Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway
by Randy Johnson (Falcon Guides)
© 2017 Randy Johnson/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This spot is a very easy drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway which is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing routes in the country. I recommend doing it on weekdays, hardly any traffic. I loved the views, but found the trails too "easy" for my liking. I like a robust hike to a mountain top to feel like I "earned" the view. There is one exceptional spot that leads to an open field which gives a supurb view north into the mountains of Virginia. I could see Sharp Top Mountain in the distance I sat there for an hour for peaceful contemplation.
Stopping at the viitor center is a must for this area of tails. The ranger I met, Mike, was very helpful in explaining the differences of the multi trails. The picknick loop was a nice little hike. The sighting of deer and a black bear were reminders that these are deep woods.
rock castle gorge is one sweet trail! Park at the rocky knob campground, I think it's mile 169, and cross the parkway to reach the trail. I took a left at this point to make the descent into the gorge. The descent is steep but the ascent back up is more gradual. You could obviously go the other way if you wanted. The gorge is awesome as is the few miles you are on the fireroad following the beautiful creek. Tons of wildflowers, and great views from grassy knobs. A very diverse hiking experiece. I did it in four hours, taking maybe 20 minutes to stop. Highly recommended!
Sign in/up to upload photos.