Hike the Sharp Top Trail


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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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly



Leave a Review

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

5 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!


🥈 Contributor

about 1 year ago

Awesome views from the top!

It took me and my post-thanksgiving bloated self about an hour to get to the summit of Sharp Top and the views were outstanding. This is a popular hike, so I was not the only one up there at the summit. If you're looking for views, this hike is for you. If you are looking for solitude or the 'wilderness' experience, look elsewhere as the summit has been made very people friendly. Overall, I loved this hike and will be doing it again!

🥈 Contributor

almost 3 years ago

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!

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