Hike the Sharp Top Trail

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Added by Hailey Carter

Popular among surrounding colleges and universities. An hour from Roanoke and Lynchburg. Elevation gain: 1340 feet. Duration: 3 miles roundtrip. Spectacular 360 view at the top. Extremely popular trail for groups. Dog friendly.

Once thought to be the highest peak in Virginia, this 2.5 hour hike is one that will leave you speechless at the top. Park at the Peaks of Otter Nature Center (which is now closed). The trailhead is located to the right of the building. You will cross over a paved bus road soon after beginning the hike. This short hike will get you winded soon, so be sure to pace yourself as you ascend up several series of steps made out of rocks. The trail is steep and strenuous at times. Make sure to pack plenty of water. Keep in mind the popularity of the trail and allow others to pass if need be due to the narrow path. Keep a look out for bears, they are spotted by hikers often.

The first scenic overlook is roughly a mile up the mountain. Another .3 up the trail and you will find yourself at the Buzzard's Roost Trail intersection. Bear left and ascend another .2 to Sharp Top. There is an old, rustic stone cottage built at Sharp Top. Many people use this cottage as a shelter if a thunderstorm comes.

The views at Sharp Top are jaw dropping. There are multiple boulders to climb upon, which allows for some impressive photography. The 360 view, among most of the boulders, allows for groups of people to be at the top. Enjoy a picnic on top of a massive boulder.The Piedmont to the East, and the Shenandoah Valley with the Allegheny Valley Mountains to the west. A sunrise or sunset hike is highly recommend. Watch the sun paint the sky as it rises or sets! Retrace your steps to return to the parking lot.

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Fitness
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

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The view is worth the climb

Sharp Top is super popular in this area. Start early to avoid the crowds, especially on weekends. About three miles total. The views at the top are outstanding; it’s well-developed at the top, so there’s plenty of room to take a break, eat a snack, snap some pix. If you’re training for a longer hike, this is a great option b/c there are miles of other trails (flat and mountainous) that are connected. You could knock out a lot of miles in a day in this area if you like.

Snow Covered Hike and Snowboard

I always love a hike up Sharp Top. This time was even better in the snow! It was cold and very windy at the top but totally worth it. I also carried my snowboard up to ride on the way back down. (Not on the hiking trail) I always love a hike up Sharp Top. This time was even better in the snow! It was cold and very windy at the top but totally worth it. I also carried my snowboard up to ride on the way back down. (Not on the hiking trail) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRnoRdG3Qcs&t=2s

Wonderful Hike

I’ve hiked this a few times and it’s always beautiful! I left out one star just because last time I hiked it it was agonizingly crowded. Short, stew, and amazing views at the top.

🥇Top Contributor

8 months ago

Views for days

Yea, this one is forever saved in my book. Its a great hike with views that make the trip worth it. I came up here for sunset and will probably make my way back for a sunrise trail run!

Beautiful trail

I have done this trail multiple times and love each time! It definitely takes some time to get to the top but it is overall worth it for the view. Make sure to bring water and snacks!

835 total saves

4.7/5

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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