I was awed by the wide-reaching views from Harkening Hill, and thankful for the quiet and serenity of this lightly-trafficked, leafy trail. Being so close to both Roanoke and Bedford, VA, one can also combine activities like RESERVATIONS 866-387-9905 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. There is a small memorial on a rock at the top of the site, but the majority of the plane can still be found along the mountain. It consists of three mountain peaks centered on man-made Abbott Lake in the small valley between them. In 700 feet, you’ll reach a spur trail. Be sure to savor the views of Sharp Top from Abbott Lake, just behind the lodge. 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). View Map > Visit Website > View Details > Elk Run Loop Trail. There are three ways to reach Harkening Hill in Jefferson National Forest. From the trailhead, it’s a gradual ascent through the leafy forest to Harkening Hill. From the Peaks of Otter visitor center, walk behind the building, just past the outdoor amphitheater. 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! In another 300 feet, you will reach Balance Rock. Near the .5-mile mark, you will reach a fork in the trail. [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. Turn left here. The Peaks of Otter are beautiful mountains in the Blue Ridge and I’ll post a photo or two of them. There is … Turn right for Harkening Hill. Visitors can take free tours of the farmhouse from June–September. Trail parking is at the Flat Top Mountain Overlook, an alternative start point is 0.3 mi further on … View Details. 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. Not all spur trails are worth the detour, but I’d say this one was. Honestly, I was very confused when I reached these two trail signs. Trail parking is at the Flat Top Mountain Overlook, an alternative start point is 0.3 … But is well worth it for the views at the top! It was a cool day, starting around freezing and getting up to the low 40’s. Sharp Top is the most famous hike with its spectacular 360° view at the top. 85554 Blue Ridge Parkway. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are also available at the lodge (and in Bedford) and there is a bar in the lodge. There is also a separate cliff formation on the other side of Sharp Top called Buzzard's Roost, which also has good views. It’s all downhill for 300 feet until you reach the engaging rock formation. In a few more steps, a fire road veers off to the left, but just continue straight along this trail. I hiked on a damp Friday afternoon, so I was the only person at the summit. Admittedly, there are so many beautiful trails in Virginia that it’s hard to pick just one. 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. Phone: 540-586-7682; View Map > … 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). Near Buchanan, Virginia. 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. This 2.8-mile out-and-back hike begins and ends at the trailhead behind the visitor center. Enjoy the panoramic views from the rock outcropping and snap a photo of the summit sign. "[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. 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 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). Johnson Farm is a historically restored site along one of the side trails towards Harkening Hill. I just followed the matted grass and was able to find my way to the resumption of the trail. The recreation area includes several miles of hiking trails to the peaks, a developed campground, and a lodge and restaurant. Combined within the three peaks is a little over 12 miles of hiking and extra attractions along the way. View Details >. Manmade Abbott Lake lies in the valley between the three peaks, behind the Peaks of Otter Lodge and restaurant. 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. 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. On the banks of the lake lies the Peaks of Otter Lodge, the setting of which is truly spectacular (and exceptionally photogenic). There are no trail markers. At the .7-mile mark, you’ll see a trail sign. Of the three options, I most enjoyed the 3.6-mile Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm Loop Hike. 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 view is indescribable still. The Peaks of Otter. Harkening Hill comes into view on the right at the 2.2-mile mark. 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 visitor center you can get trail advice and maps and also join ranger led activities. The trailhead for this hike is at the same parking area for the Flat Top Trail. The summit offers an impressive 360-degree view of the Peaks … Blue Ridge Parkway – Peaks of Otter Trails. This is a steep and strenuous route and should be attempted only by those in good health. The Johnson Farm Trail is a loop that takes visitors past a restored mid-1800s farm. I ended up ascending the first trail and doing the Johnson Farm Loop, without Harkening Hill. View Map >. Nestled between these mountains is Abbott Lake. 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. At the lodge, there’s a sit-down restaurant, as well as a snack-filled gift shop. In a few steps you will reach a clearing. You don’t need to do this as a loop. 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. 24523. 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.. 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. There is also a small visitor center run by the National Park Service. Visitors to Peaks of Otter follow a long-standing tradition of tourism. These peaks are Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. #2: Harkening Hill Loop Hike. Visit Website > View Details > Falling Creek Park. 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. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center: Updated trails - See 155 traveller reviews, 179 candid photos, and great deals for Virginia, at Tripadvisor. 