Once Upon a Time I Hiked up Sharp Top Mountain

Sharp Top Mountain

It was late August 2001 the first time I saw Sharp Top Mountain. I was on a weekend vacation from the Federal Executive Institute training program in Charlottesville, Va. and we were staying at the Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge National Parkway.

The first morning, Brian and I took an easy hike. That afternoon I tried the 1.5 mile climb from the trailhead's 2,535 ft. elevation to 3,875 ft. at summit. I ran out of time before sundown and had to return.

Sharp Top Mountain, one of the three Peaks of Otter, on the Blue Ridge National Parkway in Southern Virginia

Elizabeth at the Sharp Top  trailhead, July 6, 2002


The Trailhead

Two days before our anniversary the next July, we took a day trip down the Blue Ridge National Parkway just so we could have another chance to climb the mountain.

"Sharp Top Trail"

"A hike of an hour and a half on this 1.5 mile trail will lead to the summit of Sharp Top, elevation 3875. Climbed by early Indians and a popular site since Colonial days, the peak was once believed to be Virginia's highest point. Later surveys proved that others were higher including nearby Flat Top, elevation 4001 feet."

Camp Store at Trailhead


July 6, 2002

July 6, 2002

A View from the Trail

A Tired Looking Visitor



July 6, 2001

At the Crest, July 6, 2002


"Sharp Top Mountain"

"Elevation 3875"

"Sharp Top, famous observation point, was once thought to be Virginia's highest peak. From it came the Virginia stone in the Washington Monument, which is inscribed: 'From Otter's Summit, Virginia's loftiest peak, to crown a monument to Virginia's noblest son'."

US Department of Interior    National Park Serice

Brian Made It Too!

Brian's making it reminded me of a similar event that occurred twenty-some years earlier when we climbed Old Rag Mountain in the Shenandoah National Park.

There was a group of us that day, Alan Bow, Margaret Windus, Alan's step son Mike, my step son Shannon, Brian and myself. It was a really strenuous climb.

When we got to the top, I'll always remember Shannon saying to me, "I thought you might make it, but I NEVER thought dad would!"

July 6, 2002

July 6, 2002

A View of Abbott's Lake

From the crest of Sharp Top Mountain, there is a 360 degree panorama.

To the northwest is Abbott's Lake, lying in the valley between the three Peaks of Otter -- Sharp Top Mountain(3,875 feet), Flat Top Mountain(4,001 feet), and Harkening Hill (3,372 feet).

On the far shore of Abbott's Lake is the Peaks of Otter Inn.