A lightly traveled 2.6 mile scenic loop trail at Smart View Recreation Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 154.5). It includes meadows with split rail fences, a couple bridges over streams and a pretty walk through the forest. There is also a late nineteenth century cabin with 'a right smart view.' You can shorten the hike by using a connector trail.
This was one of my favorite trails because it's flexible - could make it easy/short or a bit longer/moderate. Has a creek, and nice lookout. A portion of it is near the parkway so you could hear traffic, but not too bad. I like starting on the south side as it's slower incline, for about a mile or so. Then you go down/flat, then an incline again by the creek, and a nice cool-down for the last quarter mile, by the parkway. Just perfect, because you can change your mind half-way - if you planned a short run, you can extend, and if you planned a long run but not feeling it, you can cut it in several places. Somewhat popular in the summer because of the picnic areas that are there, but great on weekdays for a quick breather.