This trail is longer than indicated on Alltrails. It is 4.4 miles one-way from the parking area at Grassy Gap Fire Road to Brinegar cabin, for 8.8 miles round trip. NPS indicates it is over 2000 feet elevation gain while it's probably no more than 2500 feet of elevation change it does seem more than that if you weren't expecting it. The grade is never extremely steep but it is very consistent with few flat spots and multiple switchbacks. Some of the steepest sections were at the very beginning while climbing away from Grassy Gap fire road. There are a few rock outcrops that provide great views overall this was a really enjoyable hike.
I parked by the lodge and hiked from the Wildcat Rocks Overlook to Bluff Mountain and the Alligator Back shelter, before heading back. This part of the trail follows very beautiful mostly open rolling terrain. And the views from the crest of the hills are wonderful, particularly on the spectacular fall day I was lucky to get!
A nice trail skirting the Blue Ridge Parkway from Flat Rock Ridge up to Bluff Mtn peak. Mostly forested but some open areas for views down into the valley below. You can access the trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway at around MM 240 and 245 or so. There's a lookout area at both MM's. The trail from MM 240 up to Bluff Mtn peak is steep so be prepared for that. Once you are up on the peak it is a beautiful view. Well worth the heart pumping hike.