Hiking Buffalo Mountain in Floyd County, Virginia

Buffalo Mountain is a great short hike in Southern Virginia. I find it hard to believe that I had never been there until yesterday.

Buffalo Mountain

Buffalo Mountain from a distance – Photo by Bob Smith

When I was a kid, my family spent a bit of time in Laurel Fork at a cabin my Grandfather built himself in the 1970’s. On the drive there, and from the top of the hill behind the cabin, you can see a tall rock face on the horizon. Just five miles away, and something I had seen hundreds of times, I didn’t know the name of this mountain until one of the locals asked if I had hiked it.

The tallest thing in several surrounding counties and I haven’t stood on top of it? This must be remedied in short order.

On a previous visit to Laurel Fork with my wife, we tried to locate a trailhead just by casually driving in the direction of the mountain. We got within a couple of miles, but there wasn’t a proper trailhead. We could get there just by following a topographical map, but crossing private property in Confederate Battle Flag country is not something I would recommend.

After more research than should have been necessary, I found the correct name (by mistake I was looking for “Bull Mountain”) and this post with plenty of great info.

Getting there

If using GPS, you can plug in this address to get you most of the way there, then enter these coordinates to get you to the trailhead.

Buffalo Mountain Trailhead Parking

Trailhead parking lot on this foggy day

There were a couple of routes to the top that I explored. The route I took up is the more travelled and better maintained route, so I’d recommend it for at least the route up. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous on the way back down, just follow the ridge-line, don’t fall off a cliff, and you’ll find the parking lot again without much trouble. The route up is marked with red blazes and the route back is somewhat well marked with pink surveyor flags.

Note for hikers with dogs

If you have a fawn-colored pup that even remotely could be mistaken for a deer, make sure you bring an orange blaze vest of some sort for them to wear during hunting season. The season had just opened a week prior and I forgot to bring anything, so Lina got to wear this stylish grocery bag.

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Lina with stylish MacGuyver’d anti-hunting target device

Unfortunately it was very foggy on this day and nothing to see further than 50 feet or so. Fortunately this is the perfect excuse to go back one day soon.

Check out my track here on GaiaGPS.

Additional photos

Trail market

Trail marker

Foggy Trail

Foggy Trail

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Foggy view from the summit

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Summit Marker

Lina and I walking toward the cliff side

Lina and I walking toward the cliff side

Stay on the trail - probably good advice

Stay on the trail – probably good advice

Hiking back down on along the ridgeline trial

Hiking back down on along the ridge-line trail is a bit overgrown – and perhaps not actually a trail

Old power-line pole

Old power-line pole

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Downed Tree

Park Info

Park Info

Hiking App recommendations

For travel in the US, I recommend either TopoMaps or GaiaGPS if you have an iPhone. Outside the US, GaiaGPS is the best option I’ve found as it was perfect for my ten day tour of Iceland’s Ring Road.

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