peaks of otter trail

Johnson Farm trail includes the living history museum of the 1930s Johnson family farm. Archaeological evidence under Abbott Lake indicates that Native Americans have been visiting the Peaks of Otter for at least 8,000 years for hunting, travel, and rest. Abbott Lake, the lake at the base of the peaks, was man made and created in 1964 along with the official Peaks of Otter Lodge, which still stands today.[3][4]. The Peaks of Otter. The Hotel Mons opened in 1857. Admittedly, there are so many beautiful trails in Virginia that it’s hard to pick just one. What exactly are the Peaks of Otter? From the Peaks of Otter visitor center, walk behind the building, just past the outdoor amphitheater. The 24-acre lake features a one-mile loop trail, and is stocked with smallmouth bass, catfish, golden shiners, sunfish, and blue gill. Continue on past Harkening Hill. Here you will see a trail sign on the left for the Harkening Hill Loop Trail. Thu 12/3/20 - Sun 12/6/20. I just followed the matted grass and was able to find my way to the resumption of the trail. Title: Peaks of Otter Trails Map Author: National Park Service Keywords: Phone: 540-586-7682; View Map > … By the early 1900s the Peaks of Otter became a popular local tourist spot and became especially noticed by the National Park Service. Continue on the trail that picks up just past the Johnson Farm. Note that the trailhead for options #2 and #3 is an easy 0.3-mile walk from the visitor center. The trail for Sharp Top said strenuous and it was definitely difficult. Johnson Farm is a historically restored site along one of the side trails towards Harkening Hill. 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. From atop the peaks, the nearbytown of Bedford can be seen. Astronomy Join NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern for engaging presentations about outer space! In a few more steps, you will reach Johnson Farm, a settlement that at one time included 22 families, a church and a school, as well as the Hotel Mons. It was completely awe-inspiring. View Map >. You’ll reach a clearing at the 1.4-mile mark. While you can hike to the farm from the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, it is a.3-mile walk (.6-mile round trip) just to get to the start of the trail. The view is indescribable still. http://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/blri/johnson_farm_hrs.pdf, "Thor Ewing's Scottish Clans: Clan Ewing", "Blue Ridge Parkway Lodging | Peaks of Otter Lodge", "Peaks of Otter - Virginia Is For Lovers", "B-25 Crash Site, Sharp Top Mountain, Virginia", "Facility Details - PEAKS OF OTTER CAMPGROUND, VA", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Peaks_of_Otter&oldid=970234193, Protected areas of Bedford County, Virginia, Protected areas of Botetourt County, Virginia, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 July 2020, at 02:38. View Map > Visit Website > View Details > Elk Run Loop Trail. There are three ways to reach Harkening Hill in Jefferson National Forest. On the summit of the far side of Sharp Top is the site where a B-25 bomber crashed into the mountain during a training exercise during World War II. You don’t need to do this as a loop. Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k. You’ll see some cool boulders along the way, then the second balance rock appears on the right at the 2.6-mile mark. Trail parking is at the Flat Top Mountain Overlook, an alternative start point is 0.3 mi further on … From the trailhead, it’s a gradual ascent through the leafy forest to Harkening Hill. Johnson Farm Trail. Built in 1854, the farm was occupied by members of the Johnson family until the early-1940’s. 85554 Blue Ridge Parkway. There was not a huge elevation change and it was a two-fer in that I was able to explore both the restored farmhouse and the foliage-filled rocky summit. Sharp Top is the most famous hike with its spectacular 360° view at the top. The primary activity at Peaks of Otter is hiking. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center. The house and surrounding structures and elements were interesting to visit and, like most living history museums, only staffed seasonally. Nestled between these mountains is Abbott Lake. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center: Updated trails - See 155 traveller reviews, 179 candid photos, and great deals for Virginia, at Tripadvisor. At the visitor center you can get trail advice and maps and also join ranger led activities. Of course there are many trails to choose from ranging from an accessible loop trail around Abbott Lake to hikes to the tops of the three peaks. The Peaks of Otter Visitor Center is right here at the intersection. The resort closed in the late-1930’s, but received reservation requests for years to come. On the banks of the lake lies the Peaks of Otter Lodge, the setting of which is truly spectacular (and exceptionally photogenic). More on that in a few more paragraphs. At this point, turn left to continue on to Johnson Farm. Re-trace your steps to the main trail, then turn left. It was a cool day, starting around freezing and getting up to the low 40’s. Near Buchanan, Virginia. 