We only had a few hours before we had to leave town, and this hike fit the bill. The trail is well-maintained and there was clear signage. Plus the view at the top was great! I definitely recommend it in winter as you have a view most of the way. Enjoy!
Flat Top is a good alternative to its neighbor, Sharp Top. Not near the crowds with a more steady ascent. Smooth start through some beautiful woods gives this a great warm up. Unfortunately this is not a bald peak, like Sharp Top is, so your views will be obstructed by trees most times. Go in the fall or winter, when only some or none of the leaves remain - this should help give you more views.
I rated the trail moderate for the distance. It transverses the Mtn. So the climb I felt was easy. In comparison to Sharp Top which has a steep incline but much shorter . I would rate Sharp Top moderate.The trail is well marked and as you get to the top there are various trails. Going to the summit the large boulders on the left give you the best all around view. Would love to go there on a clear day. Trail starts off the Blue Ridge Parkway with parking at the trail head.
Joseph G. on Apple Orchard Falls Trail
Strenuous on the way back. The water fall makes it worth it! Not a bad hike. Decent.
Roger B. on Flat Top Mountain Trail
I've been up there a few times. Not a whole lot to see on the way up there but once you get there there's an incredible view from three different places. It's best to see it late fall when the leaves have fallen on a clear Day you can see a long way. The last time I went I saw a bear! Not to worry black bears are more afraid of you than you are of them. Definitely wear your hiking boots.