8 Best Hikes In Blue Ridge Parkway With Campgrounds & Waterfalls

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In this article, read about a list of various hikes in Blue Ridge Parkway, or unique Blue Ridge Parkway hikes, including their start and end points, total distance covered, type of hike, and difficulty level:

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Hikes in Blue Ridge Parkway – Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes

Hiking along Blue Ridge Parkway offers unparalleled access to breathtaking vistas, diverse ecosystems, and an immersive experience amid the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. 

Blue Ridge Parkway hikes - Hikes in Blue Ridge Parkway

It’s a chance to explore a tapestry of trails that wind through forests, past waterfalls, and up to stunning mountain peaks, providing an escape into nature’s tranquility and a direct connection with the region’s rich biodiversity.

Humpback Rocks Trail

    • Start: Humpback Rocks Visitor Center
    • End: Humpback Mountain Summit
    • Total Distance: 2.5 miles 
    • Type of Hike: Moderate to strenuous
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate

The Humpback Rocks Trail hike is a must for its rewarding combination of history, panoramic views, and a moderate yet invigorating climb. It offers a glimpse into the area’s cultural heritage via a preserved mountain farm and a stunning overlook. Click here for this hike on Google Map.

Blue Ridge Parkway hikes - Hikes in Blue Ridge Parkway

This Blueridge Parkway hike provides an ideal balance of challenge and scenic beauty. It is a fantastic choice for those seeking a relatively short yet fulfilling trek in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Camping: No designated camping along the trail, but nearby campgrounds like Sherando Lake Recreation Area or Montebello Camping and Fishing Resort are available.

Sharp Top Trail

    • Start: Sharp Top Parking Area
    • End: Sharp Top Summit
    • Total Distance: 2.6 miles (loop)
    • Type of Hike: Steep ascent with panoramic views
    • Difficulty Level: Strenuous

Embark on the Sharp Top Trail for an exhilarating, strenuous climb leading to unparalleled 360-degree views from the summit, offering a stunning reward for those seeking a challenging yet immensely scenic hike along Blue Ridge Parkway. Check this hike on Google Map.

Blue ridge parkway best hikes

This trail promises a breathtaking ascent and a sense of accomplishment atop one of the most iconic peaks in the region, making it an unforgettable and rewarding outdoor adventure.

Camping: Peaks of Otter Campground is nearby for camping. 

ALSO READ: 10 Best Scenic Drives In Virginia – Best Day Trips In Virginia + Scenic Stopovers

Craggy Gardens Trail

    • Start: Craggy Gardens Visitor Center
    • End: Craggy Pinnacle
    • Total Distance: 1.4 miles (out and back)
    • Type of Hike: Short but steep uphill trail
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate

craggy gardens Blue ridge parkway best hikes

Explore the Craggy Gardens Trail for a short, steep hike that rewards with panoramic mountain vistas, unique high-altitude flora, and stunning rhododendron blooms in season, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a scenic yet manageable trek along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

This trail offers a quick and rewarding adventure, providing a picturesque journey and the chance to witness the area’s distinct natural beauty and seasonal floral displays.

Camping: Nearby campgrounds include Asheville East KOA or Lake Powhatan Campground.

Linville Falls Trail

    • Start: Linville Falls Visitor Center
    • End: Plunge Basin
    • Total Distance: 1.6 miles (out and back to the Erwin’s View)
    • Type of Hike: Scenic trail leading to waterfalls
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate – Check this Blue Ridge Parkway hike on Google Map.

Embark on the Linville Falls Trail for a moderate trek showcasing several stunning viewpoints of cascading waterfalls, making it an ideal choice for those seeking diverse scenery and the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Linville hikes along Blue ridge parkway

This hike along Blueridge Parkway provides a rewarding experience, offering a series of picturesque vantage points to witness the power and beauty of the falls, perfect for hikers wanting a mix of adventure and scenic beauty.

Camping: Linville Falls Campground is nearby. 

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park Trail

    • Start: Bass Lake Parking Area
    • End: Flat Top Manor
    • Total Distance: Variable trails covering around 25 miles in total
    • Type of Hike: Varied trails suitable for different skill levels
    • Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
    • Click here for this Blue Ridge Parkway Best hike.

The Moses H. Cone, Memorial Park Trail offers a varied network of gentle paths through meadows and forests, providing a peaceful and picturesque experience for hikers seeking diverse landscapes and historical sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Hikes along Blue Ridge Parkway Blue Ridge Parkway best hikes

With serene lakes, rolling hills, and the iconic Flat Top Manor, this trail invites strolls and longer treks, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a blend of natural beauty and historical charm.

Camping: Julian Price Park Campground is close by. 

Mount Pisgah Trail

    • Start: Mount Pisgah Parking Area
    • End: Mount Pisgah Summit
    • Total Distance: 1.6 miles (out and back)
    • Type of Hike: Steep, rocky ascent to a mountain summit
    • Difficulty Level: Strenuous

Blue Ridge Parkway hikes - Hikes in Blue Ridge Parkway

Embark on the Mount Pisgah Trail for a challenging yet rewarding ascent to a mountain summit, offering spectacular panoramic views that captivate hikers seeking a strenuous but breathtaking experience along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Click here for this trail hike on Google Map.