1257 County Farm Rd. Continue on past Harkening Hill. The lowliest of the three Peaks of Otter, Harkening Hill is the only one with a loop trail that swings by the top. 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. On this site once stood the Hotel Mons, a popular mountain resort. Re-trace your steps to the main trail, then turn left. 85554 Blue Ridge Parkway. 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. Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k. A placard at this site displays various photos of the complex circa 1930. In a few more steps, a fire road veers off to the left, but just continue straight along this trail. Walk past this first sign that indicates a left turn to Johnson Farm. Download the Peaks of Otter trails map. From atop the peaks, the nearbytown of Bedford can be seen. 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. From the east end of the parking area for the Peaks of Otter visitor center, follow the easy .3-mile walking path until you reach the directional trail sign for Harkening Hill. Peaks of Otter is one of only two places along the Parkway where you can stay without driving to a nearby community. The elevation gain over 1.4 miles is less than 800 feet, so it’s very manageable. By the early 1900s the Peaks of Otter became a popular local tourist spot and became especially noticed by the National Park Service. There are three main peaks; Flat Top, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill in order from highest peak altitude to lowest peak altitude. They include Sharp Top (altitude 3,875 feet); Flat Top (4,004 feet) and Harkening Hill (3,375 feet). There’s a short spur trail that begins at the east end of the parking lot. Blue Ridge Parkway – Peaks of Otter Trails. Honestly, this was the first time I’d even heard of Balance Rock. Johnson Farm trail includes the living history museum of the 1930s Johnson family farm. Here are the options. 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. #3: Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm Loop Hike. [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. You can stay in the nearby Peaks of Otter Lodge or campground, or in Bedford (20 min drive away). Modern visitors can stay the night at historic Peaks of Otter Lodge, explore the visitor center, visit Johnson Farm, or hike a trail. The restored farm includes a farmhouse, weaving shed and apple house. You’ll reach a clearing at the 1.4-mile mark. Lodging includes the Peaks of Otter Lodge and the Peaks of Otter campground. When you enter Peaks of Otter Recreation Area turn right on the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north for 2.5 mi. European settlers started establishing the area in the mid-1700s. At the 1.3-mile mark, you’ll see a trail sign to turn left onto a spur trail for Balance Rock. Bedford, VA US. Title: Peaks of Otter Trails Map Author: National Park Service Keywords: So, begin the hike at the Johnson Farm Loop Trail. Enjoy the panoramic views from the rock outcropping and snap a photo of the summit sign. Trail Access: From Bedford, VA follow VA-43 north for 10.3 mi. 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. There are no trail markers. The trail descends and you’ll encounter some mild switchbacks before exiting the trail at the 3.6-mile mark at the back of the visitor center’s outdoor amphitheater. No need to register, buy now! #1: Harkening Hill Hike. Directions: Peaks of Otter is located about ten miles northwest of Bedford. They drove me back to the trail after we stopped to get coffee at a small country store. The primary activity at Peaks of Otter is hiking. The primary activity at Peaks of Otter is hiking. Astronomy Join NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern for engaging presentations about outer space! By the 1920’s, the resort complex grew to include two main buildings, several cottages and various other outbuildings. Behind the Peaks of Otter Lodge is Abbott Lake, named for Stanley William Abbott, the Parkway’s first resident landscape architect and planner. All three hikes are moderate and wow with sweeping views from the summit. In fact, it’s a slightly shorter hike if you tackle this one as an out-and-back hike. 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 trail for Sharp Top said strenuous and it was definitely difficult. This next step is critical. 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. You’ll see some cool boulders along the way, then the second balance rock appears on the left at the 2.1-mile mark. You’ll reach a clearing at the .9-mile mark. At the 1-mile mark, you’ll see a fork in the trail and a trail sign. Of course this later turned out not to be the case, but not before Virginia had sent stones from the peaks to be its part of the Washington Monument. 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. You’ll encounter some modest switchbacks along the way, but nothing terrible. There’s a tunnel under the Blue Ridge Parkway steps from the Johnson Farm Loop trailhead. The wreckage was never removed, as it was too heavy and the side of the mountain was too steep to retrieve it. 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. 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 is a beautiful rock outcropping to sit on and enjoy the sweeping northwest views. This 3.6-mile hike begins at the Johnson Farm Loop sign east of the visitor center and ends behind the visitor center. Turn right for the Balance Rock. At the 1.2-mile mark, you’ll see a trail sign. It’s a large boulder balanced on a small rock. The Peaks of Otter Visitor Center is right here at the intersection. Elk Run Loop Trail (0.8 miles) Johnson Farm Trail (2..0 miles) Flat Top Trail (5.4 miles) Fallingwater Cascades Trail (2.0 miles) Abbott Lake Trail (1.0 mile) In the 1900s, the Peaks of Otter was selected by the National Park Service to be developed as a … Sun 12/6/20 Knoxville, TN US. This was my second peak of the three hikes here at Peaks of Otter and I still recommend it. 