At under a mile, this hike is perfect for quick exercise.
The trail leaves from the parking lot adjacent to the information kiosk. After the first few hundred feet, you will see Crystal Spring to your right. Legend has it that an Indian warrior loved a maiden from an opposing tribe and, as a symbol of his devotion, gave the maiden a magnificent gem necklace. Waiting for her love at the spring one night, a jealous warrior from her own tribe took the gem necklace. In the struggle that ensued, the maiden caught the warrior’s hand as he ripped away the jewel and she threw the necklace into the spring. The jewel dissolved and gave the spring its sparkling purity.
The trail travels along the edge of a beaver pond with a wide variety of wildlife, then curves back between the James River and the beaver pond. As you draw closer to the parking lot, you can see remnants of the old Locher home and swimming pool.
This trail is found just after Natural Bridge Station and before Arnold’s Valley. From the Lexington Visitor Center, drive east on Washington Street to a left at the stoplight onto East Nelson Street (US-60). Continue six miles into Buena Vista and take a right turn onto Beech Avenue / Sycamore Avenue / US-501. Drive 9.3 miles to a right onto VA-130 W. In 3.1 miles, turn left onto VA-759 S. Take the first left after crossing the James River onto James River Rd (Rt. 782). The road ends at the Locher Tract parking area.
- This trail provides watchable wildlife opportunities.
- Other area trails are good add-ons if this one leaves you wanting more. Try Devil’s Marbleyard; a favorite Virginia hike.
- After your hike, stop by Scotto's in Glasgow for a hot pizza and a cold beer. You may notice a dinosaur on the prowl but don't worry! The creature is one of Mark Cline's creations and welcomes AT hikers into town.