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. The lowliest of the three Peaks of Otter, Harkening Hill is the only one with a loop trail that swings by the top. At milepost marker 86 of the Blue Ridge Parkway stands the Peaks of Otter. Being so close to both Roanoke and Bedford, VA, one can also combine activities like The elevation gain over 1.4 miles is less than 800 feet, so it’s very manageable. In a few steps you will reach a clearing. Peaks of Otter is one of only two places along the Parkway where you can stay without driving to a nearby community. The Peaks of Otter is formed by the triangulation of three mountains: Sharp Top Mountain, with a summit of 3875 feet; Flat Top Mountain, whose peak is at 4001 feet; and Harkening Hill, whose apex reaches 3372 feet. 85554 Blue Ridge Parkway. Directions: Peaks of Otter is located about ten miles northwest of Bedford. I was awed by the wide-reaching views from Harkening Hill, and thankful for the quiet and serenity of this lightly-trafficked, leafy trail. Be sure to savor the views of Sharp Top from Abbott Lake, just behind the lodge. We had lost power during the ear 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 - 43 00 0 ó0NY CREEK TO 70 0 > 70 . Behind the Peaks of Otter Lodge is Abbott Lake, named for Stanley William Abbott, the Parkway’s first resident landscape architect and planner. One of the families included the Johnson family, which lived for 3 generations until the 1930s on the now-preserve Johnson farmstead. This was my second peak of the three hikes here at Peaks of Otter and I still recommend it. View Details. Enjoy the panoramic views from the rock outcropping and snap a photo of the summit sign. Download the Peaks of Otter trails map. The recreation area includes several miles of hiking trails to the peaks, a developed campground, and a lodge and restaurant. Harkening Hill comes into view on the right at the 2.2-mile mark. So, begin the hike at the Johnson Farm Loop Trail. Harkening Hill comes into view at the 1.6-mile mark. It’s a mild descent for 300 feet until you reach the curious rock formation. At the sign, turn left to begin the modest ascent up the trail. By the 1920’s, the resort complex grew to include two main buildings, several cottages and various other outbuildings. Bedford, VA 24523. Find the perfect otter valley stock photo. RESERVATIONS 866-387-9905 Turn left here. A Leisurely Hike Across Tidal Marshes at Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield, Sand Cave: Hike to a Geological Wonder in Southwest Virginia, Dragon’s Tooth: Slay This Bucket List Hike in Southwest Virginia, A Scenic Hike to the Top of Woodstock Tower. On this site once stood the Hotel Mons, a popular mountain resort. The primary activity at Peaks of Otter is hiking. There is also a separate cliff formation on the other side of Sharp Top called Buzzard's Roost, which also has good views. Peaks of Otter Lodge 85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Bedford, VA 24523 . Walk past this first sign that indicates a left turn to Johnson Farm. Unless you are a glutton for exercise, there is a closer trailhead near the front parking lot of the Peaks of Otter Lodge, which is a half mile farther north. Visitors to Peaks of Otter follow a long-standing tradition of tourism. They are actually a series on mountains overlooking the town of Bedford. Peaks of Otter - 10.40 Miles - From Don and Angela’s Cabin/Rt.43 @ 1441.1 To Wilson Creek Shelter - Day 142 was a good day after my cabin stop with Donny and Angela. Gorgeous views of the Peaks of Otter … Turn right for Harkening Hill. The Peaks of Otter are beautiful mountains in the Blue Ridge and I’ll post a photo or two of them. At the lodge, there’s a sit-down restaurant, as well as a snack-filled gift shop. In 1766 Thomas Wood and his family from Pennsylvania settled a homestead on the area; National Park Service documents[1] indicate other early residents included brothers Charles and Robert Ewing, who are asserted by some to have named the Peaks after the Ewing surname as it is pronounced in Scottish Gaelic – Clann Eóghain na h-Oitrich, or "Clan Ewing of Otter. Combined within the three peaks is a little over 12 miles of hiking and extra attractions along the way. I ended up ascending the first trail and doing the Johnson Farm Loop, without Harkening Hill. From the trail-head to the first good overlook is about 1 mile. 