Hike to Rough Ridge on the Tanawha Trail from Beacon Heights

Details

Distance

8.2 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Kat Dellinger

An easy day hike that parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway along the Tanawha Trail starting at Beacon Heights (Mile Post 305.5).

If you're feeling frisky, set your alarm for the early am and park at the Beacon Heights Parking area about 30 minutes before dawn. Put on your head lamp and hike the short trip to Beacon Heights, bask in the glory of the warm morning sun, then head back down and connect with the Tanawha Trail. As you leave Beacon Heights be sure to look up and see Grandfather Mountain smiling down on you - he's happy you're out enjoying the earth.

At about 1.5 miles you will pass under the Linn Cove Viaduct and then hike steeply up, past a boulder wall. You will come to the Wilson's Creek area next and signage letting you know to head right for Rough Ridge or left for Beacon Heights. Cross the Creek on the wooden bridge and then parallel the parkway for about a mile and a half until you reach Rough Ridge. There are several boulders to hike around and plenty of water should you need a refill. Spend your half way point on Rough Ridge eating lunch and enjoying the views all the way to Linville Gorge. If you're still feeling frisky, get a picture on the granite outcropping that'll make your mom want to faint. Pack it all up and head back the way you came.

This is a delicate ecosystem area with signage to remind you to stay on the trail - please do so. 

For details on doing the full Tanawha Trail click the link.

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Know for

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Nearby

Reviews

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quick hike with big views!

The granite outcropping makes for some epic foreground in your photos! It's a safe hike, too. I'm not afraid of heights, but most folks shouldn't have a problem with it.

Quick Little Hike with Great Views! (MP 302)

Thanks to the reviewer who mentioned that you can get a great, short hike out of this by going to MP 302 and taking a short hike straight to the top. This place was CROWDED on the beautiful weekend we went. It's lovely at the top and definitely worth the short hike to the top but if you are looking to escape the crowds - this is not the one for you. I'd like to go back sometime and do the full day hike as described but we had limited time. Really great if you are driving the Blue Ridge looking for short hikes along the way.

Explorer

šŸ„‡Top Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Great Hike!

So I did a different version of this hike and it was only about a mile long from the parking are at MP 302 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Short but sweet, I did this hike on a day I was driving back home; I took the BRP and stopped for a little to hike up to the summit right after sunrise. The views are incredible and the rock you can sit on makes you look like you're hanging off the edge of the world (you're not, it's quite safe). Overall I recommend this hike!

183 total saves

5.0/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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