At Milepost 86, the parkway passes through the Peaks of Otter, which raises the wow factor even higher, in more ways than one. But it's pleasant enough for a break in the drive. Download the Peaks of Otter trails map. Stopped at the park to go hiking and picnicking. The actual visitors center is rather small, and lacks the kinds of displays and/or films that other visitor centers frequently have. Peaks of Otter Trails SHARP TOP TRAIL 811/ National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior HILL 70 1.6 (LOOP) JOHNSON 1.6 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE Department of the Interior - … Sharp Top Hike: We parked and began the hike at the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center and crossed the BRP staying on the sidewalk for about 200 yards and then took a right across Route 43 heading to the Sharp Top parking area (you could also park here). Famous naturalists and such notable historic figures as Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee wrote about or visited the Peaks of Otter during their lives. Sharp Top Mountain is a popular hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is one of the three "Peaks of Otter". I spent a couple more years in the region in 2009-2011 and did some more hiking at Peaks of Otter, but I never found the time and stamina to tackle Sharp Top. Inside you can buy pre-packaged food and snacks, beer and wine, camping supplies, and other sundries. You can continue on the trail to Sharp Top, or take a 600 feet detour to Buzzards Roost, which is a collection of rock outcroppings that provide a panoramic view of the valley below. Stop here for a restroom break before beginning your hike. We never made it to the visitor center as we really came for the view at the top of Sharp Top Mountain, but there is no page to review the hike/ride to Sharp Top. Each of the peaks have well-traveled hiking trails, but Sharp Top Trail is by far the most popular trail of the three. There is a lot to do here, especially for hikers; there are six trails of varying degrees of difficulty. ... For those not wishing to hike to the top, there is a bus service from the Peaks of Otter Lodge which runs up a road to the top. Staff are a little quirky but... Location: Peaks of Otter, Blue Ridge Pkwy, VA Distance: 2.6 miles Round Trip from the Sharp Top Store Elevation… Virginia, United States, North America. I managed it with breaks every few hundred feet. Gorgeous views of the Peaks of Otter and great hike to the top. We drove from Bedford on a spring Sunday morning for brunch at the lodge and to walk around the grounds at the visitor center to take pictures. It was a painfully strenuous 1.5 mile hike up dirt paths, rock scrambles and steps. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford, VA, USA Get Directions The Peaks of Otter – Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill – have dominated the view in this region of Virginia for centuries, first attracting the attention of Native Americans who saw the area as a rich hunting ground. The time required, of course, will depend on your fitness level and how many times you want to stop along the way. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a multitude of amazing sights and recreational opportunities along its 469 mile length. Getting There Sharp Top Mountain is located in the Peaks of Otter Recreation Area at milepost 86 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also, bring bug spray. The Visitors Center was closed. The view of Sharp Top is great. The two feature mountains are Sharp Top and Flat Top. We first ventured to the Peaks of Otter in April 2018 when we took to Sharp Top’s sister, Flat Top Mountain. One mile (1.6 kilometers) long, it loops around Abbott Lake at the Peaks of Otter Lodge and offers fine views of the three Peaks, most notably Sharp Top Mountain. Warning, this is a weather dependent activity. You can hike this trail all seasons, but hiking when snow and ice are on the trail is not recommended, because the rocks are slippery. Check with the Peaks of Otter … Though closed at the time, it was a good starting... It is a large park featuring a nice lake with a mountain lodge, large camping and picnic areas, visitor's center and trails to hike. There are plenty of spots for photo ops. The third peak of the trio is Harkening Hill, at an elevation of 3364 feet. Sharp Top Mountain is a popular hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is one of the three "Peaks of Otter". You can hike the entire was to the top, but we chose to ride the bus up to the 2,500' point and then hiked to the top, another 1,500'. There are many photo opportunities on your drive to Sharp Top, so be sure to have your camera ready. The mountains of Peaks of Otter all have trails ranging from less than a mile to more than