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a view of the mountain from the grounds of the Peaks of Otter Lodge
Sharp Top Trail (Blue Ridge Pkwy)
Closest available address
85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy Bedford, Virginia 24523
Shuttle hours vary but daylight hours are best to hike the trail.
Best time to visit
Sharp Top Mountain Trail is a 1.5 mile rugged hike that leads to the top of Sharp Top Mountain, a 3,862 foot mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This popular but demanding hike, which starts at a nature center in the Peaks of Otter section of the Parkway, offers the reward of scenic views from a rocky area at the summit.
Sharp Top Mountain is one of three mountains that comprise the Peaks of Otter. Flat Top Mountain is the tallest at just over 4,000 feet. An interesting historical tidbit is that during colonial times, these mountains were considered by many to be the tallest mountains in both Virginia and the US. Peaks of Otter is located at mile marker 85 and not far from Roanoke, Virginia. The local ranger station at the Peaks of Otter and bus service up Sharp Top Mountain are seasonal in nature, typically open May through September. The area can close in winter due to snow and ice.
There are two options to get the top Sharp Top Mountain, walk or ride (in season). The bus is a more comfortable option but you will miss the challenge of the hike. A combination that worked well to both save time and to experience the mountain was to take the bus up and walk back. The trail is best known for views, which were enjoyable, but it also should be known for innumerable rocks near the summit. It got old quickly to continually focus on footing in order to avoid a fall or twisted ankle. Also, flies at the top were really adept at continually buzzing and harassing anyone nearby. Having sturdy footwear, plenty of water and hiking experience is a good idea. Sharp Top is not the only difficult hike on the parkway but it is one of best options if you like a rugged walk, good views and a relatively short trail. There is a side trail at the top that leads to Buzzard’s Roost which was not terribly interesting. The action is the main path to the top of the mountain. Adventurous types who like a challenging trail should consider a visit.
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