Jackson River Scenic Trail

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Jackson River Scenic Trail is a 17-mile trail in Alleghany County, Virginia, which runs from Covington to the Coles Point Recreation Area at Lake Moomaw. The trail, which was developed from an old railroad bed, provides access to many natural, historic, and scenic resources. The trail has a surface of finely crushed gravel making it ideal for family hikes and rides.

The Jackson River, running adjacent to the trail, contributes a distinct and scenic landscape feature while providing a natural habitat for reproducing wild trout. There are 14 miles open to the public for those who enjoy hiking, biking, and nature walks.


  • 14.3 miles

Hike It, Bike It

  • The trail begins in Intervale, approximately 0.6 miles north of Covington.
  • Running north, the Jackson River trail runs along the coast of the Jackson River.
  • Catch a breath or eat a quick snack to eat at one of the many picnic benches along the water.
  • The trail includes the following terrain: dirt, grass, and gravel.
  • This scenic trail lives up to its name, consisting of waterfalls, river views, interesting rock formations, colorful leaves in the fall, and an assortment of flowering plants in the spring.
  • It’s very likely that you will pass other bikers and walkers on the well-used trail. Be friendly and give them a wave as you pass by.
  • Fishermen will also be present; the Jackson River is stocked with trout.


From Roanoke – Get on I-81 N and take Exit 150B (US 220 N). Use the right two lanes to turn right onto 220. Continue for 34.3 miles. Once past the town of Iron Gate, exit right onto I-64 W. Take Exit 16B toward Covington onto Us-60E/220N (Madison St). Then follow 220N for 4.2 miles and turn left onto Dressler Dr. The Intervale Trailhead is immediately on your left.


Add-On Adventure

  • The trail also consists of a railroad that runs with it. Check out the C&O Heritage Center in Covington for a history of the railroad.
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