Bluff Mountain

Charlottesville, Virginia 22907

Bluff Mountain

Bluff Mountain Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Bluff Mountain offers more views today than it did in the past. Sadly, most of the spruce trees that covered much of the summit have died, but this has opened up a wonderful vista onto the mountains framing the Shenandoah Valley.

Also on the mountaintop is a plaque in memory of Ottie Cline Powell, a youth who wandered away from school and died in the mountains. The plaque tells his sad tale. You can also make a 0.4-mile side trip to Punchbowl Shelter, which has an idyllic setting on the side of a small pond. This relatively short hike takes you up a steady climb of more than 1,100 feet. The ascent could be listed as strenuous, but the Trail is graded well and the climb is short."

More Bluff Mountain Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking through History Virginia (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
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"This hike uses the famed Appalachian Trail (AT) to escort you up to Bluff Mountain, a somber yet scintillating place. Here lies a memorial to Ottie Powell, an area lad lost in the woods. His body was found here, astride the very peak of Bluff Mountain. The story of his disappearance and subsequent discovery has become legend. Hikers who overnight at the nearby Punchbowl Mountain trail shelter swear the ghost of young Ottie has come to visit them. Today, you can leave the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike the AT, pass the Punchbowl shelter, and walk on up to Bluff Mountain to see the wonderful panoramas and the memorial to Ottie. After that, decide for yourself if the ghost of Ottie Powell haunts these heights." Read more

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours

Activity Feed

Dec 2018