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. At milepost marker 86 of the Blue Ridge Parkway stands the Peaks of Otter. What exactly are the Peaks of Otter? 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. The National Park Service preserves the peaks and lake as part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 24-acre lake features a one-mile loop trail, and is stocked with smallmouth bass, catfish, golden shiners, sunfish, and blue gill. From the trail-head to the first good overlook is about 1 mile. Trail Access: From Bedford, VA follow VA-43 north for 10.3 mi. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center. 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 hiked all three Peaks of Otter in the same weekend (including Flat Top, which shares a parking lot with the refreshing Fallingwater Cascades Trail). [6][7] A bigger, more recent D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford. There are three main peaks; Flat Top, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill in order from highest peak altitude to lowest peak altitude. Before you re-trace your steps to the visitor center, walk past Harkening Hill along the trail. The 24-acre lake features a one-mile loop trail, and is stocked with smallmouth bass, catfish, golden shiners, sunfish, and blue gill. 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. There is also a large picnic area with outdoor grills. Enjoy all three or just have a leisurely walk around the lake. 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. 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. The 3.3 mile loop trail that includes the summit of Harkening Hill starts immediately behind the visitor center and is well signed. 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. 37920. 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 … The Hotel Mons opened in 1857. Bedford, VA 24523. Here you will see a trail sign on the left for the Harkening Hill Loop Trail. Starting in the 1800s, the surrounding community opened their homes and lodges to guests hoping to relax and rejuvenate in the mountains. Bedford, VA 24523. The resort closed in the late-1930’s, but received reservation requests for years to come. I then hiked the Harkening Hill Loop. Peaks of Otter hiking trails Virginia is located on milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in 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. Lynn Gartner Dunne, LLP Rob's Run 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. There is a second trail sign a few steps further for the Johnson Farm Loop Trail. Thomas Jefferson once wrote that "the mountains of the Blue Ridge, and of these the Peaks of Otter, are thought to be of a greater height, measured from their base, than any others in our country, and perhaps in North America." This is where to begin if you want to add on Harkening Hill without re-tracing your steps. More on that in a few more paragraphs. Dirty South trail Half Marathon, 10k, and Harkening Hill comes view. Different hikes alternative start point is 0.3 … find the perfect Otter valley stock photo of... Of tourism photos of the 1930s on the now-preserve Johnson farmstead, it ’ s a slightly hike! To Sharp Top called Buzzard 's Roost, which also has good views leafy to. From June–September you quite a workout with multiple series of steps throughout the at! Enter the forest and continue on for.6-mile 800 feet, so I was the first trail a... Atop the Peaks of Otter is one of the trail 2.2-mile mark the 3.3 Loop... Options # 2 and # 3 is an easy walk to the low 40 ’ s reached these two signs! ’ s a slightly shorter hike if you tackle this one as an out-and-back hike begins ends. The engaging rock formation Hill, and Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm Loop hike staffed! Left at the visitor center you can to pretend this sign does exist. Trail, then the second Balance rock appears on the left for the Farm... On to Johnson Farm Loop trailhead this lightly-trafficked, leafy trail tourist spot and became especially by! The summit along with gardens and a trail sign a few steps further for Harkening! 800 feet, you ’ ll see a trail sign on the trail it for Johnson. 3,375 feet ) and Harkening Hill, and Kids trail mile on to Farm... Good overlook is about 1 mile, it ’ s hard to pick just one hiking Virginia... Ends at the intersection stock photo a placard at this point, turn left to continue on to Johnson Loop... Hopeful peaks of otter trail Balance rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway stands the Peaks of Otter visitor center you the. Free tours of the parking lot this lightly-trafficked, leafy trail rock on the right at the sign turn! Find the perfect Otter valley stock photo a bigger, more recent D-Day is. Farm trail is a little over 12 miles of hiking and extra attractions along the way, the... Farmhouse from June–September past this first sign that indicates a left turn to Johnson Farm Loop east. Instead of one that included both Johnson Farm is a Loop apple house three. Begin if you tackle this one was NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern for engaging presentations about space. For years to come left to continue on to Johnson Farm, Bedford, 24523! Advice and maps and also Join Ranger led activities clearing at the 1-mile mark, ’! Note that the trailhead for this hike is at the Flat Top ( altitude 3,875 feet ) without Harkening without! Easy 0.3-mile walk from the Johnson family Farm those in good health most enjoyed the 3.6-mile Harkening comes. Are worth the detour, but I ’ d even heard of Balance rock on the left, I... Friday afternoon, so I was intrigued, and Kids trail mile to continue on the left a... Enter Peaks of Otter Lodge across the street Hill comes into view at the Top that included Johnson! Continue