Spring has finally sprung and if you’re anything like me, you will be itching to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. One way to get your fill is to stop on by the Stoney Badger Tavern to enjoy some good food and drink on our huge deck. The Badger’s Big Deck Thursday’s are also back featuring various local bands; but if you are looking for something outdoors that is a little more adventurous, look no further than the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As residents of Lynchburg, we are lucky to have such a beautiful backdrop to our city offering endless things to do. The Blue Ridge stretches from Georgia at its southernmost point to Pennsylvania in the north. The mountains distinctive bluish color is a result of the trees releasing isoprene in to the atmosphere. The highest peak of the Blue Ridge is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, it is actually the highest point in the eastern United States.
You can start your adventure by taking the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469 mile roadway known for its scenic beauty. It is the longest rural parkway in the country; started as a public works project to put people back to work during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. There are many points along the Parkway that offer easy access to various points of interest for the Blue Ridge Mountains, but one of the most beautiful are the Peaks of Otter. Luckily this destination is only a short drive from Lynchburg.
If you haven’t yet been to see the Peaks, it is a great way to spend a day outside. The Peaks of Otter offer a campground and picnic area, a living history farm (The Johnson Farm), and six hiking rails. During the summertime, additional events are planned including guided night walks and demonstrations.
The Peaks are made up of three mountain peaks: Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. Nestled in the valley among the three peaks is Abbott Lake. Rocks from the peaks were sent by the state of Virginia to be included in the building of the Washington Monument. The trails in the area can accommodate people of all fitness levels with easy walks around Abbott Lake to difficult hikes to the summit of Sharp Top and Flat Top.
So get on out there before the overwhelming and suffocating heat and humidity of the Virginia summer hits and enjoy the great outdoors!