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Dragon's Tooth - Appalachian Trail

Dragon’s Tooth s a unique geologic feature that consists of Tuscarora quartzite spires which outcrop on the top of Cove Mountain. The tallest "tooth" projects roughly 35 feet above the surrounding rock. The trail to Dragon's Tooth ascends steep, rugged outcrops of quartzite which form the spine of Cove Mountain and North Mountain. The spine is known as Dragon's Back. A difficult hike, Dragon's Tooth summit offers magnificent views of nearby and distant peaks year-round.

  • ~ 4.5 mile round trip, out and back hike
  • Moderate to difficult
  • 20 minutes from downtown Roanoke
  • Map kiosk at trailhead (very straight forward hike)

Directions to Trailhead

  • From Roanoke - take I-81 south to Exit 141
  • Turn left at the traffic light onto Rt. 419 (Electric Rd.) and follow 0.4 miles to next traffic light (Rt. 311)
  • Turn right onto Rt. 311N and follow for 10 miles
  • Dragon’s Tooth parking lot is on left just past Catawba Grocery

Add On

  • Finish your day with a great meal at the Home Place - a restaurant famous among thru-hikers. To reach the Home Place begin your return trip to Roanoke on Rt. 311 south. After 2 miles turn right into the Home Place (a large white farmhouse). Make a life-long friend by giving any thru-hikers you see a ride
  • Taste Virginia’s award-winning wines. The Botetourt County Wine Trail consists of three local wineries located in close proximity to Dragon’s Tooth
  • Go see a baseball game! View the Salem Red Sox schedule or by calling 540.389.3333
  • Explore Roanoke’s premiere art museum – the Taubman Museum of Art (540.342.5760)
  • Watch an educational movie on the 40-foot MegaDome Theater at the Science Museum of Western Virginia (540.342.5726)