four miles, and there is nearby access to the Appalachian Trail. Peaks of Otter Hiking Trails. Across the road from the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center is Route 43, a turn off of the Blue Ridge Parkway that leads to the Sharp Top Store, the Peaks of Otter Campground, and the Peaks of Otter Picnic Area.To get to the Store, take the first right after exiting the Parkway. Consisting of boardwalks, pavement and gravel, this scenic trail is … Peaks of Otter Visitor Center: Sharp Top Trail - See 155 traveler reviews, 179 candid photos, and great deals for Virginia, at Tripadvisor. Bus rides to within 1,500 feet of the Sharp Top summit are available at a station not far from the visitor center. Buzzards have made this area their home, so you will see them in abundance, soaring high above the boulders. The Peaks and Sharp Top Are Easy to Find. Peaks of Otter Sharp Top Trail : The Sharp Top Trail, despite its strenuous ascent of 1,400 feet in only 1.5 miles, has been one of most popular recreation trails in the country since the nineteenth century. This one-way trail runs 4.4 miles between the Peaks of Otter Campground and the Flat Top Trail Parking Area at MP 83.5, crossing Flat Top Mountain near its mid-way point. The Peaks of Otter are three mountain peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains, overlooking the town of Bedford, Virginia, which lies nine miles (14 km) to the southeast along State Route 43.These peaks are Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill.. Manmade Abbott Lake lies in the valley between the three peaks, behind the Peaks of Otter Lodge and restaurant. If you have drinks and snacks you can have a picnic and enjoy the stunning views – Flat Top and Abbott Lake to the north, the farmlands of Bedford, VA to the southeast, and the Shenandoah Valley to the west. Each of the peaks have well-traveled hiking trails, but Sharp Top Trail is by far the most popular trail of the three. The trail for Sharp Top said strenuous and it was definitely difficult. This image is available in both a square format (8 by 8, 12 by 12, 16 by 16) as Getting There Sharp Top Mountain is located in the Peaks of Otter Recreation Area at milepost 86 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This image is from July 2017. The Peaks of Otter and Sharp Top aren’t hard to find – just follow these directions . A one-way ticket (up the mountain) is $10 for adults and $6 for children. Astronomy https://www.theoutbound.com/virginia/hiking/hike-the-sharp-top-trail Sharp Top Mountain used to be considered the highest point in Virginia. There are many photo opportunities on your drive to Sharp Top, so be sure to have your camera ready. Camp site was nice. Dinner at the lodge and a walk around the grounds for photographs. If you don’t want to hike all the way, you can take a bus that will drop you off ¼ mile from the summit of Sharp Top. When you reach the fork that leads to Buzzards Roost, you are 1900 feet from the top of Sharp Top. Peaks of Otter Hiking Trails Sharp Top Trail (1.5 miles to the summit) This is the most popular trail at the Peaks and originates at the Nature Center across the Parkway from the Visitor Center. Sharp Top Trail. As expected, the views are spectacular and it was such a sense of accomplishment to complete. Mild hike - but there are a lot of steps. Several large boulders and a platform built into the rocks provide a 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge. During a recent trip to Virginia, I took a morning hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains to watch the sunrise on the Peaks of Otter. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/virginia/sharp-top-trail It was one of the best ways I could have spent a morning! T he Peaks of Otter - Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill - have dominated the view in this region of Virginia for centuries, first attracting the attention of Native Americans who saw the area as a rich hunting ground. Finally, on the last day of my May 2018 Virginia hiking trip, I gave my old nemesis one more shot, and I conquered it in spite of the weather. The well-established trail leads along a pretty trail with some decent views along the way. The Peaks of Otter is a popular Blue Ridge Parkway destination. The Sharp Top Shuttle is currently closed for the season. Sleeping and Eating: Peaks of Otter Lodge: This historic lodge offers 63 rooms, a full-service restaurant, and lounge.The lodge is typically open from spring to late fall, as well as weekends in the winter. If it isn’t too crowded, you can climb up on one of the boulders for a must-needed rest. If you need additional provisions, visit the Country Store. read more. (The bus does not run during the winter months.) 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