.
- Return back to the parking area by taking the A.T. north from the intersection.