Johnson Farm & Harkening Hill Trail

MODERATE 24 reviews
#23 of 44 trails in

Johnson Farm & Harkening Hill Trail is a 3.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Bedford, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
967 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

A nice, often-forgotten or ignored trail at the Peaks of Otter. Not as steep or rocky as the other 2 peaks. Johnson Farm Loop portion is more traveled than the Harkening Hill part. Experienced hikers/trail runners might rate this as moderate; others would probably say it's demanding. Trail starts from the Visitor's Center on the Parkway at the Peaks of Otter, running parallel to the Pkwy for 0.3 mi. Take the second left (which takes you through a long field) to then enter the woods to go up to the Johnson Farm. Continue up from the farm and then turn right at the trail intersection to go up to the summit of Harkening Hill. Shortly before the summit, there will be a short spur to the left to Balance Rock, which is neat to see. There is not much of a view at the summit except when the leaves are off the trees, and even then, it's not as spectacular as Sharp Top or Flat Top, which is why this is often the "forgotten 3rd peak" of the Peaks of Otter. However, the trail is not nearly as rocky as the other peaks and not as steep. It is an excellent trail for trail running. The Johnson Farm Loop portion usually has a lot more visitors than the H.H. portion. The "light usage" rating is for the H.H. part, even during the more popular months. If the Johnson Farm is open, be sure to stop in and see it and sign the guest book.

11 days ago

This was easy enough to carry a toddler and hard enough that it still felt like a workout. I love going to the farm and learn new tidbits everytime

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Awesome and great hike any time of year!

2 months ago

Easy hiking! Doesn't have the best Summit, but it's a great loops hike for all ages.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trial. Relatively easy hike for adults and children alike. If you have younger children, be aware that there are some narrow parts of the trail that have steep drop offs. My six year old wanted to hold my hand out of fear on those parts.

hiking
6 months ago

I hiked the two mile Johnson Farm Loop, skipping the Harkening Hill section (for now). It is a pretty and well maintained trail, and it gave me a chance to catch my breath after just completing Sharp Top. I enjoyed seeing and reading about the history of the farm.

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Solid walk in the woods accessible from Peaks of Otto Lodge. There are many get views, but it's a relatively easy hike. Farm house is an interesting diversion, as is the balancing rocks towards the top of the loop.

hiking
10 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

Great trail, easy to follow, but the views are not all that much! Would rather do this trail in fall!

hiking
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The trail head is located at MP 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We parked at the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center and hiked the Johnson Farm Trail (2.1 mile loop)

hiking
Sunday, March 20, 2016

hiking
Sunday, March 13, 2016

hiking
Friday, January 15, 2016

hiking
Sunday, November 22, 2015

meh. Kind of a waste of time. The farmhouse looked OK. The hike was just a walk in the woods. Near peaks of Oteer, though, which is one of my fav places

https://www.facebook.com/groups/JasonHikingPage/

walking
Saturday, July 11, 2015

hiking
Tuesday, January 20, 2015