“A short, steep run with a section of stairs to reach a spectacular view”
— SJ Fenton
Birding · Views
State Rd 57 may be closed during winter months. This area is an active hunting area during the fall months; dress appropriately.
This short trail stretches from an intersection with the Iron Mountain Trail: Comers Rock Section
up to the site of a bygone fire lookout. Comers Rock can be accessed off of Hale Lake Road and the easiest approach is accessed from a parking area near the top. It's also commonly reached from the nearby Comers Rock Campground or as an add-on to a longer run from Hale Lake.
The tower was built originally in the late 1920s as a fire lookout with a wooden 'cab' on the stone base. All that remains today is the stone base, on top of which a concrete viewing platform has been poured. Joe Tennis wrote a good description of the views for Appalachian Voices
, "wooden rails mark the site of a long-gone lookout tower, built in 1928 atop the actual outcrop called 'Comers Rock.' To the north, Comers Rock overlooks the tree-topped mountains of Wythe County, folded like chunky waves on the endless horizon, high above Rural Retreat."
The view to the south is also fantastic with Elk Creek's bowl, Point Lookout Mountain, Buck Mountain, and the Iron Mountains creating a beautiful backdrop.
Flora & Fauna
Look for rhododendron, mountain laurel, and wild blueberries (that ripen in late July usually).