Peaks of Otter is formed by three mountains with Abbott Lake in the center valley - Sharp Top Mountain (3,875 feet), Flat Top Mountain (4,001 feet), and Harkening Hill (3,372 feet).
There are several options for hiking- Sharp Top Trail and Flat Top Trail allow visitors the challenge to summit the peaks while the Abbott Lake Trail offers views of the beautiful lake. In 2015, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation provided funding to pave the Abbott Lake Loop Trail, making it the first complete wheelchair accessible trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Johnson Farm, a mountain farmstead established in 1767 by Thomas Wood and then purchased by John T. Johnson in 1852, exists today much as it did in the 1930’s. Peaks of Otter, operated by the National Park Service, is located at Milepost 85 on the Blue Ridge Parkway between the Piedmont to the east, and the Shenandoah Valley with the Allegheny Mountains to the west.
In addition to the TRACK Trail, another fun and exciting program for youth to do on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Junior Ranger program! Become a Junior Ranger by stopping at any visitor center to pick up activity sheets specific to the local area. Complete the activities and promise to help care for and learn about America's National Parks to earn stickers, badges, and patches. Complete all 10 activity sheets for the Parkway and you will receive a special badge designed just for Blue Ridge Parkway Junior Rangers.
Adventures for Peaks of Otter
Peaks of Otter: Animal AthletesDifficulty:
Peaks of Otter: BirdsDifficulty:
Peaks of Otter: Johnson Farm Hide n' SeekDifficulty:
Peaks of Otter: Living in AppalachiaDifficulty:
Peaks of Otter: Natures Hide n' SeekDifficulty:
Peaks of Otter: Need for TreesDifficulty:
For hoursForFor FForForForFor For hours of operation and seasonal closure information, click here.
For the official Peaks of Otter map, click here.
Directions from I-81 South
I-81 South to Exit 167 -Buchanan Exit or Exit 168 - Arcadia Exit. Follow route 11 south into the Town of Buchanan. Pick up Route 43 South to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn left (North) on the Parkway. The Visitor Center is located at Milepost 86 on the right.
Directions from I-81 North
I-81 North to Exit 162 (Buchanan Exit). Follow Route 11 North into the town of Buchanan. Pick up Route 43 South to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn left (North) on the Parkway. The Visitor Center is located at Milepost 86 on the right.
Directions from 460 West
460 West to the first Bedford Exit (460 Business). Pick up Route 43 North (Peaks Street) to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Visitor Center is located 500 yards on the right.
Directions from 460 East
460 East to the first Bedford Exit (460 Business). Pick up Route 43 North (Peaks Street) to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Visitor Center is located 500 yards on the right.
The TRACK Trail program is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.
The Peaks of Otter TRACK Trail was made possible through a partnership formed between the Kids in Parks program and the National Park Service.
There are several other activities for kids available on the Blue Ridge Parkway! To find out more, visit the NPS website at http://www.nps.gov/blri/forkids/index.htm