The Virginia Highlands Horse Trail runs 67 miles through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Mount Rogers
National Recreation Area. Some sections are open to bikes, including this one. The trail is blazed with orange diamonds. This section of the VHHT is open to ATV use in the winter.
This part of the VHHT is comprised of two segments with very different character. The first section runs from a small parking area off of FS16 to SR398. For four miles, this part of the trail climbs and descends very gently along the contours of the north face of Snake Den Mountain. This part of the route follows an old forest road, but the path has narrowed to a singletrack in many places.
After you cross SR398, the trail character changes. It still follows old road beds, but you'll climb up and down several creek valleys with some steep climbing as you transition from valley to valley. After the first 200-foot climb, a fun descent includes the first creek crossing. There's a little bit of gravel in this section and some eroded but still quite passable trail. After a 400-foot descent following the creek, you've got a short 150-foot ascent and descent down to Jones Creek, which you'll reach at about 8.7 miles.
Here the VHHT takes a sharp right turn to climb up Jones Creek valley. A social trail continues straight at this point down Jones Creek valley presumably taking you to the nearby Saddleback Drive. From the sharp right turn, you've got an easy but probably muddy climb along Jones Creek for one mile and then the trail leaves the creek and becomes steeper, climbing for another mile, for an overall climb of 600 feet.
Near the crest of this final climb, there is an open area with a bit of a view and you'll cross the Little Dry Run hiking trail. Then you can enjoy a 2.75-mile, 500-foot descent following the cascading Dry Run Fork. There are a half dozen or so creek crossings along the descent including to wider ones towards the end. Along this final descent, there are also some water bars that you can jump if you prefer.
To get to the next segment of the VHHT, turn right onto US21 for about 500 feet and then left onto FS 14.
The area directly north of this segment of the VHHT along Dry Run Fork and Jones Creek is designated Wilderness.