Park at the Peaks of Otter Nature Center (which is now closed). The visitor center offers restrooms, water, and an amphitheater. To see the INCREDIBLE view you have to scramble up the boulders. Sharp Top, along with Flat Top and Harkening Hill, make up the namesake three "Peaks of Otter." Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Virginia: Address, Phone Number, Peaks of Otter Visitor Center Reviews: 4.5/5 ... so make the most of your time in the city by going on an evening tour on an open-air trolley. It was a perfect day. Lots of natural flowers and mushrooms and butterflies! Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Virginia: See 155 reviews, articles, and 179 photos of Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, ranked No.246 on Tripadvisor among 2,878 attractions in Virginia. From the Peaks of Otter Campground, Virginia, a visitor can easily explore the iconic mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Enjoy our video of last year’s hike! The primary activity at Peaks of Otter is hiking. Nice trail, I would say moderate and quite shady. Call 866-387-9905 for reservations and choose option 4 to book activities. The Peaks of Otter and Sharp Top aren’t hard to find – just follow these directions. If beginning from the lodge, when you get to the sign at the peak, go a bit beyond it & there’s a large boulder off to the right - that’s the viewpoint. Great workout. Straight incline for the first mile or so! We started at 8am and took our time, lots of rocks starting a third of the way up. We had heard of Peaks of Otter for years but had never visited it. Peaks of Otter Hiking Trails. Each of the peaks have well-traveled hiking trails, but Sharp Top Trail is by far the most popular trail of the three. nice view at the top. Area hikes include: Sharp Top, Elk Run, Harkening Hill and Johnson Farm Trails. Will def do this hike again. It was crowded at all. Took the shorter, steeper route up this from the lake having already done Sharp Top earlier in the day. See our Eating & Sleeping page for more information. The overlooks along the way are especially pretty in the winter with the trees bare. Beautiful hike up the mountain without many other people there, summit view was stunning! There is also a separate cliff formation on the other side of Sharp Top called Buzzard's Roost, which also has good views. The visitor center offers restrooms, water, and an amphitheater. From the parking area, this hike took me nearly two hours, including time spent at Sharp Top and Buzzard’s Roost. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Virginia: Address, Phone Number, Peaks of Otter Visitor Center Reviews: 4.5/5 ... Will be back someday to get to Sharp Top on the shuttle and hike down,hike Fallingwater Cascades Trail and Harkening Hill ... (Facilities at the Peaks are closed in winter, but the trails are open… Hike Abstract Location: Flat Top Mountain Overlook, Peaks of Otter Recreation Area, VA Distance from Hubs: Raleigh (161 miles – 3 hours and 6 min) Greensboro (125 miles – 2 hours and 23 min) Roanoke (32 miles – 55 min) Trail Access: From Bedford, VA follow VA-43 north for 10.3 mi. There are multiple trails in the Peaks of Otter Recreation Area for all fitness levels but we decided to tackle the 2 toughest: Sharp Top and Flat Top.These can be done as separate hikes or combined to make a hike of 9.8 miles. The Flat Top trail begins at the Big Spring parking lot. Wrap-Up Notes. The lodge is typically open from spring to late fall, as well as weekends in the winter. There are three main peaks; Flat Top, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill in order from highest peak altitude to lowest peak altitude. Longer distance & lower incline than Sharp Top but arguable just as (if not more) strenuous. The Peaks of Otter Lodge is the only year-round accommodation on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Peaks of Otter Lodge. The actual trail starts at a natural spring. At Peaks of Otter Lodge. The view at the top is one of the best I've seen in the area. Seemed long and boring. Reservations are required, through Peaks of Otter Lodge, with limited space available. Download the Peaks of Otter trails map. Date of Hike: Friday, August 26, 2011: We love peaks of otter hike the views are awesome absolutely. Definitely need some good hiking shoes. It … The Johnson Farm, one of the few reminders of the old community, supplied fruit and vegetables to the hotel. This easy, one mile loop trail around Abbott Lake takes hikers through a woodland forest and open field, offering a close-up view of this picturesque lake. Many rocks to sit and enjoy the view from for hours. There were some people camping on top of one of the piles, not sure if that’s allowed but a pretty great idea. Milepost 85.9 – Elk Run Trail (self-guiding loop nature trail from Peaks of Otter Visitor Center) Length: 0.8 Miles Skill Level: Easy Johnson Farm Loop Trail (loop to restored mountain farm) Length: 2.1 Miles Skill Level: Moderate Harkening Hill Trail (elevation -3300 feet; begin at Peaks of Otter Visitor Center) This weekend will include several shorter hikes, suitable for all levels. The Peaks of Otter TRACK Trail follows the Abbott Lake Trail for an easy 1-mile loop around the lake, and then the Johnson Farm Trail for a 1.8-mile loop that passes through Johnson Farm - a mountain farmstead that exists today as it did in the 1850's. Unrelenting on the way up but excellent scenery at the summit, and much less heavily trafficked than Sharp Top! We are taking appropriate actions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus based on the guidance of the CDC, and we are excited to be back open! I should also note that we hiked up the way AllTrails shows but continued on down the other side (point to point was 4.4 miles) that the blue ridge visitor maps suggested. No rocky climbing, just steady incline with a couple flat areas. The Peaks of Otter campground is located at milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Peaks and Sharp Top Are Easy to Find. Here at the Peaks of Otter site, Parkway visitors will find only a few reminders of a small community made up of 22 families. The entire trail is gravel on dirt. