Visit Website > View Details > Elk Run Loop Trail. When you enter Peaks of Otter Recreation Area turn right on the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north for 2.5 mi. Bedford, VA 24523. 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. Bedford, VA 24523. It consists of three mountain peaks centered on man-made Abbott Lake in the small valley between them. It was completely awe-inspiring. At the lodge, there’s a sit-down restaurant, as well as a snack-filled gift shop. They are actually a series on mountains overlooking the town of Bedford. They include Sharp Top (altitude 3,875 feet); Flat Top (4,004 feet) and Harkening Hill (3,375 feet). The summit offers an impressive 360-degree view of the Peaks … Combined within the three peaks is a little over 12 miles of hiking and extra attractions along the way. 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 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). There’s a tunnel under the Blue Ridge Parkway steps from the Johnson Farm Loop trailhead. You’ll reach a clearing at the 1.4-mile mark. The 24-acre lake features a one-mile loop trail, and is stocked with smallmouth bass, catfish, golden shiners, sunfish, and blue gill. The Johnson Farm Trail is a loop that takes visitors past a restored mid-1800s farm. Built in 1854, the farm was occupied by members of the Johnson family until the early-1940’s. At the 1.4-mile mark, you’ll see Harkening Hill on the left. Sun 12/6/20 Knoxville, TN US. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. So, two separate hikes, instead of one that included both Johnson Farm and Harkening Hill. Enjoy the panoramic views from the rock outcropping and snap a photo of the summit sign. Honestly, this was the first time I’d even heard of Balance Rock. #3: Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm Loop Hike. 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]. 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. More on that in a few more paragraphs. [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 atop the peaks, the nearbytown of Bedford can be seen. It’s a mild descent for 300 feet until you reach the curious rock formation. The elevation gain over 1.4 miles is less than 800 feet, so it’s very manageable. 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. 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. Directions: Peaks of Otter is located about ten miles northwest of Bedford. There are three main peaks; Flat Top, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill in order from highest peak altitude to lowest peak altitude. There is also a separate cliff formation on the other side of Sharp Top called Buzzard's Roost, which also has good views. I was awed by the wide-reaching views from Harkening Hill, and thankful for the quiet and serenity of this lightly-trafficked, leafy trail. Turn left here. At the visitor center you can get trail advice and maps and also join ranger led activities. The resort closed in the late-1930’s, but received reservation requests for years to come. From the Peaks of Otter visitor center, walk behind the building, just past the outdoor amphitheater. Astronomy Join NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern for engaging presentations about outer space! Enjoy the panoramic views from the rock outcropping and snap a photo of the summit sign. Thu 12/3/20 - Sun 12/6/20. 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. 37920. There are no trail markers. 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.. Drinking water should be carried as none is available at the top. 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. RESERVATIONS 866-387-9905 This is where to begin if you want to add on Harkening Hill without re-tracing your steps. Lynn Gartner Dunne, LLP Rob's Run 5K. 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). 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). 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." Re-trace your steps to the main trail, then turn left. There is … 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. 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. The house and outbuildings are preserved in their 1930's form along with gardens and a small orchard. Find the perfect otter valley stock photo. Of the three options, I most enjoyed the 3.6-mile Harkening Hill + Johnson Farm Loop Hike. I then hiked the Harkening Hill Loop. Peaks of Otter Lodge 85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Bedford, VA 24523 . Once you exit the clearing where the hotel was stood, you will enter the forest and continue on for .6-mile. There is a beautiful rock outcropping to sit on and enjoy the sweeping northwest views. The house and surrounding structures and elements were interesting to visit and, like most living history museums, only staffed seasonally. 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. It was a cool day, starting around freezing and getting up to the low 40’s. There is also a separate cliff formation on the other side of Sharp Top called Buzzard's Roost, which also has good views. The lowliest of the three Peaks of Otter, Harkening Hill is the only one with a loop trail that swings by the top. 85554 Blue Ridge Parkway. Be sure to savor the views of Sharp Top from Abbott Lake, just behind the lodge. 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. The recreation area includes several miles of hiking trails to the peaks, a developed campground, and a lodge and restaurant. Sharp Top is the most famous hike with its spectacular 360° view at the top. 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. Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k. peaks of otter - johnson farm trail. 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. You can stay in the nearby Peaks of Otter Lodge or campground, or in Bedford (20 min drive away). 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. Trail parking is at the Flat Top Mountain Overlook, an alternative start point is 0.3 … Sun 11/29/20 - … 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. Bedford, VA 24523. The Peaks of Otter, located in Bedford County, Virginia, is a highlight of the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 86) consisting of three peaks: Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. Phone: 540-586-7682; View Map > … I ended up ascending the first trail and doing the Johnson Farm Loop, without Harkening Hill. There’s a short spur trail that begins at the east end of the parking lot. 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. The trail for Sharp Top said strenuous and it was definitely difficult. 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). From Bedford, take VA-43 north for about ten miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s all downhill for 300 feet until you reach the engaging rock formation. Download the Peaks of Otter trails map. Johnson Farm is a historically restored site along one of the side trails towards Harkening Hill. For such a short trail to the peak, it will give you quite a workout with multiple series of steps throughout the hike. These peaks are Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. In a few steps you will reach a clearing. You’ll see some cool boulders along the way, then the second balance rock appears on the left at the 2.1-mile mark. "[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. 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. View Details >. We had lost power during the ear In 700 feet, you’ll reach a spur trail. Trail Access: From Bedford, VA follow VA-43 north for 10.3 mi. Near the 1.1-mile mark, keep your eyes open for a cool balance rock on the left. No need to register, buy now! 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. 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. At the .7-mile mark, you’ll see a trail sign. Turn right for Harkening Hill. The Hotel Mons opened in 1857. When you enter Peaks of Otter Recreation Area turn right on the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north for 2.5 mi. 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. View Details. Note that the trailhead for options #2 and #3 is an easy 0.3-mile walk from the visitor center. This was my second peak of the three hikes here at Peaks of Otter and I still recommend it. Peaks of Otter is one of only two places along the Parkway where you can stay without driving to a nearby community. 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. The Peaks of Otter are beautiful mountains in the Blue Ridge and I’ll post a photo or two of them. Johnson Farm Trail. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are also available at the lodge (and in Bedford) and there is a bar in the lodge. 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 … All three hikes are moderate and wow with sweeping views from the summit. At the sign, turn left to begin the modest ascent up the trail. Dirty South Trail Half Marathon, 10k, and Kids Trail Mile. Trail parking is at the Flat Top Mountain Overlook, an alternative start point is 0.3 mi further on … Turn left for Harkening Hill and Balance Rock. Peaks of Otter Visitor Center: Updated trails - See 155 traveller reviews, 179 candid photos, and great deals for Virginia, at Tripadvisor. [6][7] A bigger, more recent D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford. 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. This is a steep and strenuous route and should be attempted only by those in good health. There is a second trail sign a few steps further for the Johnson Farm Loop Trail. 85554 Blue Ridge Parkway. You don’t need to do this as a loop. In another 300 feet, you will reach Balance Rock. Visitors can take free tours of the farmhouse from June–September. At this point, turn left to continue on to Johnson Farm. , 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images, instead one! 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