Backpack around Lake Moomaw

Hot Springs, Virginia

based on 2 reviews



6.6 miles

Elevation Gain

1200 ft

Route Type



Added by Jess Fischer

As one of the most beautiful only lake-front backpacking destinations in Virginia you'll find yourself hiking through mountains while always having a view of the gorgeous Lake Moomaw. This trip is also perfect for beginner backpackers! 

On your way to the trailhead don't forget to pull off the road at the scenic outlook to take in the vast expanse of Lake Moomaw (you won't miss it!).

Start off your adventure by parking at the end of Twin Ridge Drive (37.976545, -79.985582). From this point, hike down the little paved driveway into the campground area. The trailhead for the hike will be behind the second campground. From here you will follow the trail for 3.3 miles. You will encounter a few uphills, downhills, and flat ground so if you are a first time backpacker you will get a little taste of everything during this hike. About halfway through your hike and after the biggest uphill climb you'll encounter you will come to a wooden bench. Pause here to regain your breath and enjoy the amazing view of the lake and mountains. After a total of 3.3 miles you will come to a grassy clearing with a wooden sign to let you know you have reached Greenwood Point Campground. To your left and to your right will be camp spots (we camped at the left in front of the lake). If you choose to go right you will have to hike through the woods for a couple hundred feet. There are campsites under the trees and along the lake front. All campsites are lake front with the exception of two. Once you've picked your perfect spot, set up camp and enjoy the rest of your day. During the days you can swim in the lake and if you take a walk around the entire peninsula you will find a rope swing somewhere along the shore ;)

Another option to get to this campsite is: bring a kayak and paddling from Coles Point Boat Ramp (coordinates: 37.948644, -79.968568) which is on the opposite side of the lake from where you start the hike. 

There are bears in this part of Virginia so make sure to bring some type of contraption to hang your food up in a tree. We used a rope and gear sack and hung our food a couple hundred feet away from the campground and had no issues.

Make sure to tell someone where you are going and be safe!

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Picnic Area

Backpack around Lake Moomaw Reviews

This is not an easy hike. It is 3.3 miles of uphill both ways (6.6 miles total), but it is worth it. The hike itself is beautiful, but with a pack on your back, it's tiring. It took me 2.5 hours to do it, but half of the kids I took made it in less than 2. We drove up Friday evening, spent a night at Bolar Mt Campground (recommend #3, since that's where the trailhead is) then 7 kids aged 7-14, 2 dogs, and I hit the trail with our packs to spend Saturday night at Greenwood Point. Each kid carried their own bag/tent/gear, so that gives you an idea of ability. Greenwood Pt is breathtaking. The boys took fishing poles and spent the day fishing; girls played on the beach. I relaxed by the fire. No problems with bears or other critters. Didn't see a single other person on the trail out or back on Sunday, although there were some campers who had boated in. Loved the seclusion. Please don't litter on the trail!!! (Obviously there had been some trail use due to the water bottles we picked up.) Overall, your calves will burn, you will hate your love of hiking at at least one point on the trail when you are hauling yourself up a 65 degree slope (I may or may not be exaggerating), but you'll be glad you did it in the end. I second the other review in that Lake Moomaw is truly one of the most beautiful spots in Virginia.

Lake Moomaw is one of the most beautiful places I've been in Virginia. Be sure to double check that you have everything you need before driving out to the lake because there aren't any stores around. This lake is quite secluded and you probably wont encounter many people on the trail...a truly hidden gem.

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