Activities & Recreation
NOTICE: Gift Cards are currently unavailable for purchase online. For gift certificates, please contact the business office at (276) 865-4413 ext. 3206. Thank you.
More than 20 miles of hiking trails lace the park, varying from easy to difficult. Most are less than one mile long, but interconnected trails offer hikers a good choice of longer routes over varying terrain. Maps with descriptions of each trail are available at the Visitor Center. Trail names give clues to the outstanding physical features of each trail: Cold Spring, Geological, Grassy Creek, Grassy Overlook, Lake, Loop, Overlook, Prospectors’ Ridge, River, Towers, and Tower Tunnel. Both the Ridge and Geological trails are self-guided, with booklets available at the Visitor Center that detail points and notes of interest. But if you would prefer, guided hikes are scheduled throughout the summer. Additionally, if you call ahead, our Visitor Center staff will be happy to plan a guided hike to meet your family’s or group’s schedule.
Elevations measured many years ago show heights varying from 870 feet at the Russell Fork River in the canyon bottom to 1,978 feet at Clinchfield Overlook (where the Overlook Trail begins.) The advent of modern GPS units shows the elevations to be higher. Surfaces vary from hard-packed dirt to rock and boulders, and are maintained with steps and handrails where needed. All are marked with colored blazes, with no intersecting trails having the same color.
The extraordinary range and variety of trails offered the hiker in our park is significant. Below we offer detail on each to help you choose your path. And enjoy every step!
Caution: Pets must be leashed and we ask that visitors stay away from exposed overlooks during thunderstorms. Bicycles are permitted only on the Mountain Bike Trail.
Click here for trail descriptions.
Mountain Bike Trail & Rentals
The Mountain Bike Trail offers breathtaking scenery. The trail is a stack loop trail system offering up to nearly 12 miles of riding, from moderate to difficult. Depending on the route chosen, bikers may plan rides of varying length, with the possibilities of good climbs and long downhill runs. Positive reviews for this trail are posted regularly on the websites for hiking enthusiasts.
If you’d like to try out our Mountain Bike Trail or simply want to ride around the park but don’t have a bike, no worries! You can rent a mountain bikes and e-bikes for a half day (4 hours) or rent mountain bikes for a full day (8 hours).
Mountain Bike and E-bike Rentals are available at the boat dock on Laurel Lake.
Mountain Bikes and E-bikes will be available to rent Friday through Sunday until October 31, 2021.
1/2 Day (11 am to 3 pm or 3 pm to 7 pm)
E-bike – $35 Mountain Bike – $25
Full Day (11 am to 7 pm)
Mountain Bike – $40
For the 2021 season, the park has partnered with private concessionaires to offer guided horseback rides through the scenic ridges and hollows of the Breaks Interstate Park.
Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Sunday (10am-5pm)
Closed Mondays except for holiday weekends
Closed on rainy days due to wet trail conditions
Cash only-first come, first serve basis
Lead Line Pony rides are available for children 8 & under.
Trail rides are available for guests 8 years of age and older. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Guests under 18 are also required to wear a helmet (provided by the park). Weight limit 220lbs.
30 minutes, $35
60 minutes, $65
No reservations currently required, both activities are cash only.
For questions, please contact the concessionaire directly at (606) 794-8096
The 21st Century’s high-tech hide and seek!
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game for adventure-seekers of all ages. Using a GPS device, participants hide and seek small containers called caches, or “geocaches” and often post their experiences online. There are currently more than 60 geocaches hidden in and around the Breaks Park area.
GPS devices and maps with Geocache coordinates are available at the Visitor’s Center.
Breaks Interstate Park is home t0 dozens of different species of birds. Large birds like vultures, hawks, and falcons are commonly seen from our overlooks, and if you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle! The updraft created by the topography is perfect for soaring birds that will effortlessly ride the air looking for carrion or a tasty fish to eat. In 2007, Peregrine Falcons were released into the park. These birds had been wiped out from the Eastern United States due to the use of pesticides and chemicals such as DDT in the 1940’s and 50’s. Until the reintroduction effort, the last documented sighting in the state of Virginia was at The Towers within the park.
If you hike on our trails, be sure to keep an eye and an ear open for chickadees, woodpeckers, sparrows, and cardinals, that like to hide in rhododendron thickets. In the spring and summer, the park is flush with a wide variety of breeding warblers like the Hooded Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Northern Parula, Blackburnian Warbler, and the Swainson’s Warbler. You can also find ducks, herons, and other waterfowl at Laurel Lake, Beaver Pond, or in the gorge. Each winter the park participates in the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count. The information collected is reported to the Audubon Society, where it is used to determine increases or declines in area species.
Whether you’re a well-seasoned birder or just enjoy watching robins, you are sure to be blown away by our variety of Mother Nature’s best musicians!
Check us out on eBird to find what species others have seen in the park here.
Pedal boats, kayaks and canoes are available seasonally for 1/2 hour or hour rentals on beautiful Laurel Lake.
Daily rentals are available for kayaks and canoes (allowing visitors to also use them on nearby Flannagan lake).
Canoes and kayaks are not permitted on river waters. Visitors may use these boats as a means to explore, or for fishing.
Photo ID is required for day long rentals.
Life jackets are available and are mandatory to be worn for each person on a water craft.
The boat dock is located adjacent to the waterpark on Laurel Lake.
Laurel Lake Boat Dock Operating Hours
Friday through Sunday until October 31, 2021
11:00am until 7:00pm. Last rental will be let out no later than 6:30pm.
11:00am until 7:00pm
Rental Fees are:
$10/half hour $12/hour
$30/8 hours for canoes and kayaks only
Laurel Lake, Beaver Pond, and the Russell Fork River offer a variety of fishing experiences, and the promise of a good catch. Laurel Lake, a twelve-acre man-made lake, and our two-acre Beaver Pond are stocked with bluegill and bass. The Russell Fork River is stocked with Rainbow Trout by Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries officials.
Fishing licenses are required. Virginia and Kentucky licenses are accepted at Laurel Lake and The Beaver Pond. However, appropriate state licenses are required fishing on the Russel Fork River.
**If you do not have a fishing license, our gift shop desk attendants will assist you in logging into the Virginia Department of Game and Fisheries to apply for a license. This will require a card payment, cash cannot be accepted as you are completed the application online.