Hiking Sharp Top

Last Tuesday I was lucky to get to go on a second PE field trip, this time with the 8th graders.  I asked an 8th grade teacher who is not so athletic if he wanted to switch spots for the day and he couldn’t say, “Yes!”, fast enough!  We both were happy – I got to hike with my students from last year and he got to stay in the air conditioned building for the day.

This hike starts near the Peaks of Otter Lodge on Milepost 86 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I took the photo below from the back of the bus as we drove home to show where we hiked, all the way to the tip top peak of the mountain below.  The Otter River runs through Bedford County in this area.  Can you see now why this area is called The Peaks of Otter?

Here’s a map of Virginia to show where the Peaks are located.

This hike is 1.5 miles straight up over quiet rocky terrain.  A good portion of the trail involved stepping up giant steps formed from rocks.  Our legs got a good workout on this hike.


The mountain top is quite rocky.  The boys enjoyed climbing all over the rocks and scaring me half to death.  There’s a small stone house at the top of the mountain and I don’t know it’ original purpose.

These boys are happy to be at the top!

It was in the upper 90’s the day we hiked and the view ended up being not so clear because of the haze but it is still pretty.  That’s the Shenandoah side that you see here.

The Peaks of Otter Lodge is beside the lake you see below.  If you drive the Parkway, stop here to eat.  They have awesome fried chicken!  The parkway is the road you can see snaking through the mountain.  I am so lucky to leave close enough to this area to enjoy it whenever I want.

Sweet country boys admiring the view!

Blooms lined the trail.  I didn’t really enjoy them going up because I was working so hard but on the way down I stopped to admire their beauty.

I’ve hiked Sharp Top many times but hiking with the boys was my favorite trip.  They were so proud when they made it to the top!  I’m hoping that I’ll have a standing invitation to go on this trip with the 8th graders every year.



  1. I think you found the perfect trade. What a beautiful view. 🙂 Great photos too, Paula!

  2. What a treat for the kids…you are brave taking responsibility for them! I am a little {a lot} afraid of heights, I don’t know if I could do this although the views are gorgeous!


  3. I’ll bet you really answered the other teacher’s prayers when you made the offer to swap. LOL.

    Gorgeous pics!!

  4. How Beautiful! You are a very brave (and I am sure very popular) teacher. We never took field trips like that when I was in school. They are very lucky to have such a “cool” teacher.
    The view is just amazing!

  5. breathtaking….i love the blue ridge mountains but as far as i have gone is up near the smokies which is beautiful also.

    enjoyed the pictures

    thanks for coming over to my new blog

  6. I think you need to be reassigned to outdoor field trips! 😉 I bet that would be a dream job. Thanks for linking up, Paula!

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