Explore the most popular trail running trails near Bedford with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was a good hike. We went counter clockwise and will do this trail the same way if done again. It was a little confusing at one point with the signage but we figured It Out with some help from the Alltrails map. We measured our loop at 7.9 miles.

hiking
16 days ago

This was a wonderful hike! Moderate level, in my opinion, and I am out of shape. Worth every step to get to the top and see that view. 200 yards on way down, ran into a mama black bear and her two cubs playing. She saw us and snarled, making it clear we were not welcome. We had to take the bus road down because I wasn’t about to try and move that bear

on Sharp Top Trail

hiking
21 days ago

Very steep, and heavily travelled, but nice views at the top. A good trip if you’re camping in the area.

hiking
21 days ago

The views are great but the trail has too much of a touristy feel to it. First off there is a gift shop right in the parking lot, secondly 80% of the trail is steps, lastly when you get to the top you get to a stone made lookout tower not really a mountain top. Its also disappointing that over half of the elevation is gained by driving up to the parking lot, so you dont really get a true feel of accomplishment from hiking to the top. The best part of this hike IMO is Buzzards Roost, a lot less crowded.

hiking
23 days ago

I grew up doing this hike with my dad, I love coming back again and again. The hike is difficult in some parts but the views at the top are beautiful! Going on less humid/hot days always makes it easier. Also wear shoes with good traction. I always slip and roll ankles on rocks when I wear regular tennis shoes on this hike.

Beautiful trail! I hiked it both in the spring and for my birthday in the fall. Very different looks of the trail. Recommend it in the fall with all the leaves but if your looking for the water falls, probably go more in the spring.

hiking
27 days ago

Hike was a pretty steep climb in a short period of time, and I think that’s the only reason it’s rated as “hard”. Other than the steepness, it was a pretty easy hike. Whole trail took us about 4 hours, although we stayed at the top for about an hour.
On the very top of the stairs there are a lot of bugs, so I would suggest if you’re trying to hangout on the top to go to the second highest stair come off area. I will probably bring insect repellent next time for the way up as well.
Dog friendly! Our 16 week old puppy made it all the way up easily.
About a quarter of the way down, it was dark outside by then, we did encounter a copperhead snake, so make sure you watch your step!
In all, a fun hike with an awesome view.

The falls are remarkable and the hike is challenging for beginners, but just take your time. There are plenty of places to catch your breath and take in the whole waterfall system. Don't miss the main lower falls. The upper falls are beautiful, but be sure to continue until you go down tons of wooden steps.

hiking
1 month ago

Challenging hike up Sharp Top. Beautiful view of Bedford County and the Blue Ridge mountains. Much faster coming down the mountain.

Great trail! Challenging but worth it. Love exploring around the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Bring bug spray for the rampant flies and gnats at the top...you’ll be thankful you did. Awesome hike! It will definitely have you breathing heavy at times. If you don’t have decent cardio endurance, take your time. If you do, it’s a pretty easy hike, nothing sketchy. The pay off view/atmosphere at the top is the best I’ve seen so far in the hikes I’ve down in Virginia the last 2 weeks. Nothing compares...the Knob is nothing compared to this view. Go check it out

hiking
1 month ago

consistently steep and we may have accidentally gone on a cloudy day and couldn’t see the view lol but it was still beautiful

Difficult but a great payoff at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, worth the constant uphill for an amazing view.

hiking
1 month ago

Classic out-and-back to world famous view. Persistently steep and occasionally rocky with lots of stone steps, this is one of the harder hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can ride the tram up and hike back down if going both directions is too much provided the tram is in service. I waited 15 years to hike this trail, and it was worth it.

Done this trail 2 times now and it’s just as good as the first time. View is amazing, bring a snack to hangout at the top. Muddy when it has rained a decent amount. Lots of rock steps made near the summit. Kids of all ages seen walking the trail. Also very dog accessible. My dog loves this hike and to chill on the boulders at the top .

Hiked this on Mother’s Day with my daughter. Great hike and lots of people on the trail. Did come across the biggest rattlesnake I have ever seen crossing the path on the way up. We gave him a wide breadth before continuing up, but he still rattled at us. Lots of flies and bees once we reached the top. But overall a wonderful experience!

Downhill to the falls. Uphill on the way back. Not to difficult terrain. Beautiful falls.

This trail has a beautiful waterfall at the end. With that being said... it's not for the novice or barely fit. The amount of steps that are involved in the hike was insane for me. I will definitely go back when I'm in better shape. ;-)

Absolutely beautiful. Get there early to beat a crowd. I was able to sit at the base of the falls and enjoy lunch before I saw another person.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most gratifying and satisfying hikes I have ever taken! Challenging to say the least, not for the weak!

This hike is moderate at best, not hard. The trail is all down hill to the falls. There is a small set of falls before the actual falls, don’t mistake those as your destination. The falls were full as we have had a decent amount of rain the last couple of days. There is a nice deck at the base for viewing the falls but if you climb the rocks to the right of the deck you can easily climb to the top of the falls, just be careful as it is very slick. The hike back up is slightly steep and constant, but the short distance makes it easily accomplished with not much effort

Amazing trail, favorite place to hike any time of year. Always meet nice people at the top and along the way as well.

Great trail! Great view at the top and the deer are very friendly. Posted a picture of the view and the deer.

Went the day after a rainstorm (2+ inches) and it was phenomenal. We hit a bridge next to what we thought was the actual waterfall, and were later stunned when we hit the real one almost by accident. Don't stop until you reach the wooden platform! Seriously, this hike was mind-blowing with that much water. The stream all the way down was rushing with white water. Highly recommended. FYI it ended up being about 2.5 miles round trip for me.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Not too too difficult. The views from the top are excellent. Well worth the hike.

Good little hike. Johnson’s Farm was interesting but other than that there is not much to see other than forest for remainder of hike. Views are obstructed by trees and the feeling of being on a hike is sort of lost as you hear mowers and work being done on nearby parkway.

Great hike with beautiful waterfall, we did the route counterclockwise which we would recommend for trail running as the footing was more stable for the descent. Coming back up Cornelius Creek presented some creek crossing challenges due to the volume of water.

hiking
3 months ago

Great views from the peak and got there after the last shuttle left to go down so it was not crowded. I enjoyed the steepness of the trail near the top, it gave it that earned feel to the hike. I had to wait a twice for does to move from the trail to keep going. Never had a deer pose for a picture from 6ft away. Next time through I hope to do round top on the other side

Today we hiked Harkening Hill in Bedford County, Virginia, adjacent to the Peaks of Otter Lodge. Gorgeous spring day, brisk clear weather and no wind (yay). We had hoped to go back to Thunder Ridge but the Parkway access was blocked at the Peaks. So my hiking companion said “surely there are trails here!” And she was right! Harkening Hill is a 3.5 mile single track loop with a 921 foot elevation gain within 1.5 mile climb to the summit. It is located directly across the Parkway from the Peaks of Otter lodge. Lovely creek beds, birds, chipmunks, typical flora and fauna, abound. Some say moderate but we found it rather easy because the trail is well maintained and not a lot of boulders until you reach the summit.... then HUGE ones! However, it is straight UP. Beautiful views which will vanish when the trees leaf.

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