Sharp Top

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The Sharp Top hike is a classic 3-mile round trip (out and back) at the Peaks of Otter. It was long thought to be Virginia’s tallest mountain, when in fact, it is not even the tallest of the Peaks of Otter. Nearby Flat Top rises to 4,001 feet. Mount Rogers near the North Carolina border is the state’s tallest mountain at 5,729 feet.

Sharp Top has a rather steep ascent, but not that long. Many folks of all ages and fitness levels hike this trail almost every day in the warm seasons. Hikers in shape should have little trouble, and those in not such good shape will get a needed workout. There’s also a shuttle bus for those who would prefer to ride up and hike only downhill.

Distance

  • ~ 3 miles

Hike It

  • Begin the hike at the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center. Cross the Blue Ridge Parkway staying on the sidewalk for about 200 yards and then turn right across Route 43 heading to the Sharp Top parking area (you could also park here).
  • Just after crossing Route 43 there is an intersection on the left that leads to the Lake Trail. Stay on the sidewalk, and the trailhead is to the left of the Camp Store.
  • The trail is un-blazed but is well worn.
  • For such a short trail to the peak, it will give you quite a workout with multiple series of steps throughout the hike.
  • From the trail-head to the first good overlook is at about 1 mile. Continue on the trail for about .3 of a mile, and you will reach the Buzzard’s Roost Trail intersection.
  • Bear left and go about 0.2 miles to the top. There is a stone cottage at the peak. The summit offers an impressive 360-degree view of the Peaks of Otter area.

Directions

From Roanoke – Turn right onto Orange Ave SE from Williamson Rd SE. Continue for about 15 miles as this becomes US-460 E. Turn left onto SR-617. In 0.6 miles, turn right onto SR-695. Continue for 9.5 miles and turn right onto the Parkway ramp. The destination will be at milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway (near the Peaks of Otter Recreational Area).

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