Trail Access

The parking area is open 7 days a week from dawn until dusk.

The Mountain Lake Conservancy Office & Mountain Lake Outfitters

Please abide by all posted rules and regulations.  Mountain Lake is private property and not responsible for your well-being.

Our Policies:

  • NEW PET POLICY! Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail system. Please abide by the leash rule and pick up after your pet on the trail and around the property facilities.
  • Please beware that your cell phone may not work on the mountain-top (Verizon service is best).
  • Please leave what you find, pack it in and pack it out. Do not disturb any research equipment you see around the property and trails.
  • We do not allow camping or campfires.
  • Motorized vehicles and horses are not permitted on the MLC trail system.

For your safety, we suggest:

  • Do not hike alone.
  • Carry a trail map and compass to avoid becoming lost. Trail maps are available at the year-round trail access lot, Recreation and Conservancy offices, as well as inside the lodge May-October.
  • Please make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Stay hydrated and bring your own water – local sources may not be safe for drinking.
  • Please do not feed or touch any animals as they do not know where good intentions and food end and your hand starts.
  • Be aware that black bear and venomous snake do inhabit this region (Copperhead and Timber rattlesnake).
  • If you see a bear – quietly leave – do NOT run.
  • Thursdays at noon through Sundays at 4pm, you are welcome to tour and visit our facilities including Mountain Lake Outfitters equipment rentals & gift shop, HARVEST restaurant, and Stony Creek Tavern.

Available Community Activities:

Hiking – Mountain Lake has over 20 miles of trails ideal for hiking. Visit the scenic vistas of Bald Knob, Bear Cliffs and the Old Golf Course for breath-taking views of the New River Valley. Click here for hiking information.

We are also only 5 miles / 10 minutes away from the Appalachian Trail located in the Mountain Lake Wilderness Area of Jefferson National Forest.

Observation of Flora & Fauna – Beauty abounds atop Salt Pond Mountain. Spring is ideal for songbird migration and wildflower blooms, our birdfeeder stations are up throughout the season! In the summertime enjoy a salamander search or mushroom foray walking the forested trails. Fall brings spectacular leaf coloration and watch for falcon migration from the overlooks. Winter snow makes for great animal tracking and print ID.

Mountain Biking – We have trails for all levels of cyclists, including technical mountain-top and rocky ridge terrain.  Mountain Bike rentals are available to our visitors regularly Thursday through Sunday, and Monday through Wednesday by appointment through the Mountain Lake Outfitters. Click here for mountain biking information.

Geocaching – There are a variety of geocaches hidden at Mountain Lake – check out for information.

Frisbee Disc Golf – A new 18-hole disc golf course has been re-located to the Old Golf Course meadow.  To access the disc golf course, please park in the main day visitor lot at the Mountain Lake Outfitters building. Course maps and info. area available via Mountain Lake Outfitters.