Nestled away in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd, VA is the Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve. The unique summit of Buffalo Mountain is naturally treeless and offers 360 degree views of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and also hosts many rare plants and animals.

A short 1.0 mile hike to the summit with 700’ elevation gain, the trail switchbacks steeply up to the exposed rocky summit. To the north you can see Sharp Top and Flat Top at the Peaks of Otter, and to the south you can see Pilot Mountain in North Carolina.

The summit has many places to spread out and is a great place for a picnic. Once done exploring simply retrace your steps back down the trail to your car. On your way out, continue onto the Blue Ridge Parkway for more beautiful views of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, or stop by Chateau Morrisette Winery for a delicious meal or wine tasting.

Getting there: From downtown Floyd take US-221 south for about 6 miles, then directions to the preserve are clearly marked from there. The last road to get to the preserve is a gravel road that is quite bumpy in some places and may require high-clearance vehicles. Access to the preserve is free.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 700 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Gorgeous, but ...

This is an absolutely GORGEOUS hike with 360 views, but with that said the driveway in nearly gave me a panic attack and I will never go there again for that reason. It is barely wide enough for 2 vehicles, it's gravel and terribly bumpy, and it is on the side of a cliff so it would be possible to tip off of it ... It might not seem as terrible if you go at a time of day with low traffic, but we had to pull as far over as we could to let cars go by many times and it was clearly nerve-wracking to me.

3 months ago

Buffalo

I hiked this last year during the summer and it was great, a very short hike! Breathtaking views at the top - we went right before a storm hit and the clouds were so close and low! it was stunning! go try this hike, when you get the the top it’s like the air conditioner turns on!

8Edmonds

Great short hike with beautiful views. Choose your level of difficulty, take the left for a moderate hike or take the more difficult path to the right.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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