Attractions > Peaks of Otter Information

Peaks of Otter

Scenics views and a famous rustic Lodge

The Peaks of Otter is named for the three mountain peaks positioned together in a triangle pattern in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Resting right in the center of this triangle is a beautiful mountain lake. These three mountains are Flat Top Mountain, Sharp Top Mountain and Harkening Hill and the manmade lake is Abbott Lake. The Peaks of Otter Wilderness Recreational Area is maintained by the National Park Service and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Wildlife in the area consists of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, red fox, black bears and rare species of birds that migrate along the Blue Ridge Parkway range.

The area is mostly old growth hard wood forest. Mixed in are a few mountain meadows with wild flowers and migrating butterflies. Winding all through the area is a mountain stream with cold crystal-clear water.


For over 80 centuries the Peaks of Otter has been an existing community of people. The area was used for hunting and farming. A mountain farmstead, the Johnson's Farm, still remains intact and has been completely preserved as it was in the mid 1800s. It is currently operated by interpreters working on a farm that is furnished the way it would have been in its day. Down by the northeastern shore of Abbott Lake is Aunt Polly's Ordinary, a log cabin, which has been restored to its original condition.

Things To Do

The Peaks of Otter recreation area has a very well maintained trail system that ranges in difficulty from moderate to strenuous.

The easiest trail is the Abbott Lake Trail, a loop trail, that winds through the woodland forest and meadows around Abbott Lake. The mile long trail is flat with only a few hills. Well recommended since it leads you straight to picturesque views of Abbott Lake nestled in the mountains. There are also some really great fishing spots along the lake not far off the trail.

The most popular trail is Sharp Top Trail, a 1.6 mile hike to the mountain summit. The panoramic view of the Peaks of Otter area showcases the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley to the west, and the Piedmont to the East. Allow for about 2 hours for the hike as this trail is very steep and strenuous.

Escape from everyday life at the Peaks of Otter Lodge, a beautiful and rustic resort with 60 rooms. The restaurant there is not just known for the amazing country cuisine, but also for the striking panoramic view of Abbott Lake and Sharp Top Mountain.

Camping and RV facilities are located at the base of Sharp Top Mountain.


The Peaks of Otter is located at Milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The three mountain peaks overlook the town of Bedford, VA.

Share This Page

Add to: Facebook Add to Twitter Stumbleupon Digg reddit