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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.

Highlights & Happenings

  • Humpback Rocks, MP 5.8
  • At the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks is perhaps the best representation of the varied combination of natural and cultural resources anywhere along the Parkway corridor. Visitors can tour a collection of nineteenth century far
  • 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.
  • James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8
  • At the lowest elevation along the Parkway, visitors can hike, camp, fish, have a picnic, and see restored Battery Creek Lock from the Kanawha Canal.
  • Julian Price Memorial Park, MP 297
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, comprises this popular park and lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks make up the largest developed area set as
  • 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
  • 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
  • Cumberland Knob, MP 217.5
  • Located near the Virginia state line, Cumberland Knob is the site where construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1935. It was the first recreation area opened to the public and remains a favorite destination for both locals and visitors. The m
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner
  • The 67th edition of the Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner is your ultimate source for planning a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • Blooms & Wildlife Watching
  • Don't forget your cameras and binoculars when visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway! Learn when and where to see blooms along your journey.
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