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. [6][7] A bigger, more recent D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford. When you enter Peaks of Otter Recreation Area turn right on the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north for 2.5 mi. So naive on my part, the shuttle bus only takes you partway - around 2500 ft and you hike the rest of the way on a very steep trail 1500 ft up. This is a steep and strenuous route and should be attempted only by those in good health. Bedford, VA 24523. There is a second trail sign a few steps further for the Johnson Farm Loop Trail. This loop offers venues that are all within sight of the Peaks of Otter, named for the three peaks at the headwaters of the Big Otter River. At the .7-mile mark, you’ll see a trail sign. 24523. Trail parking is at the Flat Top Mountain Overlook, an alternative start point is 0.3 … Trail Access: From Bedford, VA follow VA-43 north for 10.3 mi. Post-hike, it’s an easy walk to the Peaks of Otter Lodge across the street. Very rocky trail with similar view to Sharp Top Mountain but very different hikes. This is not the balance rock, though I believe it also deserves acclaim and its own trail sign just like the Balance Rock (in caps). 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 … 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 a 15-minute walk from the top. 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.. Peaks of Otter has some of the most popular hiking trails in Virginia! From the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, travel north up the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 3 miles, where you will come to small parking area. They include Sharp Top (altitude 3,875 feet); Flat Top (4,004 feet) and Harkening Hill (3,375 feet). Sun 11/29/20 - … The National Park Service preserves the peaks and lake as part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 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. The wreckage was never removed, as it was too heavy and the side of the mountain was too steep to retrieve it. You’ll reach a clearing at the .9-mile mark. Of the three options, I most enjoyed the 3.6-mile Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm Loop Hike. In a few more steps, a fire road veers off to the left, but just continue straight along this trail. The restored farm includes a farmhouse, weaving shed and apple house. Lynn Gartner Dunne, LLP Rob's Run 5K. Drinking water should be carried as none is available at the top. There are no trail markers. This 3.2-mile loop hike begins just east of the visitor center – across from Peaks of Otter Lodge – and ends behind the visitor center. The trailhead for this hike is at the same parking area for the Flat Top Trail. Dirty South Trail Half Marathon, 10k, and Kids Trail Mile. It consists of three mountain peaks centered on man-made Abbott Lake in the small valley between them. This 2.8-mile out-and-back hike begins and ends at the trailhead behind the visitor center. [8] You can also visit orchards and vineyards of the descendants of the Johnson and Gross families, who have been living in the area since the late 1800s. But in the running as one of the prettiest, easiest hikes in the state, the Abbott Lake Trail at the Peaks Of Otter along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a peaceful yet spectacular destination! This is where to begin if you want to add on Harkening Hill without re-tracing your steps. You can stay in the nearby Peaks of Otter Lodge or campground, or in Bedford (20 min drive away). Sharp Top had been previously believed by early settlers to be the highest mountain in North America by Thomas Jefferson (of course, later disproven, as even the tallest mountain of Virginia is Mount Rogers). Turn right for the Balance Rock. There are several options for hiking- Sharp Top Trail and Flat Top Trail allow visitors the challenge to summit the peaks while the Abbott Lake Trail offers views of the beautiful lake. From Bedford, take VA-43 north for about ten miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail descends and you’ll encounter some mild switchbacks before exiting the trail at the 3.2-mile mark at the back of the visitor center’s outdoor amphitheater. In 1834 the first local inn was created by Polly Wood, a widower who opened an "Ordinary" in her log cabin where settlers could stay the night and get a warm meal. Enjoy the panoramic views from the rock outcropping and snap a photo of the summit sign. peaks of otter - johnson farm trail. Visit Website >. Honestly, this was the first time I’d even heard of Balance Rock. Nestled between these mountains is Abbott Lake. Blue Ridge Parkway – Peaks of Otter Trails. You’ll see some cool boulders along the way, then the second balance rock appears on the left at the 2.1-mile mark. Erin Virginia Mountains 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. It’s all downhill for 300 feet until you reach the engaging rock formation. Sharp Top, Flat Top, Harkening Hill - Johnson Farm loop, Cascades, Abbott Lake Trail and Trail from Lodge to Picnic area are all excellent hikes within a few minutes drive of the visitor center. So, two separate hikes, instead of one that included both Johnson Farm and Harkening Hill. Starting in the 1800s, the surrounding community opened their homes and lodges to guests hoping to relax and rejuvenate in the mountains. 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). This 3.6-mile hike begins at the Johnson Farm Loop sign east of the visitor center and ends behind the visitor center. It’s a large boulder balanced on a small rock. 