Beautiful Angel’s Rest
Beautiful Angel’s Rest
If you’d like a longer hike with a lot of great views, this is the hike for you! Start out at the Mill Creek Parking lot; from Main Street in Narrows, turn onto Northview Street and go all the way to the end of the road. It will turn into a gravel road and the parking lot will be on the left. Mill Creek has many trails and it’s possible to take different routes to reach your destination, but for this hike we will take the most scenic route.
Cross the gravel road and head up the trail through the field. Soon you will come upon the Mill pond. There is a shelter and picnic table for those that would like to linger here. Follow the signs as they lead you to the first waterfall. You’ll have to cross both Mercy Branch and Mill Creek along the way but there are bridges to help with that if the water is high. The first waterfall is just after the bridges. The path down to it is a bit of a challenge, but it’s well worth it!
The section of trail between the waterfalls is the steepest of this hike. Luckily there are plenty of trees and big rocks to help you rest along the way. After visiting the upper falls continue going up until you reach the next trailhead. Take a right on Piney Road and then a left onto Old Rhodie, named for the many Rhododendron tunnels along the way. A mile or so in you will reach the junction to the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), so far, you’ve hiked about 3 miles.
Turn north (left) onto the A.T. Angel’s Rest overlook is 3 ½ miles away. If the day is clear you will be treated to two beautiful views at the electrical tower. To your left you will be Sentinel Point on the neighboring Wolf Creek mountain and the town of Narrows next to the New River in the valley below. On the right is the beautiful Wilburn’s Valley. A couple more miles up the trail is another view of this peaceful valley with a rock ledge that’s a great place to have lunch.
Just around the bend is the iconic Angel’s Rest overlook. The view of Pearisburg and the surrounding areas just can’t be beat! From here you have a couple of options on how to end your hike. If you make it a loop and return to the Mill Creek parking lot, that’s 13 miles round trip. Or with a bit of pre-trip planning you can head 1.7 miles down the mountain to Route 634. There is limited parking here, so the best option is to take one more A.T. section down the mountain and have a car waiting at the Pearis Cemetery parking lot where there is plenty of room.
This is a beautiful but tough hike. If you are new to hiking, I recommend doing a few conditioning hikes before tackling this one. If you filter your water there are several water sources along the way, otherwise be sure to pack plenty. Happy hiking!