Brumley Mountain Trail to Channels of Virginia
Over spring break my kids and I ventured out to Southern Virginia for some hiking. Our main goal was to get to The Channels of Virginia. I had read about them on various sites and the photos told me that my kids would love it. After showing them some of the photos I found online they were definitely eager to hike there. I found the best directions on this site. You can visit and find her driving instructions which were perfect.
That morning it was pretty chilly. The temperature was about 38 degrees. We had come prepared with layers and bundled up. We parked on the trail and our car was the only one there. That made me very happy. I was looking forward to some solitude and not having to worry about who we might meet. I had my new SPOT device for checking in with people and leaving GPS locations for safety. Surprisingly though we had phone service. Go figure.
The trail was really nice. It is well-maintained and wide. It is a gradual climb up about 1200 feet (3 miles). There are portions that are more steep than others but there is plenty to see so if you have the time, stop, look around, take photos. The climb won’t seem so bad. For experienced hikers it should be a piece of cake. My son had moments of complaining but he trudged along with his trekking poles and with the use of my hand. I find that holding his hand helps him up the mountains and also slows me down so we go at the same pace. Plus, he’s 10 and it won’t be long before he won’t want to hold my hand anymore.
At every turn there is a view. I would stop sometimes and just gaze out at the mountains or valley. I was pleased to be the only ones on the trail that day. I guess that’s the benefit of going on a Monday. Every few minutes I got the, “Are we there yet?” question and I told my son when he saw the fire tower he would know we were there. Cheers escaped his mouth when he saw it and knew the hard work was over. We saw the sign for The Channels and turned onto that portion of the trail.
On the Spur trail you climb to the top and see the old fire tower and old cabin. I saw a large rock so of course I climbed it. The view was spectacular. The kids are a little afraid of heights but I assured them it was fine so they climbed up too and were equally amazed. The best part about hiking with my kids and witnessing their love of nature.
After we explored the fire tower area we went back to see about exploring The Channels. All of the photos show people down under the rocks. They were amazing. We attempted to get down in two different areas but they both lead to dead ends. I found a way to get to the top of the rocks so we hung out there and had some lunch. I tried to rock hop a bit and see if I could find a way down but all of the drops were pretty far. My kids were a bit scared of me doing that and I didn’t want to worry them too much so I sat with them. The wind had died down a bit and it was almost warm up there on the rocks. My daughter said, “All of SnapChat is at the beach but I’m here and I get to see this! Their spring break sucks!” That made me so proud. I’m so glad she was happier on top of a mountain, cold, with me and her brother than just hanging at the beach.
On the way down we tried another way to explore the rocks but found nothing. I was pretty sad and disappointed. I don’t know what I did wrong in trying to find the entry. The kids were still thrilled with the hike but I felt like I failed them. We had gone specifically to explore the maze of rocks. My daughter said it was an excuse to go again some time so I guess we will. If anyone reading this knows how to get down under those rocks, please share! I reviewed everything after arriving home and nothing was helpful. All sites make it sounds like the entry to the rocks is just right there.
Overall, though, it was a fantastic hike. It was peaceful and beautiful. You can continue on the trail for quite a few more miles if you so choose. You’d need a pick-up person, however, to get you at the end unless you hike all the way back.
Check out more photos from the hike.