While the Blue Ridge Parkway is known for being America’s Favorite Drive, it’s also one of the country’s best hiking destinations. With over 360 miles of trails along the Parkway that wind through historical sites, picturesque views, and cascading waterfalls, there are hikes for all age levels and interests. There’s no better way to explore the beautiful wilderness of the Appalachians up close.

The Peaks of Otter have some of the most popular hiking trails, not only on the Parkway, but also in Virginia:

  • Sharp Top Trail – A strenuous 1.5-mile hike to the summit of Sharp Top that rewards hikers with a spectacular 360-degree view of the Peaks of Otter area.
  • Flat Top Trail – A strenuous 4.4-mile hike to the summit of Flat Top peak. In the spring, the thickets of mountain laurel on the mountain make this an especially beautiful hike.
  • Harkening Hill Trail - A moderate 3.3 mile trail that leads to an elevation of 3,375 feet.  Trail head begins at Peaks Visitor Center.
  • Johnson Farm Trail Abbott Lake – A moderate 2.1-mile trail that leads to the Johnson Farm, which has been restored to represent regional life in the 1930s. Living history demonstrations are done seasonally.
  • Abbott Lake Trail – An easy 1-mile trail through woodland forests and an open field, looping around beautiful Abbott Lake.

There are even great opportunities to bring kids along, to get them unplugged from their electronics and plugged into nature!

TRACK Trail HeaderThe Peaks of Otter TRACK Trail follows the Abbott Lake Trail for an easy 1-mile loop around the lake, and then the Johnson Farm Trail for a 1.8-mile loop that passes through Johnson Farm - a mountain farmstead that exists today as it did in the 1850's. Each TRACK Trail features self-guided brochures and signs that turn your visit into a fun and exciting outdoors experience. Kids can even earn prizes for tracking their adventures through the Kids in Parks Program!

Learn more about the hiking trails in the Peaks of Otter area, and the rest of the Blue Ridge Parkway, here.