Explore Blue Ridge Mountain Trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
10 days ago

Lovely hike! I found it to be a bit easier than Flat Top, next door. Trail is in good condition (for now; snow storms this weekend will change that), despite the lapse in appropriations due to the government shutdown. I did, however, pick up a lot of litter. Please remember that even biodegradable items like citrus peels are trash on the trail. Check it out: https://lnt.org/about/faq/can-i-leave-biodegradable-waste-eg-apple-core-or-banana-peel-woods-long-i-hide-or-burry-it. If you have the energy, consider bringing a trash bag to pack out trash during the shutdown to minimize our impact on these great resources. Bathrooms are closed now, but the Blue Ridge Parkway approaching Peaks of Otter from the South is still open. The parkway is closed just North of this area. Be sure to check out Buzzard Roost while you're there; just a quick jaunt to your right once you reach the ridge (you might see this rock outcropping to your right on your ascent and think it's Sharp Top). Sharp Top itself has many "false summits," as you approach, but you'll know you're there when you see the building/signs. Excellent, unobstructed views. Highly recommended!

Stats (all including Buzzard Roost)
3.30 miles RT
1438 ft. elevation gain
1:30 hours RT

hiking
16 days ago

Clean trail, not overpopulated, amazing view!!

This was my third visit to Sharp Top. 61° at the base parking on New year's day. Legs burnnin a third of the way up. Too many stone steps to count but a great workout! The view is wonderful! Unfortunately it was blowin a Gale on the summit decided not to do Buzzards Roost. Definitely do this one!

I wouldn’t say this is a moderate trail, but very fun. Definitely have to pay attention to the trail markers. Also, make sure to wear the right shoes. I decided to wear my Nike’s (rookie mistake maybe). During an impromptu photo op on a fallen log (at the midway point of the falls), as I was making my way back across the log, I took a 4 foot tumble into the ravine. I saw stars to say the very least. Expect steep inclines, and some climbing over fallen trees and natural rocks. Beautiful scenery (we went a little before Springtime). I would definitely recommend going after a heavy rain, just so you can enjoy the full effect of the falls. Pack something to eat for a day trip - you’ll be pretty hungry by the bottom of the trail. It took my husband, our dog, and me about 6 hours to complete the trail. Our dog was free leashed, me and my husband are mid 20’s and kept a pretty steady pace.

hiking
1 month ago

5-18, Beautiful, flat, paved trail. Took us a little over an hour. Amazing Mountain View’s and the lake it circles is teeming with wildlife. We went on a super foggy day- very cool! The restaurant and hotel on the grounds were also very nice

2-18, Such beautiful waterfalls and bridges! This is one of my favorite hikes in VA. You really feel like you are in an enchanted forest. We went on a foggy day which made it look even prettier! Highly recommend

hiking
2 months ago

LOVED this hike! It was very icy at the top and definitely as hard as the app says, but the view at the top is worth it!! I took my two dogs who both did great. It’s well mapped and everyone I passed was extremely friendly. It got there at 10 am on a Sunday and it wasn’t too crowded, but when I let the parking lot was full.

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic views. Very crowded when we went on a Saturday. Buzzard's Roost, on a short trail a few hundred feet away, has some awesome boulders to climb onto for a nice panorama.

hiking
2 months ago

This was me and my boyfriends first hike, we’ve never hiked before and wanted to try something adventurous. We started around 11am and got to the top around 12:05. It’s supposed to take 1 hr 30 min if your walking at a decent pace but we walked a little faster due to the steepness of the hike. Don’t be fooled this hike is very steep and will wear your body out if you are not used to hiking or long walking. But I will say the view is absolutely stunning and I am now in love with hiking and can’t wait to hike more. This will be a hike that I want to do again for sure soon!! Normally you should hike something a little moderate if your not used to it I’m sure but it was so worth it. Will be coming back for sure, we loved every second of it !!

