Roaring Branch Trail is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Stone Gap, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
The Roaring Branch Trail provides some of southwest Virginia’s most scenic streamside scenery, as well as some of the only old-growth forest in this portion of the state. Centuries-old hemlocks line the middle portions of this hike, and the climb to High Butte provides a fascinating example of forest transitions in the southern Appalachians as one moves from moist, sheltered coves to drier ridgetops. The view from High Butte Overlook, near the turnaround point for this hike, provides a sweeping vista of the Powell River Valley.
Begin at a cascading waterfall. Hike up along the creek through forest. Climb the ridge line up to a rocky overlook for the Powell River valley. All within the Stone Mountain section of Jefferson National Forest.
After admiring the Roaring Branch waterfall, proceed up stone stairs created by youth conservation corps. Follow yellow blazed trail as the path continues along the stream through the forest. Multiple stream crossings – some may be very difficult after heavy rain. Proceed up ridge line to High Butte overlook. (Great spot for lunch.)