Hike the Sharp Top Trail

Sharp Top Trailhead

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.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Daypack
  • Walking sticks
  • Camera
  • Light Jacket (it can be windy up top)
  • Snacks
  • Hiking shoes
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Activities Photography, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Sharp Top Trail

Mild hike - but there are a lot of steps. The top was astounding and well worth it. Awesome opportunity for some amazing pictures. The storm shelter at the top is pretty big and even has a fireplace in it. Side note: We actually discovered a plane crash from 1943 off the side of this mountain and it's about fifteen minutes away from the top. Very cool!

initiation hike

I feel like everyone has to do this hike at some point. It’s pretty easy-only a 45 minute hike, but beautiful at the top. Amazing views

Easy Hike

This is a short easy hike for beginners, and offers a great view.


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More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Harkening Hill Loop

To get to the trailhead, pull into the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and park there. Proceed to the outdoor amphitheater behind the center.

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From the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, travel north up the Blue Ridge Parkway for about 3 miles, where you will come to small parking area for the Flat Top Trailhead.

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The trailhead for this hike is at the same parking area for the Flat Top Trail.

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