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Out and About: Virginia's Peaks of Otter

Out and About: Virginia's Peaks of Otter

One of my favorite drives – second only to California's Highway 1 – is the meandering trail down the Blue Ridge Parkway. This path totals 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

Dogs are welcomed on over 100 of the trails along the way, and the walks can vary from casual strolls over mostly flat ground to demanding hikes up mountain summits. While walking your leashed pup, you'll see a wide variety of wildlife – 54 different mammals and 59 species of birds live along the parkway, more than the entire European continent!

Around the 75-mile point, check out the three mountains – Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill – that make up the Peaks of Otter. You'll find days' worth of hikes for you and your furry friends, ranging from the light 1.6-mile loop of the Fallingwater Cascades National Scenic Trail to the hike up a 4.4-mile trail to the Flat Top Summit (4,004 feet).

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Join The Conversation
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
I love VA for this reason! beach and mountains, within 4 hours of each other! I have been hiking over there numerous times, and I love the apple orchard..delish cider! Also, my parents took their honeymoon camping at the peaks of otter...they didn't have a lot of money back then, and they said it was a romantic, wonderful time! :-)
ALSW ALSW 9 years
Plus, there's the Peaks of Otter winery! I went to college in Roanoke so I saw lots of this beautiful area. :)
turkeyjerky turkeyjerky 9 years
My husband's hometown is near there. One weekend when we were visiting his parents, we hiked up flat top, I believe. Its a good hike...beautiful views!
scorpstar77 scorpstar77 9 years
Hey! Very cool - the Peaks are in Bedford, VA, which is my home town!! I don't live there any more, but my mom and dad and most of my family do, and I'm only about an hour and half away - this post made my night :)
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
That looks amazing...
Catwal Catwal 9 years
I actually live pretty close to the Front Royal entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 20 miles away). The views are spectacular in all 4 seasons, although some of the parkway is closed in the winter time. There is a beautiful water fall about 4.5 miles down the mountain at Hogback overlook. We went there last spring, and it was well worth the hike down and then back up the mountain. The starting elevation is 3385 ft., so it wasn't too tiring. I have pictures. I wish I could figure out how to post them. Could someone help me with this?
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