Hike Apple Orchard Mountain
Virginia › Apple Orchard Falls Parking Area (Sunset Field Overlook)
Added by Elyse Clark
The summit of Apple Orchard Mountain is an open bald with great views to the south and west. There is also a large FAA antenna on top-making the mountain easily recognizable from a distance.
The top of Apple Orchard Mountain is easily accessible via the Appalachian Trail. Access the trail at the Sunset Field Overlook at MP 78.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The concrete path will end shortly and turn into a blue blazed trail. Follow this for 0.25 miles until it intersects the Appalachian Trail. Turn right on the AT, and cross over the forest road. From here it is only a few switchbacks and 1.7 miles to the summit.
Once finished at the summit, simply retrace your steps on the AT and turn left onto the blue-blazed trail to return to the parking area. To make this hike into an 8 mile hike, turn right at the intersection and combine it with the hike to Apple Orchard Falls (https://www.theoutbound.com/virginia/backpacking/hike-to-apple-orchard-falls).
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This is a great little hike. At just under 4 miles round trip it is easily done in a half a day and a great choice if you have already tried Sharp Top and Flat Top, or on a crowded day. This peak is actually higher than the others surrounding it, but while the views are a nice payoff, if you are after a breathtaking vista, try the two mentioned above first. But if you are looking for something else this hike is a great time. Also, the elevation change is closer to about 750 feet.
Great For Beginners
The view from the top is oddly satisfying. The meadow and the huge radar are a great combo. I took my dad (he is the most inactive person, quite sedentary) and although it was a nice little climb he didn't die. So that was very nice.
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