With a rocky, steep path leading to an impressive vantage point, this hike provides a thrilling adventure and a sense of achievement atop one of the area’s prominent peaks, ideal for those seeking a demanding but awe-inspiring trek.

Camping: Mount Pisgah Campground is nearby. 

Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain Loop

    • Start: Black Balsam Parking Area
    • End: Black Balsam Parking Area
    • Total Distance: 5.75 miles (loop)
    • Type of Hike: High-altitude trek with panoramic views
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous

The Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain Loop hike offers expansive, high-altitude vistas amid meadows and rocky terrain, attracting adventurers seeking panoramic views and a moderate to strenuous trek on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Click this hike trail on Google Map.

Hikes along Blue Ridge Parkway - Blue Ridge Parkway best hikes

This loop showcases the beauty of the Shining Rock Wilderness, providing hikers with a diverse landscape and remarkable views, perfect for those seeking an adventurous and visually rewarding experience.

Camping: There’s dispersed camping available in the Shining Rock Wilderness area, but it requires a permit. Check Pisgah National Forest guidelines.

Rough Ridge Trail

    • Start: Rough Ridge Parking Area
    • End: Rough Ridge Summit
    • Total Distance: 1.2 miles (out and back)
    • Type of Hike: Rockier terrain with expansive views
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate

Traverse the Rough Ridge Trail for its rocky terrain and striking views. It is ideal for hikers seeking a moderate trek with expansive vistas and a blend of challenging terrain along the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Rough Ridge Trail - blue ridge parkway best hikes

This hike promises a relatively short but visually captivating experience, offering a mix of rugged landscapes and panoramic scenery, perfect for those seeking a moderately challenging and picturesque adventure.

Camping: Nearby campgrounds include Price Lake Campground.

Please note that difficulty levels vary based on individual fitness and hiking experience. Always check for current trail conditions and be prepared with proper gear and supplies before these hikes.

Additional Scenic Spots – Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes:

  • Linn Cove Viaduct: Known for its engineering and scenic views.
  • Mabry Mill: This historic mill with picturesque surroundings.
  • Waterrock Knob: Offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Doughton Park: Scenic area with various hiking trails and picnic spots.

Always check the current camping regulations, availability, and any permits needed before planning your camping trips.

Linn Cove Viaduct blue ridge parkway hikes

FAQs – Blue Ridge Parkway Best Hikes

  • Are there specific trail closures or maintenance along the Blue Ridge Parkway hikes?

Trail closures and maintenance can occur for various reasons. Check with the National Park Service or relevant authorities for updated information before planning your hike.

  • What should I bring on a hike along Blue Ridge Parkway?

Essential items include water, sturdy footwear, weather-appropriate clothing, a trail map, snacks, a first aid kit, and sunscreen. Additionally, consider carrying a flashlight, bug spray, and a camera.

  • Are pets allowed on the trails or Blue Ridge Parkway hikes?

Leashed pets are generally permitted on trails but can vary by location. Confirm the pet policy for the specific trail or area before bringing your pet.

  • Do the trails have restroom facilities?

Some trails have restroom facilities at the trailheads or nearby areas, while others may not. It’s advisable to use facilities before starting your hike.

  • Are there camping facilities along Blue Ridge Parkway hikes/trails?

Camping options vary along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some trails have nearby campgrounds, while others might not permit camping. Check with park authorities for camping information.

Fall camping essentials checklist

  • What is the best time to hike Blue Ridge Parkway trails?

The hiking season along the Blue Ridge Parkway can vary. Spring and fall are popular due to milder temperatures and beautiful foliage, but summer and winter offer different experiences. Consider the season and trail conditions when planning your hike.

  • Are there guided tours or ranger-led hikes available?

Depending on the season, ranger-led hikes or educational programs might be available. Check with the park’s visitor centers for schedules and availability.

  • Is there a fee to access the trails?

There is generally no fee to access the hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, some specific facilities or guided tours might have associated fees.

  • Are the trails wheelchair accessible?

Some areas or trails might have sections suitable for wheelchair access, but most trails are natural terrain and may not be fully accessible. Check with park resources for information on accessible trails.

  • What safety measures should I take when hiking?

Prioritize safety by staying on marked trails, informing someone of your hiking plans, being aware of wildlife, carrying sufficient water, and being prepared for sudden weather changes. Follow Leave No Trace principles to preserve the environment.

Always check the official Blue Ridge Parkway website or contact park authorities for the most current and specific information before planning your hiking trip.

Hikes along Blue Ridge Parkway Blue Ridge Parkway best hikes

Embarking on the trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway promises not just an adventure in nature but a journey through some of the most spectacular landscapes, offering a profound connection to the beauty and tranquility of the Appalachian region, creating memories and experiences that linger long after the hike ends. 

I hope you loved reading about hikes along Blue Ridge Parkway or unique Blue Ridge Parkway hikes (hikes in Blue Ridge Parkway), including their start and end points, total distance covered, type of hike, and difficulty level.

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