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Home > Highlights > 3. Peaks of Otter, MP 86
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Peaks of Otter, MP 86

Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge ParkwayWith stunning views, natural beauty, and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest, it’s no wonder the Peaks of Otter area has attracted people to the region for more than 8,000 years.

American Indians passed through the area while hunting and European settlers began to call the region home in the mid-1700s.

The area wasn’t a secret for long: in 1834 the first inn opened and by the turn of the century the Peaks of Otter was a popular tourist destination. Today, the Peaks of Otter still inspires travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

What to Do

  • Enjoy the Peaks of Otter Lodge with 63 rooms and restaurant
  • Stop by the Visitor Center at Milepost 86 to find a ranger or get information about programs
  • Picnic amid natural beauty along Little Stoney Creek with tables, charcoal grills and comfort stations
  • Explore Polly Wood’s Ordinary, a cabin that served as the first lodging for travelers through the area starting in the early 1830’s, or Johnson Farm, a living history farm that entices visitors play games, help work the garden, or enjoy nature’s beauty by relaxing on the porch in a rocking chair
  • Take a hike, with six trails to choose from within the Peaks of Otter area and three National Scenic Trails fewer than eight miles away
  • Go fish! Abbott Lake is open to fishing for anyone with a valid North Carolina or Virginia fishing license. Please note the special regulations posted lakeside
  • Visit the only service station on the Parkway in Virginia and explore a small gift shop for Blue Ridge Parkway keepsakes
  • Grab a snack or camping supplies at the camp store, located at the start of the Sharp Top trail, near the campground
  • Camp under the stars at a Parkway-operated 144-site campground at the foot of Sharp Top mountain, with sites for 92 tents and 52 trailers or RVs, water, comfort stations with flush toilets and cold water sinks (no showers or hook-ups)

Explore the listing of hours and opening and closing dates for visitor centers, campgrounds, and concessions and facilities - many of which are at or near the Highlights featured.

Calendar

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The Polar Express™

Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 am

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Friday, November 28, 2014, 8:00 am

27th Annual Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts Festival

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Holiday Arts & Crafts Market

Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, November 28, 2014, 3:00 pm

The Polar Express

Friday, November 28, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 pm
29

The Polar Express™

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 7:00 am

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 8:00 am

Saturdays with St. Nickolas

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

27th Annual Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts Festival

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Annual Thanksgiving Kiln Opening

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 11:00 am

Fall Stroll Around the Lake

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 5:00 pm

Santa by Rail

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 6:30 pm

Music at the Star

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 9:00 pm
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30

The Polar Express™

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 7:00 am

Saturdays with St. Nickolas

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 6:30 pm
           

Highlights & Happenings

  • Rocky Knob & Mabry Mill, MP 169, 176.2
  • These Parkway treasures offer many opportunities for visitors including hiking, camping, picnicking, and one of the most-photographed structures along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Moses H. Cone Park, MP 294
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks comprise the largest developed area set aside for public recreati
  • Peaks of Otter, MP 86
  • With stunning views, natural beauty, and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest, it’s no wonder the Peaks of Otter area has attracted people to the region for more than 8,000 years.
  • Craggy Gardens, MP 364
  • These high elevation summits are home to spectacular floral displays. June and July are usually prime times to view the pink and purple blooms of rhododendron, but don’t despair if you miss the peak bloom. Violets, blackberry, May-apple, a
  • Mount Pisgah, MP 408
  • Mount Pisgah’s spectacular views, hiking trails, camping and the Mount Pisgah Inn make this area a popular destination for visitors along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The mountain and thousands of surrounding acres was originally purchased by indust
  • Parkway Visitor Center, MP 384
  • Visitors traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway can now make one stop to learn about the entire 469 miles and 73-year history of the Parkway. The Parkway Visitor Center opened in 2008 and unveiled innovative, high-tech interactive exhibits. The LEED-certif
  • Humpback Rocks, MP 5.8
  • Located at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks is an area rich in history, scenic beauty, and abundant hiking trails. Early European settlers forged a living from the native materials that flourished in the Appalachian Mountain
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • Camping
  • Camping is one way visitors traveling through the Blue Ridge Parkway can spend the night under the stars in one of America’s most beautiful natural settings.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
  • Parkway Road Conditions
  • An open Parkway is a safe Parkway. Be sure to check road conditions online or by phone before you travel and during your visit.
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