Photo of The Month
Located at mile marker 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway is Peaks of Otter. Peaks consists of three mountains. The tallest is Flattop Mountain at 4,001 feet. The smallest is Harkening Hill at 3,372 feet. The most famous is Sharptop Mountain at 3,875 feet. Historic figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee both visited and wrote about Peaks of Otter. Jefferson once mistakenly wrote that "the mountains of the Blue Ridge, and of these the Peaks of Otter, are thought to be of a greater height, measured from their base, than any others in our country, and perhaps in North America."
Sharptop Mountain is the most famous mountain in Virginia and one of the most famous in all of the Blue Ridge. It’s my favorite mountain. The hike to the top is a beautiful yet strenuous 1.5 mile hike one way that offers spectacular 360° views. I prefer sunset here compared to sunrise for photography because the sunsets over near layered ridge lines and rises over flat land or a more distant ridge line. This makes for far more interesting photos at sunset. In summer months Sharptop casts a near perfect pyramid shadow across the flat lands all the way to the horizon in the evening.
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