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford, VA, USA Get Directions The Peaks of Otter – Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill – have dominated the view in this region of Virginia for centuries, first attracting the attention of Native Americans who saw the area as a rich hunting ground. We decided to participate in a special program w/ Thomas Jefferson aka Bill Barker through Peaks of Otter, Poplar Forest, and the National Park Service. Today, the Peaks of Otter still inspires travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Amazing view at the top. I’ve outlined three hiking options that range from 2.8 to 3.6 miles. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center. really enjoyed this one too. There are four big piles of boulders around the top areas of the hike, which allow you to see a view from every side of the mountain and it is truly spectacular. This hike was my absolute favourite in the appalachian area. Definitely tough first mile. Bus rides to within 1,500 feet of the Sharp Top summit are available at a station not far from the visitor center. This hike is so amazing, the views are incredible and the trail is fun but you should def bring bug spray if you don’t want to be swatting at your body every 5 seconds. Lots of tiny bugs, mosquitos, and huge flies. Peaks of Otter is formed by three mountains with Abbott Lake in the center valley - Sharp Top Mountain (3,875 feet), Flat Top Mountain (4,001 feet), and Harkening Hill (3,372 feet). Visit the Peaks of Otter Lodge website to see available dates and book reservations online (you can also call 866-387-9905). It's a short but grueling hike to get this shot, especially with a large format camera and in the hours before sunrise. Not sure why the AllTrails map starts at the furthest side of the Lodge parking lot. Make sure you have hiking boots on and people who are a bit clumsier may want a hiking stick. I think it's equal to sharp top with nice views on each side when you get to the top. You will cross over a paved bus road soon after beginning the hike. Strenuous hike with multiple false summits — we hiked up to the top in 1 hour 40 mins and were covered in sweat. The view is gorgeous though. Enjoyed the trail. Johnson Farm is also here – a living history farm that entices visitors to play games, help work the garden, or enjoy nature’s beauty by relaxing on the porch in a rocking chair. Escape the bustle and experience an amazing hiking and camping trip. Reservations can be made for portions of this campground online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. 5 star hike BUT the bugs here were the bane of my existence. Amazing view at top, but yes, you must climb on top of some boulder piles. Beautiful and quiet. Explore Polly Wood’s Ordinary, a cabin that served as the first lodging for travelers through the area starting in the early 1830’s. Peaks of Otter will have a shuttle available (limited capacity) with pick-up and drop-off at the Lodge; reservations required. The lodge is typically open from spring to late fall, as well as weekends in the winter. This hike is definitely strenuous. I am an Iraq veteran and I heard that there is a B-52 sight up by there somewhere but nobody seems to know where it is. Sharp Top Trail (1.5 miles) Native Americans passed through the area while hunting, and European settlers began to call the region home in the mid-1700s. Vegetation just starting to come in so lots of slick leaves (not unsafe). The Peaks of Otter hike to Harkening Hill also begins across the Blue Ridge Parkway. Explore Peaks of Otter - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. An excellent location for a proposal . Today, the Peaks of Otter still inspires travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway. An absolute challenge with the continuous steep inclines. Abbott Lake is open to fishing for anyone with a valid North Carolina or Virginia fishing license. The sun was shining, the blue sky was speckled with fluffy white clouds, and a cool breeze brought refreshment as we hiked into the hills. Difficult hike and took about 2 hours to hike up with frequent stops. Sharp Top Trail (1.5 miles to the summit) This is the most popular trail at the Peaks and originates at the Nature Center across the Parkway from the Visitor Center. We are gonna go up there again soon maybe 2 weekends from now. We parked in the little lot down the parkway, not at the visitor center. We are open 12pm to 5pm daily until January Closed on December 24th and 25th Starting in January we will be open Sat and Sunday 12pm to 5pm Other times by chance or appointment Pick 8 wines for a sample flight to try our wines. The view isn’t as mesmerizing as Sharp Top but certainly is still beautiful. The 24-acre lake features a one-mile loop trail, and is stocked with smallmouth bass, catfish, golden shiners, sunfish, and blue gill. This is a steep and strenuous route and should be attempted only by those in good health. No bears were seen on the mountain (we saw one on the short lake trail at the base), but there are HUNDREDS of beautiful butterflies. Next up is Harkening Hill hopefully tomorrow! Sharp Top is historically significant as it marked the northernmost boundary of the Cherokee Nation. Enjoy our video of the 2016 hike! But the views at the end make it worth it! Please note the special regulations posted lakeside, Explore a small gift shop for Blue Ridge Parkway keepsakes at the Visitor Center, Grab a snack or camping supplies at the camp store, located at the start of the Sharp Top trail, near the campground, Camp under the stars at a Parkway-operated 144-site campground at the foot of Sharp Top mountain, with sites for 92 tents and 52 trailers or RVs, water, comfort stations with flush toilets and cold water sinks (no showers or hook-ups), Parkway recorded information line: 828-298-0398. 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