For more than 8,000 years, people have
traveled through the area searching for both their livelihood and
American Indians passed through the area while hunting,
and the earliest European settlers began arriving in the mid-1700's.
By 1834 the first inn had opened, and by the turn of the century the
Peaks of Otter had become a popular tourist destination.
Today the Peaks of Otter is still a major
developed area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The motor road follows the
crest of the ridge into the Peaks area. In the valley formed by
Sharp Top, Flat Top and Harkening Hill, there is a lodge and
restaurant, visitor center, campground, picnic area and historic
The mountains all have trails ranging from less than a mile to
more than four miles, and there is nearby access to the Appalachian
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Detail Maps and
In addition, the area is surrounded by the Jefferson National
Forest, which only adds to its appeal as a destination for Parkway
The Johnson Farm and Polly Wood's Ordinary
represent two historic periods at the Peaks. Polly Wood's cabin
served as the first lodging for travelers through the area starting
in the early 1830's. The Johnson Farm sheltered three generations of
the Johnson family, and today it is a living history farm during the
summer where you can play games, help work the garden, or just sit
on the porch and relax in a rocking chair.
Thomas Jefferson owned it; George Washington
surveyed it. Discover breathtaking nature and fascinating history:
Natural Bridge (One of 7 Natural Wonders of the World) and Nature
Park, the Cedar Trail, Monacan Indian Living History Village,
Caverns; Wax Museum, Toy Museum, Haunted Monster Museum. On-site
hotel, including rooms & suites, meeting rooms, dining room,
creekside cafe, pool, tennis, gift shop, and more. 15 minutes off
the Parkway; 5 minutes off I-81, exits 175, 180. www.naturalbridgeva.com
(540) 291-2121 (800) 533-1410.
76.5: High Point on the
Parkway in Virginia.
Apple Orchard Mountain. (E1. 4,229.) Alt.
Cascades National Scenic Trail.
Divided into two sections or may be hiked as
one continuous loop. Fallingwater Cascades section is a 1.5 mile
loop of moderate hiking. Flat Top section is more strenuous, 2.5
miles to summit and 4.4 mi. to Peaks Picnic Area on VA43.
Milepost 86: Peaks of Otter
Phone: (540) 586 4357
This campground is near the Peaks of Otter
Lodge, Abbott Lake, the restored 1930s Johnson Farm, and a
magnificent trail system.
Peaks of Otter Lodge
Phone: (540) 586 1081
The Peaks of Otter Lodge is located twenty
miles north of Roanoke, VA on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 86.
It is the only year-round lodging on the Parkway. Lodging, dining,
trails, fishing and seasonal interpretive programs at the park
amphitheatre. The web site is http://www.peaksofotter.com.