Explore To-do list - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

To-do list Map
4 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

One of my favorite trails. Very good workout, great views and you're alongside the creek half of the time! Just note that it is a LOT harder going one way than the other, as on one side of Stone Mountain the ascent is very steep with a lot of stairs and on the other it is more gradual. Once you reach the split, if you go left it takes you by the waterfall first but then you've got the stairs up the side of Stone Mountain. Going right is the easier ascent up Stone Mountain and the waterfall will be at the end.

Wonderful place! You can swim, fish, hike and more. I definitely recommend this place.

Outstanding trail. Lots of diverse terrain, amazing views, and a good overall workout. Took right at 6 hours starting from the 605 fire road gate, going counterclockwise, and stopping for water and pictures a few times along the way. There are Lots of trees down across the trail, which made it a bit difficult to navigate, and probably added nearly 60 minutes to our hike time. I highly recommend the starting point on 605 and the counterclockwise route because going down the clockwise route would be very difficult with all the trees down (1/2019) and slippery leaves covering the trail; plus, the fire road is a nice easy way to finish on tired legs. .

*** NOTE: My dog was covered in ticks at the end of the hike, and this was the first week of January! Use caution and do a good tick check on your pets and yourself when you get done ***

Switchback trail zigzags up to the peak. The view is amazing from the peak. Usually rather windy due to nothing being there to break the wind. Pretty much a 360deg view. Simply breathtaking. Will definitely hike again!

Lots and I mean lots of steps but the view at the top is beautiful and definitely worth it. We loved the tower!

My husband and I completed this trail on New Year's Day!
Parts of the trail were very muddy due to all of our recent rains, but still passable. The hike was perfect, not to easy, not too hard. The views at the top are well with the hike!
We spent quite a while exploring all of the mountain top possible, taking little trails that allowed various views!
I could spend all day up there!

Great day to do the hike, especially since the state park was closed so not may tourists around. Total mileage was 12.2.

on Buffalo Mountain Trail

9 days ago

A hidden gem! Views at the top are amazing for such a short hike (maybe 2 miles round trip). The gravel road up to the trailhead is narrow and can be difficult when you meet another car. We met several fellow hikers who brought their dogs and kids (as young as 4ish). The incline going up isn’t difficult and most of the rocks in the path are stable. The drive up from NC was nice too.

9 days ago

Great place to take the family for hiking, fishing or just having a picnic.

10 days ago

Clean trail, not overpopulated, amazing view!!

11 days ago

DO THIS HIKE! Completely agree with all of the other reviews on this hike. It may not sound like much or get the same hype as some of the other hikes in the area but don't be fooled, buffalo mountain is an extraordinary hike. The hike itself is not difficult and I would certainly agree with its moderate rating. The views at the top are insanely beautiful and rival any other hikes in the area. Personally this is my favorite hike with a view in all of the area.

11 days ago

Nice views of the local area, cool rock. Good little waterfalls. Slippery when wet and crowded.

My favorite hike i’ve ever done. A must do if you live in the area. There is a porta potty at the tail head and a pretty spacious parking lot. Hike up was really easy and trail blazes were clearly marked. Awesome hike with a great 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!

15 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. completed the last 2 miles in the dark.

16 days ago

The trail is well marked and easy to follow. the view from the top is really beautiful especially on a clear day. Plus the sound of the water coming from the creek is really refreshing. It is a little bit of a workout but it is worth it.

16 days ago

This was a wonderful trail. As other reviewers stated... go up the left side to avoid the stairs. I would have highly disliked this trail if I had to climb up all those stairs. It was a busy Saturday at the park but this trail was very quiet. A beautiful 360 view from the top. The lookout tower is really cool!

I hiked this trail yesterday morning. I started down at the lower parking lot trailhead and did the entire loop. It was an amazing experience. The views at the summit and the waterfalls was awesome. I saw an abundance of wildlife as well. Great trail!

Hiked this loop with my 2 children about 2 months ago. It was challenging at parts but mainly fun! We started off to the right. Will go then opposite way next time for more of a challenge. The waterfall, views and well marked routes were perfect!

19 days ago

Great trail. It has a little of everything; great views, crawling over rocks, stream crossings, variety of terrain, steep ascents/descents. I parked at the Rock Castle Gorge Overlook, off the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 169) and went clockwise. Took me 5 hours with a couple stops to change layers and have a snack, plus a number of pauses for pictures. Trail is well maintained, but has a lot of down branches/trees from the recent storms.

19 days ago

Beautiful day. Great views. Recommend micro-spikes for winter ascents. Ice covered sections of the trail near the top. I also have to question that 10.4 mile out and back rating. It's more like 13 to 14 miles. Definitely on the difficult side but well worth the effort.

Very easy hike

Great hike that has it all! Great views from the top with lots of places to stop off the trail and take it all in! I did find parking at the east parking lot and going to the summit is the way to do this hike! Coming from the other direction to the top, you'll be climbing many narrow steps, much easier going down those narrow steps in my opinion. Seen plenty of people with children and dogs so I do believe it's a hike for the entire family.

We stayed at the park's campground, beautiful, clean and a return visit for sure. This time of the year and during the week made it extra special, only two other camper's in the campground.
Hiked both ways on the loop, it was an outstanding experience.

Hiked this yesterday (December 19)! would recommend going at a different time than my group did if you have inexperienced members! One of my friends nearly took a plunge of some icy rocks. Snow also made it difficult to see crevices between rocks you could easily break your ankle in!! My group hiked up profile trail to Calloway peak, then took grandfather trail to the parking lot and hitchhiked back to the car. The views and adventure were absolutely stunning, but the trek is certainly not for the out of shape or faint of heart! One of the best trails I’ve hiked!

nice short hike but very crowded. you have to deal with people with no manners on trail.

nature trips
1 month ago

Such a great hike during the off season. Lots of wonderful wildlife sounds and fresh air. You’ll love it! Not too strenuous. I’ve climbed much more difficult...It’s a great day hike. Enjoy!

this is a fun trail with some good uphill. there are always a lot of people as it is close to Winston Salem.

The trail is decent. there are always many people on this trail as this is the most popular trail in this SP. the view from the top is nice.

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