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Hoop Hole

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Hoop Hole is a diverse network of trails that consists of two loops perfect for mountain biking, hiking, trail running or backpacking. The lower loop is 4 miles and skips the views from the ridge top and the extended loop is 9 miles. Both loops offer beautiful views of the streams cascading over rocks and swimming holes. If you decide to do an overnight there are no established campgrounds but the best spot for camping is about 1.3 miles up the trail after you turn left and start following Hipes Branch Creek. 

The longer loop climbs to the top of the ridge for scenic views of the surrounding mountains. One could try to reach certain cliffs from the ridgetop for more expanded views. This trail network can also be accessed from Roaring Run Recreation Area adding 4.8 miles and making the full circuit 14.5 miles. 

Local Tip: The trail is very rugged and good footwear is necessary. Also, the trail markers are sometimes difficult to see with yellow blazes. 

Distance

  • 9.7 miles

Hike It, Bike It

  • The trail starts from the left of the parking area (walk past the kiosk) and is marked with yellow blazes. In 250 yards, you will reach the Lower Loop intersection.
  • Turn left, the trail leads you uphill and begins to follow Hipes Branch Creek. In 1.3 miles from the Lower Loop intersection, you’ll reach an ideal camping spot on the hike – on the banks of Hipes Branch Creek. Continue uphill for 0.7 miles and arrive at the intersection of the Upper Loop and cut over the trail.
  • Caution: The Upper Loop portion of the trail is loaded with Stinging Nettles. Long pants offering protection (such as denim) are advised.
  • Turn left uphill on the upper loop as it winds up the valley. Near the top, there will be a small saddle between Bald Knob and Pine Mountain. Stay to the left to remain on the yellow blazer Upper Loop trail.
  • When you reach the ridge, follow the trail to the right where there are several views through the trees to the east. The trail will follow the ridge for 1.2 miles before beginning the descent on the eastern side of Pine Mountain. In 0.5 miles into the descent, reach the yellow-blazed Iron Ore Trail that leads to Roaring Run in 2.4 miles
  • Turn right remaining on the upper loop trail and continue descending for 1.5 miles to a large group campsite situated on a spur. In 0.4 miles reach the intersections of the lower and cut over trails. Stay left downhill as the lower loop trail crosses over Stony Run several times then returns to the beginning of the loop in 1.2 miles. Turn left and return to the parking area in 250 yards.

Directions/Parking

From Roanoke – Take I-81 N then take Exit 150A to merge onto US-220 S. Make a U-turn at US-11 N and continue for 21 miles. Turn left onto VA-615 (signs mark it as the road to Roaring Run) and the trailhead will be on your right.

Add-On Adventure

Nearby Wineries

  • Virginia Mountain Vineyards Expand Collapse

    At Virginia Mountain Vineyards you can forget about the present and enjoy the picturesque mountain views visible on top of Zion Hill. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains, the vineyard is 14 miles north of Interstate 81 outside of Fincastle.

    The first generation family owned and operated vineyard and winery, offers 13 wines. Owners David and Marie Gibbs are happy answer questions about the vineyard or winery; greater knowledge about grape growing, harvesting, and processing may help you to better appreciate and enjoy a good wine.

    Virginia Mountain Vineyards was established in the spring of 1998 with the planting of 3,325 Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc vines. There are more than 5,625 vines today with the addition of Merlot, Traminette, and Petit Verdot grapes covering more than 9.5 acres. Virginia Mountain Vineyard is part of the Wine Trail of Botetourt County.

    The winery is open March through December.

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