Buffalo Mountain

Willis, VA
Length: 2.20 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

This is a moderately easy 2 mile out and back trail, with a 550 foot elevation gain, and 270 degree views at the top.

From the parking lot, the trail is steady for around half a mile with very little elevation gain. Parts of this section are rocky, but overall the trail is decently wide and easy for very young walkers to do on their own. A little before halfway, you begin a series of switchbacks that take you to the summit, but the switchbacks are long and the elevation gain is slow. The steepest part of the trail is the final push up a short but very wide section, before a bench is visible at the summit, and the trail gives way to an incredible panoramic view.

Retrace your steps to return to the car.

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Trail Features

Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 551 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Natural Play Area, Shaded Hike, and Viewpoint

It can be hard to find trails in Virginia with epic views that are easy enough for young walkers to do, and short enough to complete at a child’s pace, and Buffalo Mountain more than fits the bill.

The summit is a bald with a few rocky outcrops; there is a wide open area that is safe for kids to play on, and allows for adults to take in the views without worry over sheer drop-offs of the outcrops. Those are definitely still worth a look as well, but will require closer supervision.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

GPS is very unreliable for arriving at this trailhead due to its extreme remoteness. The route however is well marked with signs directing towards the “nature preserve” on the roads leading to the parking lot.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

I am the Branch Ambassador for Hike It Baby Chattanooga. A native of Richmond, VA, I spent most of my adolescence and early adulthood hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and once my children were born started taking them on adventures with me! I am a portrait photographer and freelance writer, trying to hike my way through all the trails southeastern Tennessee has to offer.


Trail Map

Getting There

From the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation:

From Roanoke, follow I-81 south towards Christiansburg. Exit onto VA 8 and head south towards Floyd. At Floyd, turn right onto US 221, and follow it about 6 miles. Turn left (south) on 727 (Union School Road) and go about 4.5 miles to Conner Grove Road (VA 799). Turn right onto 799, go about 100 feet and turn left onto Moles Road (VA 727). Go about 1 mile, and turn right to stay on VA 727. Go 1 mile to a 3-way fork. Bear to the right and follow the gravel access road to the preserve parking area. From the “End of State Maintenance” sign, it is approximately 1.1 miles to the parking area and trail head.