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).

Resources

Add-On Adventures

Nearby Wineries

  • Peaks of Otter Winery Expand Collapse

    Located in Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia at the foot of the Peaks of Otter, the winery of the same name features fruit of the farm wines.

    Although Peaks of Otter grows many fruits for the wine, apples are the main crop. Apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, and pears are used to make wine, cider, and butters. These “grandma’s style” wines are excellent with snacks, as an after dinner wine or just sipping.

    The winery is open daily from April through December and on weekends January through March.

Nearby Shopping & Gear

  • Twin River Outfitters Expand Collapse

    Twin River Outfitters is a full-service paddlesports business that rents canoes, kayaks, tubes, and rafts on the James, Maury, Jackson, and Cowpasture rivers. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains — only 25 minutes from Downtown Roanoke — Twin River is one of the largest river outfitters in the area. Established in 1978, TRO is an experienced river based business that runs a variety of safe, scenic, and fun river trips that appeal to all skill levels. In addition to a variety of day trips, they also offer multi-day and overnight trips that include riverside camping.

    River tubing trips are 1.5 to 3 miles in length and feature great current, easy fun rapids, and typically great water levels all summer long. Trips include shuttles, life jackets, and commercial grade river tubes.

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