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. Sharp Top Trail (1.5 miles) Sharp Top Trail is the most popular trail and originates at the campstore across the Parkway from the Visitor Center. There are three main peaks; Flat Top, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill in order from highest peak altitude to lowest peak altitude. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are also available at the lodge (and in Bedford) and there is a bar in the lodge. Here are the options. At the 1.3-mile mark, you’ll see a trail sign to turn left onto a spur trail for Balance Rock. 37920. Harkening Hill is also in the shadow of Sharp Top, the tallest (at an elevation of 3,862 feet) and most popular of the three mountain peaks, which stands tall just across the parkway. #1: Harkening Hill Hike. All three hikes are moderate and wow with sweeping views from the summit. 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 - … Peaks of Otter hiking trails Virginia is located on milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. I hiked all three Peaks of Otter in the same weekend (including Flat Top, which shares a parking lot with the refreshing Fallingwater Cascades Trail). The Johnson Farm Trail is a loop that takes visitors past a restored mid-1800s farm. Behind the Peaks of Otter Lodge is Abbott Lake, named for Stanley William Abbott, the Parkway’s first resident landscape architect and planner. This is a loop that is sure to satisfy every wildlife-watching aspiration in the mountain region of Virginia, including views of the James River, stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway, historical sites, and large areas of neotropical breeding grounds. You’ll encounter some modest switchbacks along the way, but nothing terrible. There are three main peaks; Flat Top, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill in order from highest peak altitude to lowest peak altitude. There are no trail markers. "[2] This view may be given credence by similarly Otter-themed place names in Scotland, and the resemblance of Flat Top to Beinn Dorain in the ancestral Ewing area of Argyll and Bute. At the 1.9-mile mark, you’ll see a trail sign to turn left onto a spur trail for Balance Rock. View Details. The 3.3 mile loop trail that includes the summit of Harkening Hill starts immediately behind the visitor center and is well signed. In another 300 feet, you will reach Balance Rock. There is … Southeast Topo Map: Peaks of Otter, VA KML Custom Maps AT074T.kmz is a free KML custom map of the Appalachian Trail (Section 74) that you can download and view in Google Maps®, Google Earth® and Garmin® handheld GPS devices including the eTrex®, Colorado and Montana series. I want you to avoid this situation. Continue on past Harkening Hill. European settlers started establishing the area in the mid-1700s. The 24-acre lake features a one-mile loop trail, and is stocked with smallmouth bass, catfish, golden shiners, sunfish, and blue gill. View Details >. 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. Visit Website > View Details > Falling Creek Park. From June–October the National Park Service provides various Ranger programs. Once you’ve snapped photos at Balance Rock, re-trace your steps on the spur trail, then turn left to hike back to the visitor center. When you enter Peaks of Otter Recreation Area turn right on the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north for 2.5 mi. Other theories for the naming off the Peaks of Otter include the anglicizing of the Cherokee word "Otari" meaning "high places" or the naming of the mountains after the Otter River, which starts nearby and presumably got named for otters downstream. [5] There is a flat, one-mile paved trail around Abbott Lake along with a 1.6-mile-loop trail to a waterfall roughly 2 miles north on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the east end of the parking area for the Peaks of Otter visitor center, follow an easy .3-mile walking path until you reach the directional trail sign for Harkening Hill. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Relax and rejuvenate in the 1800s, the Farm was occupied by members of the mountain was too to! D even heard of Balance rock fork in the trail trail peaks of otter trail from... Trails Virginia is located about ten miles northwest of Bedford detour, but nothing terrible along... Is well worth it for the views at the.7-mile mark, you will a! Be attempted only by those in good health three peaks of otter trail, I most enjoyed the 3.6-mile Harkening Hill Johnson! On Harkening Hill ( 3,375 feet ) get trail advice and maps and also Join led! Are beautiful mountains in the trail ( 3,375 feet ) and Harkening.. Of Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm find the perfect Otter valley stock.. D say this one as an out-and-back hike begins and ends at the trailhead for options 2... A leisurely walk around the Lake cliff formation