dogs on leash
A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other, a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. Protecting a diversity of plants and animals, the Parkway meanders for 469 miles, providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region of the country so special.
We did this with our whole family at thanksgiving. Ages 5-60. It's not terribly difficult. It was VERY crowded however. So expect to share the views with others. Well maintained Trail and a spectacular view at the top. If you are looking for an easy and short hike with a great view this would be a good choice.
This is a great part of the Parkway with many wonderful destinations (including the visitor center area along the James River, Apple Orchard Mountain which is the highest point on the Parkway in Virginia, Peaks of Otter with Sharp Top and Flat Top Mountains, and a ridgeline section north of Roanoke with amazing views in both directions).
A pretty wooded trail with some nice views of the surrounding mountains. It is a little rocky in a few places, but nothing difficult...and there is just enough elevation change to make the short hike more fun. There are two parking areas along the Parkway. I started from the spot that also includes the Flat Top Mountain trailhead. I would recommend taking the loop clockwise for better views of the falls while hiking back up along the creek.
I hiked the two mile Johnson Farm Loop, skipping the Harkening Hill section (for now). It is a pretty and well maintained trail, and it gave me a chance to catch my breath after just completing Sharp Top. I enjoyed seeing and reading about the history of the farm.
A wonderful trail...short but steep to amazing views at the rocky summit. The hard work on the climb is definitely rewarded. There is lots of parking, between the lots at the trailhead, across the Parkway at the visitor center and even across Abbott Lake at the restaurant. It is often needed. Fortunately the crowds did not show up until I was headed down on a beautiful morning-after-Thanksgiving hike.
A wonderful hike...short but steep to tremendous views. I even got it in before the crowds arrived on a beautiful day after Thanksgiving. Amazingly I was the only one at the summit, having lots of fun climbing the stone steps amongst the huge boulders. I picked the perfect way to burn off some calories from the day before!
Loved this trail and so did my boys (ages 5 and 7). Not a difficult hike but shoes with good grip are important. I definitely wouldn't attempt this hike if the trail were wet - lots of slick rocks. Views are amazing - this is definitely one of our favorites so far.