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Brumley Mountain Trail - Hayter's Gap to the Great Channels



6.1 mile 9.7 kilometer out and back
86% Runnable


Ascent: 1,133' 345 m
Descent: -1,132' -345 m
High: 4,147' 1,264 m
Low: 3,021' 921 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)


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Trail shared by Gayle Esposito

A lush canopy trail from Hayter's Gap to the spectacular Great Channels of Virginia

Gayle Esposito

Features Views · Wildlife


This run leads to the Great Channels of Virginia, a 400 million year old sandstone outcropping that forms a maze of channels.

Runner Notes

Once you leave the service road and begin the dirt trail, the path is filled with large roots.


This almost 8 mile out-and-back route is accessible via a small gravel parking lot located near VA-80 in an area called Hayter's Gap. From the trailhead, follow the old service road that leads to an abandoned shelter next to a large expanse of rock (perfect for a rest or a picnic).

The Brumley Mountain Trail is shady and cool with only small breaks of sunlight through the lush green canopy. The ascent is low grade but almost continuous for the first three miles from the start of the trailhead to the shelter. Adjacent to the shelter are several large boulders. They are easily climbed and offer a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. Continue to the Great Channels from the shelter along a dirt trail through a densely wooded area. The trail eventually veers sharply down into the channels with large knobby vines and roots useful as handholds and footholds. At the bottom of this short descent, you'll be rewarded with the spectacular maze-like formation called The Great Channels. Young and old alike will enjoy exploring the deep crevices of the channels while working through this natural labyrinth.

Once you've enjoyed the sandstone, turn around and head back along the Brumley Mountain Trail to return to the service road and your vehicle.

Flora & Fauna

Keep a sharp eye out for deer and other wildlife as you run along the service road. At the highest elevation of just over 4,200 feet, there is an abundance of wildlife diversity. Look for the small rhododendron and feathery ferns that grow out of the rocky surface of the rock formations that form the Great Channels.

History & Background

Geologists theorize that these amazing geologic features were most likely formed by the pressure of permafrost and ice wedging on the sandstone caprock during the last ice age. Rock joints were broken and enlarged creating formations that look like small slot canyons and shallow caves.

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 7 votes


  4.6 from 7 votes
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in Virginia


60 Views Last Month
3,669 Since Jul 2, 2016



Climbed the fire tower n it's gorgeous.
Nov 9, 2017 near Lebanon, VA
The Channels
Nov 9, 2017 near Lebanon, VA
There are blueberry bushes everywhere on the way to the tower.
Nov 9, 2017 near Lebanon, VA
Deer and other wildlife abound on this trail.
Jul 3, 2016 near Lebanon, VA
Channels—be careful is easy to get turned around
Nov 9, 2017 near Lebanon, VA
My hiking buddies.
Nov 9, 2017 near Lebanon, VA


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