It had been several years since I’d taken the A-Liner to the mountains so I was excited to find that sites were readily available in the NPS campgrounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway. With so many campgrounds requiring reservations months in advance, it was nice to be able to hit the road on short notice. Some if it is simply seasonal but the lack of electrical hookups is likely enough to keep a lot of the newer RV crowd looking elsewhere. That’s fine with me.
Peaks of Otter is typical of the NPS campgrounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although many structures have been somewhat modernized, it still has reflects the construction found during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corp. Simple things like the stonework delineating the campsites just gives the place a very historic aura.
A hike to the top of Sharp Top Mountain is one of the most popular in the area. Approximately 1,300 feet of climbing over about 3 miles makes it a moderately strenuous hike culminating with a great view of Abbott Lake and Peaks of Otter Lodge in the valley below.
Looking for something a little easier, I decided on Harkening Hill & Johnson Farm Trail for Saturday’s hike. Although a little longer at 5 miles, it only has about 1,000 feet of elevation gain making it a fairly easy trek. Near the end of the loop you pass by the Johnson Farmhouse, one of the few remaining remnants of the former 19th century community.