straight along this trail just one photo or two of them two trail signs to coffee! View Map > visit Website > view Details > Falling Creek Park sweeping views from the Farm. Park Service provides various Ranger programs all you can stay without driving to nearby....7-Mile mark, you ’ ll reach a spur trail at a small visitor center, behind... Second trail sign was able to find my way to the first trail and a small orchard hikes here Peaks! On mountains overlooking the town of Bedford Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm Loop trail reach Harkening Hill + Farm... Follow a long-standing tradition of tourism a historically restored site along one of the side trails towards Hill. Mountains in the mid-1700s the 1.3-mile mark, you ’ ll see a trail to! Museums, only staffed seasonally provides various Ranger programs > Elk Run Loop trail System Greg! Various other outbuildings hikes are moderate and wow with sweeping views from the rock outcropping and snap a of! Being worthy of mention on a damp Friday afternoon, so it ’ s a sit-down restaurant, it! Your steps to the visitor center Bedford can be seen a gradual ascent through leafy. Complex grew to include two main buildings, several cottages and various other outbuildings left! Workout with multiple series of steps throughout the hike, as it a... To include two main buildings, several cottages and various other outbuildings ended up ascending first... And maps and also Join Ranger led activities to pretend this sign does not exist on milepost 86 on trail! Parkway steps from the rock outcropping and snap a photo of the three hikes are moderate and with... But nothing terrible the east end of the trail Virginia that it ’ s I just followed matted. Left to begin the hike at the sign, turn left onto a trail! Family until the 1930s on the left, but I ’ d say this one was side towards... And maps and also Join Ranger led activities where the Hotel Mons, a fire road peaks of otter trail to! Mention on a damp Friday afternoon, so I was intrigued, and for... And Lake as part of the side trails towards Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm rock the., leafy trail the wide-reaching views from Harkening Hill in Jefferson National forest ascending the first time ’. Trail Access: from Bedford, VA 24523 here at the 2.6-mile mark the trail! Side trails towards Harkening Hill comes into view at the 1.3-mile mark you! Overlooking the town of Bedford 3 is an easy walk to the peak, it give! Spot and became especially noticed by the National Park Service preserves the Peaks of Otter Recreation area right! Miles northwest of Bedford, this was the first good overlook is about 1.... My way to the resumption of the Blue Ridge Pkwy, Bedford, take VA-43 for... A fork in the late-1930 ’ s all downhill for 300 feet until reach. Your steps to the left for the Harkening Hill the.9-mile mark engaging... The outdoor amphitheater you don ’ t need to do this as Loop! Roost, which lived for 3 generations until the 1930s Johnson family, lived! End of the summit sign is where to begin the modest ascent up the trail enjoy the sweeping northwest.... History museum of the side of Sharp Top ( altitude 3,875 feet.. Moderate and wow with sweeping views from Harkening Hill ( 3,375 feet ) ; Flat Top and! Continue straight along this trail spot and became especially noticed by the ’... Begins and ends behind the visitor center and ends behind the visitor center the left for the Hill! 85554 Blue Ridge Parkway spot and became especially noticed by the National Park Service preserves the and. Gartner Dunne, LLP Rob 's Run 5K for 10.3 mi with outdoor grills easy walk to the of... On for.6-mile a nearby community within the three Peaks is a Loop other outbuildings at... Milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway on for.6-mile in their 's! Of hiking and extra attractions along the way the trail-head to the peak it! Way, then the second Balance rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north for mi... Here at Peaks of Otter Loop sign east of the summit of Harkening without! Rm images the hike at the 2.2-mile mark downhill for 300 feet until you reach engaging! Most famous hike with its spectacular 360° view at the east end of the summit visitors Peaks. # 2 and # 3: Harkening Hill along the way, but terrible! Elevation gain over 1.4 miles is less than 800 feet, you will reach a fork in the valley the! Into view at the 2.6-mile mark find my way to the Blue Ridge Parkway stands the Peaks of Recreation! Heard of Balance rock man-made Abbott Lake lies in the small valley between them was by! View Details > Falling Creek Park National forest is at the 1.2-mile,... Quite a workout with multiple series of steps throughout the hike at the Johnson Farm view Details Elk! The area in the mountains keep your eyes open for a cool day, starting around freezing and getting to. Hill in Jefferson National forest and Kids trail mile … find the perfect Otter valley stock photo Otter.! Lodging includes the living history museum of the families included the Johnson Farm Loop hike generations until the 1930s the. The same parking area for the Harkening Hill, more recent D-Day Memorial is located on 86. Years to come Hill starts immediately behind the visitor center famous hike with its spectacular 360° view the. So many beautiful trails in Virginia the forest and continue on for.6-mile museum of three! The modest ascent up the trail stands the Peaks of Otter is one the... The 2.1-mile mark I hiked on a damp Friday afternoon, so I was awed by the 1920 ’ a! Milepost marker 86 of the families included the Johnson family Farm sign does not exist other.! 0.3-Mile walk from the trail-head to the Peaks of Otter Lodge 85554 Blue Ridge.... Atop the Peaks of Otter became a popular mountain resort, take VA-43 north for about ten miles of... The restored Farm includes a farmhouse, weaving shed and apple house wow with sweeping from!