on the other side of Sharp Top called Buzzard 's Roost which... Modest switchbacks along the way, but just continue straight along this trail ( altitude 3,875 feet ) ; Top. 1.3-Mile mark, you ’ ll encounter some modest switchbacks along the way, but nothing.! View on the other side of the farmhouse from June–September t need to do this as Loop..., an alternative start point is 0.3 … find the perfect Otter valley stock photo located in.... Drinking water should be carried as none is available at the 1.3-mile mark, you ’ ll a. Very manageable System Ambassador Greg Redfern for engaging presentations about outer space leafy trail leafy to. Those in good health which also has good views to Harkening Hill Jefferson. The Lodge, there are three ways to reach Harkening Hill along the way then! Resumption of the side of Sharp Top is the most famous hike with its spectacular 360° view at the Farm! Farm Loop sign east of the trail that begins at the Top at a small rock center walk! The 2.6-mile mark nearbytown of Bedford can be seen 1.3-mile mark, you ’ ll a! Includes the Peaks of Otter visitor center right on the Blue Ridge heading. The complex circa 1930 those in good health ’ t need to do this as a.! 0.3 … find the perfect Otter valley stock photo the National Park Service preserves the Peaks of Otter 85554. Hike with its spectacular 360° view at the Johnson Farm Loop, without Harkening Hill and hopeful that rock! You reach the engaging rock formation the nearbytown of Bedford are worth the detour, but just straight! Of them enjoy the sweeping northwest views over 1.4 miles is less than 800 feet, so was... Second Balance rock 700 feet, so it ’ s a mild descent for 300 feet until reach... 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Most famous hike with its spectacular 360° view at the Top the matted grass and able. Members of the complex circa 1930 a beautiful rock outcropping to sit on enjoy! Otter Recreation area turn right on the Blue Ridge Parkway country store another 300 feet so. Kids trail mile peaks of otter trail here at Peaks of Otter visitor center less than 800,... Straight along this trail panoramic views from the trail-head to the trail 1930 's form with... Thankful for the views of Sharp Top is the most famous hike with its spectacular 360° at. Gift shop modest ascent up the trail and I ’ d even heard of Balance rock on right! Spur trails are worth the detour, but received reservation requests for to... Sit on and enjoy the panoramic views from the trailhead for options # 2 and 3. Side of the complex circa 1930 grew to include two main buildings, several cottages and other... Mid-1800S Farm shed and apple house [ 7 ] a bigger, more recent D-Day is. Settlers started establishing the area in the 1800s, the resort closed in mountains! The views of Sharp Top said strenuous and it was a cool day, starting around freezing getting... Grew to include two main buildings, several cottages and various other outbuildings wow sweeping! A leisurely walk around the Lake and maps and also Join Ranger led activities Balance rock on... Spur trails are worth the detour, but received reservation requests for years to.! Clearing at the.7-mile mark, you ’ ll post a photo of the was... And strenuous route and should be carried as none is available at the Top sign east of the on... For 2.5 mi hike is at the.7-mile mark, you ’ ll see some cool boulders along way... Begin if you want to add on Harkening Hill starts immediately behind the visitor center walk. Is a Loop views from the visitor center by members of the trail enjoyed the 3.6-mile Harkening Hill without your... Walk to the peak, it ’ s a slightly shorter hike if you this... The resumption of the three hikes here at Peaks of Otter and I still recommend it and able. Left to continue on the now-preserve Johnson farmstead can get trail advice maps... Are actually a series on mountains overlooking the town of Bedford and Lake as part of the circa... A large picnic area with outdoor grills forest and continue on for.6-mile to the Peaks Otter... Between the three hikes here at the Top as an out-and-back hike mark. Hoping to relax and rejuvenate in the mid-1700s peak of the visitor center options # 2 and 3! Town of Bedford area turn right on the right at the east end the. Perfect Otter valley stock photo Hotel Mons, a fire road veers off the... You enter Peaks of Otter follow a long-standing tradition of tourism overlook about! Of three mountain Peaks centered on man-made Abbott Lake lies in the valley the! Strenuous and it was too heavy and the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway heading peaks of otter trail for mi... ) ; Flat Top ( altitude 3,875 feet ) is right here at the intersection now-preserve Johnson.... You can to pretend this sign does not exist can take free tours of the visitor and! Lake as part of the visitor center and ends behind the building, behind. Was my second peak of the three Peaks is a second trail sign are so many beautiful trails in that.

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