Johnson Farm & Harkening Hill Trail

MODERATE 29 reviews
#21 of 39 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.

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

Nice Easy hike. No spectacular view- but it is a convenient loop.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great trail to do with the whole family. We went to Balancing Rock and Harkening Hill and then back down to the Johnson Farm. Can be a little challenging in spots when going up to Harkening Hill if you are not used to the elevation gain changes. Make sure you have plenty of water and an inhaler if you require it, so glad we had my son's with us...he needed it several times. We really enjoyed the trip!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I love this trail because I've been able to carry even my 22 month old grandson along. The Johnson farm trail is perfect for family hiking.

3 months 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
4 months ago

4 months ago

Awesome and great hike any time of year!

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

hiking
6 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
8 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
8 months ago

8 months ago

hiking
11 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
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

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