The War Spur Trail starts just a few miles past the popular Mountain Lake Lodge. The small parking area is located on the western end of the trail. Traveling clockwise, the trail weaves through the mostly hardwood forest, though there are surprisingly healthy looking hemlocks and rhododendron at various points.
Soon, you'll reach the War Branch Connector Trail veering off to the left which connects the War Spur Trail to the Appalachian Trail. Stay to the right to stay on the War Spur Trail. At the eastern end of the loop, the trail switchbacks uphill, and at the easternmost point, meets the War Spur Overlook Trail
. The end of the War Spur Overlook Trail
provides beautiful views of the Mountain Lake Wilderness, Johns Creek Mountain, and the sparsely inhabited valley below.
To return to the parking lot, head southwest at the intersection and slowly climb your way back up to the parking area. At one point, the trail passes over a spring-fed stream on this stretch.
Like most other trails in this region of SW Virginia, there are many small rocks to negotiate along the trail, so the running is usually at a little slower pace to pick your way through the rocks although this trail does not have any major rock gardens.