Sharp Top is the most famous hike with its spectacular 360° view at the top. With stunning views, natural beauty, and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest, it’s no wonder the Peaks of Otter area has attracted people to the region for more than 8,000 years. Date of Hike: Friday, August 26, 2011: We love peaks of otter hike the views are awesome absolutely. Event Details 2:30–4:30 p.m. Sharp Top Hike. For those who cannot hike 1.5 mile and 1,300 ft elevation gain trail up to the top of Sharp Top, there is a shuttle service that people up to within … Quite similar to sharp top but longer. I think it's equal to sharp top with nice views on each side when you get to the top. This was my second peak of the three hikes here at Peaks of Otter and I still recommend it. Nice trail, I would say moderate and quite shady. Hike Abstract Location: Flat Top Mountain Overlook, Peaks of Otter Recreation Area, VA Distance from Hubs: Raleigh (161 miles – 3 hours and 6 min) Greensboro (125 miles – 2 hours and 23 min) Roanoke (32 miles – 55 min) Trail Access: From Bedford, VA follow VA-43 north for 10.3 mi. 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 lodge is typically open from spring to late fall, as well as weekends in the winter. Peaks of Otter Lodge. From the parking area, this hike took me nearly two hours, including time spent at Sharp Top and Buzzard’s Roost. The Peaks of Otter village supported a school, a church, two mills, an Odd Fellows Lodge and the Hotel Mons. Was going to hike Sharp Top but there were way too many people... glad I went for the second option! This hike is so amazing, the views are incredible and the trail is fun but you should def bring bug spray if you don’t want to be swatting at your body every 5 seconds. lots of loose gravel so take it slow. Took the shorter, steeper route up this from the lake having already done Sharp Top earlier in the day. This weekend will include several shorter hikes, suitable for all levels. The primary activity at Peaks of Otter is hiking. Once thought to be the highest peak in Virginia, this 2.5 hour hike is one that will leave you speechless at the top. Not sure why the AllTrails map starts at the furthest side of the Lodge parking lot. We hit the trailhead directly from the Parkway; I am still trying to determine exact mileage from that trailhead. The Peaks of Otter campground is located at milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We decided to participate in a special program w/ Thomas Jefferson aka Bill Barker through Peaks of Otter, Poplar Forest, and the National Park Service. Peaks of Otter is formed by three mountains with Abbott Lake in the center valley - Sharp Top Mountain (3,875 feet), Flat Top Mountain (4,001 feet), and Harkening Hill (3,372 feet). At the top you need to walk past the sign and follow the trail down and to the right and there’s rocks you can get on to get the amazing view at the top. From the Peaks of Otter Campground, Virginia, a visitor can easily explore the iconic mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Escape the bustle and experience an amazing hiking and camping trip. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Virginia: See 155 reviews, articles, and 179 photos of Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, ranked No.249 on Tripadvisor among 2,843 attractions in Virginia. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center. A little confusing if you follow the directions it takes you to the peaks of otter lodge and to get to the trail you go behind the lodge by the water and then through a parking lot and the trail head post is at the bottom on the left. Peaks of Otter Lodge At Peaks of Otter Lodge, we are focused on creating a great guest experience and the health and safety of our employees and guests is our highest priority. But the views at the end make it worth it! Peaks of Otter will have a shuttle available (limited capacity) with pick-up and drop-off at the Lodge; reservations required. Postcards, books, and other items reflecting nature and local-interest themes are sold here, and the center features an exhibit on wildflowers, birds, and animals of the Blue Ridge. Milepost 85.9 – Elk Run Trail (self-guiding loop nature trail from Peaks of Otter Visitor Center) Length: 0.8 Miles Skill Level: Easy Johnson Farm Loop Trail (loop to restored mountain farm) Length: 2.1 Miles Skill Level: Moderate Harkening Hill Trail (elevation -3300 feet; begin at Peaks of Otter Visitor Center) Sharp Top is historically significant as it marked the northernmost boundary of the Cherokee Nation. Lots of natural flowers and mushrooms and butterflies! I am an Iraq veteran and I heard that there is a B-52 sight up by there somewhere but nobody seems to know where it is. Explore Peaks of Otter - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. Great views from the top. The trailhead is located to the right of the building. There are multiple trails in the Peaks of Otter Recreation Area for all fitness levels but we decided to tackle the 2 toughest: Sharp Top and Flat Top.These can be done as separate hikes or combined to make a hike of 9.8 miles. Native Americans passed through the area while hunting, and European settlers began to call the region home in the mid-1700s. Straight incline for the first mile or so! Park at the Peaks of Otter Nature Center (which is now closed). The third peak of the trio is Harkening Hill, at an elevation of 3364 feet. It was a perfect day. Today, the Peaks of Otter still inspires travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The view is indescribable still. This adds an extra .6-mile, round trip, to the hike. Of the three Peaks of Otter in Bedford, Virginia, Harkening Hill is the smallest (at an elevation of 3,364 feet) and most underrated of the three mountain peaks.. Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 85.6, the Harkening Hill trailhead begins (or ends) just behind the Peaks of Otter visitor center.. Today, the Peaks of Otter still inspires travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We are taking appropriate actions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus based on the guidance of the CDC, and we are excited to be back open! There is also a separate cliff formation on the other side of Sharp Top called Buzzard's Roost, which also has good views. The 24-acre lake features a one-mile loop trail, and is stocked with smallmouth bass, catfish, golden shiners, sunfish, and blue gill. Trail gets to be more of a scramble towards the ascent and the trailheads are harder to find but you can still make it through. Vegetation just starting to come in so lots of slick leaves (not unsafe). The Peaks of Otter hike to Harkening Hill also begins across the Blue Ridge Parkway. We went on a Sunday at 10 am and passed no one. No rocky climbing, just steady incline with a couple flat areas. Took longer to come down than to climb. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, Virginia: Address, Phone Number, Peaks of Otter Visitor Center Reviews: 4.5/5 ... so make the most of your time in the city by going on an evening tour on an open-air trolley. An excellent location for a proposal . Enjoyed the trail. From the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center (MP 85.9) a .3-mile connector trail leads to the start of the Johnson Farm Loop Trail. $64 per person, plus tax. To save time and effort, park at the lower lot (near the road) of the Peaks of Otter Lodge, which is just a half mile north of the Visitor Center. It’s a steady climb with very few “stop off” points. Most start this hike from the Peaks of Otter Lodge parking area, however you can also start from the Peaks of Otter Picnic Area off VA 43. 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