Humpback Rocks

Asheville, Virginia 24486

Humpback Rocks

Humpback Rocks Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This scenic walk starts out at the Humpback Rocks visitor center, then visits a recreated highland farmstead that includes numerous authentic buildings.

From there make a loop, first heading up to the Humpback Rocks, where incredible panoramas await. Join the Appalachian Trail on an alluring woodland ramble, then trace the historic Howardsville Turnpike, which takes you back to your starting point."

More Humpback Rocks Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes (Menasha Ridge Press)
Leonard M. Adkins & Victoria and Frank Logue
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"This hike will take you from the Blue Ridge Parkway to the top of Humpback Rocks. The destination is a jagged rock outcrop with fine views to the west. Due to its location on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this is a popular place and may be very crowded on nice weekends throughout the year. Humpback Rocks was an important landmark on the Old Howardsville Turnpike, which was a major trade road that connected the Rockfish and Shenandoah valleys in the 1800s. The A.T. was moved onto a portion of this route near the turn of the twenty-first century, and part of this historic roadbed is still discernible as it winds its way through the forest."
"Just 5 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s first milepost, the Humpback Rocks Recreation Area provides a perfect introduction to the cultural and natural riches of this linear park. An interpretive trail through a hardscrabble farm explores the rustic life led by mountaineers up to the turn of the twentieth century. Don’t miss the “1850–1950 Life along the Blue Ridge” exhibit at the small visitor center (where water and restrooms are available). The fascinating display emphasizes how the nearby Howardsville Turnpike and more distant canal on the James River (see that entry) created surprisingly diverse occupations and access to urban consumer goods for mountain residents in this area. Just across the road, a short, steep trail lifts hikers to Humpback Rocks and truly awe-inspiring vistas that stretch north and south along the Blue Ridge, east to the Piedmont, and west into the Shenandoah Valley. There’s also a small picnic area."
Best Hikes of the Appalachian Trail South (Menasha Ridge Press)
Johnny Molloy
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"This Blue Ridge Parkway hike begins at a fine visitor center and then leads to the Carter Place, a highland pioneer farmstead, replete with historic structures. After exploring the homestead, make the rocky ascent to the Humpback Rocks, where you soak in wide prospects of the Shenandoah Valley and mountains beyond."

Humpback Rocks Trip Reports

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Wow - this hike is well worth the effort! The 700 feet of elevation gain is fairly strenous but the views from the top are magnificent. It is fairly popular so my dreams of sitting on the rocks enjoying the beauty of God's creation in silence were somewhat dashed by the dozen or so other people at the top but the hike is still most definitely worth it. I also saw a lot of deer on the hike down. Great experience!
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Nice uphill climb workout. Spectacular views from The Rocks. Trails rocky in spots. Multiple trails for loop hikes. Overall this was an excellent hike.

Humpback Rocks Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Type
Skill Level
2.5- 3.5 hours
Blue Ridge Parkway, 199 Hemphill Knob Rd., Asheville, NC 28803; (828) 298-0398;
Local Contacts
National Geographic Map #789, Lexington/Blue Ridge Mountains, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
Local Maps