Explore the most popular hiking trails in Blue Ridge Parkway with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

mountain biking
3 days ago

about all the bridges are out due to flood early this year may be a while for they get it all back together

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

Started out great..lots to be seen last few miles are strait up hill. Sorta took the fun outa it.. but great workout all in all good day hike

We started on long bottom road and walked up grassy gap fire road made it to the top had to call a friend to come get us this was very strenuous and up hill for 6.7 miles. You need to be in good shape and hike a lot to enjoy this trail. I plan on working hard so next time I will be ready for this climb

Excellent day on the blue ridge

It was a really great trail. We started at the visitors center and went up the zig zag trail to Harkening Hill. It was a mild January day so the views were amazing. It got super chilly on top of the mountain with the winds. There were boulders everywhere for the kids to climb on and explore. We finally made it to the summit, close to 2 miles. It was beautiful. Probably not much of a view in the summer time though. The trail back down towards Johnson’s Farm was easy going. We missed out on the farm, when the trail came to a T we went right because the sign said the farm was 1600ft left and we assumed that meant you could walk down to the farm and then walk back up (the trail actually goes down to the farm and circles back to the visitors center) oh well, next we will go to the farm. The trail back down the mountain crossed a couple creeks and the kids loved that. There were fallen trees to climb over the creek. We took 7 kids on the hike and everyone did great.

Brp still closed, but the walk there wasn't so bad from the barricaded gate. Nothing crazy hard, if I can do it, anyone can do it! My first ever view of a waterfall, very pretty for a first timer

Beautiful view!

watch out for skeet shooters by the air harbor airport. they were shooting directly over the trail. Great trail otherwise!

10 days ago

Clean trail, not overpopulated, amazing view!!

12 days ago

beautiful hike, a little muddy from the rain but not difficult. hiked with my 9 year old.

12 days ago

well marked, travelled it my a 9 year old

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!

As of January 1, 2019 trailhead road access on Blue Ridge Parkway is currently closed. You can still hike Flat Top from the AllTrails listing in Buchanan.

Nice hike, good workout, and less crowded than neighboring Sharp Top. Some notes:
-There are two trails to Flat Top's summit. The one linked here begins at the Peaks of Otter Lodge. This isn't where the actually trail begins, so you can either drive to the "overflow" parking past the first Lodge parking, walk past the Polly Woods Ordinary site on the paved path/road, OR 2) come in from VA-43 and park closer to the actual trailhead. The other trail, listed in Bedford, is a little further south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The road is currently closed (at least coming from Peaks of Otter Lodge).
-The bathrooms in the Peaks of Otter vicinity were closed on Jan 1.
-There is a false summit when you're approaching the ridge, but you're not too far once you see that!
-There is an actual summit sign, so continue until you see that. The best view is on the first rock outcropping to the left. The views from the true summit are a little underwhelming.

4.53 miles
1772 ft elevation gain
2:06 hours

Gorgeous views

Very strenuous hike. Lots of trees down due to recent snow. I took our two dogs who are great on the trails. Fantastic views at Blackrock though unfortunately I skipped the Pinnacle offshoot because I was afraid of running out of daylight. I think this hike would be too hot in summer. If I try it again would aim for the fall when leaves have changed colors.

1 month ago

Overall, great hike! I would say superior to craggy gardens because it is a bit more challenging, longer, less trafficked, and has some excellent moments of exposed rock. Follows the ridge line with a continuous rise and fall of elevation. Trail is well marked with yellow indicators. I am confused why some reviews say it “goes nowhere”. Maybe they didn’t hike far enough?

Beautiful waterfalls and scenery along hike. Ok view at top.

I love coming here in the winter and walking through the morning mist. No wildflowers, but I feel like I’m in LOTR. And not many people make it up here in early winter. If the visitors’ center is closed off, you can park at the picnic area.

Pretty easy hike without super steep slopes and views of the blue ridge mountains the whole way in the winter. You can see the valley and little houses. The lodge isn’t there anymore—burned down in 1926, but there’s a placard with a description of the lodge so you know you’ve made it.

1 month ago

Took the Lodge Trail around and picked up Mountains to Sea up to Wolf Den. Was raining and slick so skipped the last leg to Pinnacle Peak, which I did a few weeks ago. Trail in good shape with decent views along the way.

1 month ago

Hiked numerous times! Not an easy trail.

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

Easy to access off Parkway, and heading northeast, a gentle up and down traverse along the ridge through several hemlock groves, forest, a clearing with wildflowers, and a rocky outcrop with views of the Black Mtn. Range. Great!

on Rough Ridge

1 month ago

Great hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway with amazing views.

Well kept trail with many nice vistas.

I have wanted to hike this trail for over a year and finally got to tackle it today. It's rocky and muddy but manageable. The views of the mountains and the Linn Cove Viaduct are amazing! Well worth the trip.

1 month ago

Moderate hike. Round trip to the falls was about 1h 45m. Had to scramble over some boulders and roots, some of which were slick during our late-November hike. Totally impressive falls though, and well worth braving the cold!

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