Beautiful views! Keep going until you hit the 2nd overlook. Every bit of great as the first and just a bit further than the map lists (probably another tenth or so of a mile past what is listed on the map). Our dog also did very well with it despite not quite being much of a hiker himself.

Nice area to wander and stretch your legs next to the Visitor Center.

hiking
3 months ago

A great warm hike. Don’t be deceived by the short distance!! This hike will get you breathing hard and everything pumping... A great 360 view at the top.

Amazing view! Steep climb, but totally worth it.

This trail kicked our butts! The "moderate" rating is misleading, this is a tough one. If you do the whole loop, you'll scramble over some boulders and cross water a few times. We went shortly after some rain, so we actually had to take off our hiking boots and wade across a few times. The falls are breathtaking. Overall a challenging but rewarding hike.
We did not bring our dog, and I'm glad we didn't. This trail would be impossible with a dog.

walking
3 months ago

Beautiful scenery and sunset plus the amazing smells of the lodge restaurant!

hiking
4 months ago

we came completely unprepared with our 1 yr old and 3 yr old. our 1 yr old was carried by her daddy 98% of the time and our 3 yr old walked up it all by herself. she got carried on daddy's shoulders for half the way down.
we didn't bring any water except the 1 yr old bottle that me and her big sister took a drink of at the top of the mountain.
regardless of hardly being able to move today because I'm out of shape for the last 10 yrs. and because I forgot tennis shoes so I got a pair at dollar general that were 1/2 size to big.
it was still worth every step. so beautiful.
wish I would have got this app sooner to record our progress which was roughly 3.5 hours!!! lol :)

as a beginner hiker I found this trail pretty challenging. I was able to do it, but the trail is pretty steep so be prepared, particularly for the way back as that is the up hill portion of the trek.

It was really fun but also difficult. The rating is off I'd say it's a moderate hike.

Probably one of my favorite hikes I’ve gone on recently, the beginning is a little boring but trust me it’s worth it later on

A pleasent trek down to some beautiful falls. The hike back up can be challenging.

hiking
4 months ago

So worth it. The views are amazing- a complete 360. We went in the middle of summer so it was super hot. At least 1/3 of the hike has stairs, but still bring your hiking shoes! this hike is no picnic even when you have a picnic at the top. When I go back to Virginia, I am definitely doing this hike again. - I wouldn’t suggest little kids on this hike, it’s a longer hike, ( I am 13) . If you are thinking about hiking either Sharp Top or Flat Top, we hiked both and I’ll say, Sharp Top is a much better bet. Flat Top isn’t marked so we had trouble finding our way and the views have trees in the way.

Beautiful falls and nice Ling bike from the forest road at the end of North Creek campground.

hiking
5 months ago

great hike. definitely worth the view at the top. if you're adventurous ne sure to check out buzzards roost. for the novice it's a difficult (hard) trail for the experienced it's moderate. have fun and be safe. let's roll out.

5 months ago

difficult but worth the view!

5 months ago

This was an amazing hike. The falls were beautiful. It is a very steep climb, so be prepared for this. But it was not unmanageable by any means.

Beautiful scenery, challenging hike, wonderful views.

5 months ago

I’ve been hiking this for almost 30 years. It is one of my favorite hikes and different every time. The view at the top makes it all worth while.

This trail is beautiful! Very steep hike down to the first set of waterfalls, the main falls is such a breathtaking view! Don’t be discouraged and keep going! This hike is well worth it!

I was concerned about getting lost after reading reviews. Not sure how people got lost. There are signs everywhere. This was an amazing trail. The waterfalls are beautiful! Very peaceful fun hike. I even saw purple, bright orange and bright yellow mushrooms! I’ve never seen a purple mushroom or yellow and orange mushrooms that were so vibrant. Highly recommend this hike. When you come to first cascade, continue to walk over bridge and up many stairs to reach the waterfall.

5 months ago

Fun, short hike. Started early on a weekday morning and ended up having the entire top to myself. Clear day, great views, and light breeze.

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