Blue Ridge Mountains - Top 10 Wonders
A guide to some of the most remarkable natural Blue Ridge Mountain scenic sights in the southern U.S. This segment includes the Virginia counties of Carroll, Smyth, Grayson and the city of Galax. It also includes the North Carolina counties of Alleghany, Surry, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Stokes. The video covers Stone Mountain (NC), Devils Den, New River, Mount Rogers, Dan River, Pilot Mountain State Park, Whitetop Mountain, Hanging Rock, Mount Airy Granite Quarry, and the salt wells of Saltville, VA.
Buzzard Rock, Whitetop Mountain, Mount Rogers NRA, VA
On November 11, Veteran's Day, I returned to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in Jefferson National Forest to hike Whitetop Mountain, the 2nd tallest peak in Virginia. Despite numerous visits to nearby Mt. Rogers and Grayson Highlands, I've never taken the time to check out the trails a few measly miles west. First I started with a quick bushwhack up to Bluff Mountain, a ranked VA 4500 peak and the 5th tallest peak in the state. (I called it the 4th highest peak in VA, my first mistake of a few.) Then I parked at Elk Garden to do a similar hike to the one we have posted on HU
I followed the Appalachian Trail west/south gradually ascending the flanks of Whitetop Mountain through hardwood forests. Eventually the AT crosses FR 89 and the land opens up with big views south. This is a preview of much better views from Buzzard Rock after a short half-mile section through trees. The enormous grassy bald around Buzzard Rock on the southwest flank of Whitetop Mountain is more reminiscent of grassy balds in NC than it is to nearby balds of Wilburn Ridge and Thomas Knob. The land is much less rocky with few boulders, except Buzzard Rock itself. It is a stunning area with two big viewpoints below the open hulk of Whitetop. First I stopped for a snack break at the south rocks with views of the entire Amphibolite Mountain range and distant views of Grandfather Mountain and the Roan Highlands. Next I walked up to the north rocks with views northwest of the highest peaks in VA outside of the Iron Mountains. Beartown Mountain and Balsam Beartown Mountain are the highest, most prominent Allegheny Mountain peaks along the VA/WV border, and you can also see Bald Knob and Peters Mountain above the New River Valley.
From Buzzard Rock I followed the old AT route up to FR 89C and connected with FR 89B to walk to the summit of Whitetop. The true summit is located on the east side of the towers complex inside a cluster of southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest. Whitetop Mountain is the 2nd highest peak in VA (5,540 feet), but doesn't boast a forest as impressive as Mt. Rogers. (In the video I mistakenly quoted the elevations from Peakbagger and Lists of John, I was off a little for each.) I then followed FR 89 down to the AT crossing, and what a descent it turned out to be. The road tightly switchbacks for hundreds of feet with wide open views at every turn. I got my first glimpse of Mt. Rogers since I parked, and there were the same views south as from Buzzard Rock. This was also the first time I saw people all day. Numerous cars were driving up the road but no one was hiking. In fact, I did not see one hiker on this beautiful Sunday until the very end.
Back at Elk Garden I quickly hiked up to the Balsam Mountain subpeak. This small knob has great views of Mt. Rogers and Brier Ridge, plus good views northwest. In the video I got this completely wrong, stating I could see Cabin Ridge, Thomas Knob, Pine Mountain, and Wilburn Ridge. It looks like Brier Ridge blocks all views, and I should've reviewed the area before I began pointing these things out. Another mistake that really pisses me off when I'm overconfident and fail to check my map or GPS on my phone or Garmin. Overall this is fantastic and relatively easy area to hike and access, and wayyyyyyyy less crowded than Grayson Highlands. I would highly recommend checking this out instead of paying the fee to enter the state park on a nice weekend.
Hike was 9.2 miles with 1,815 feet elevation gain in 5 hours.
Whitetop Mountain: Virginia's Second Highest Peak
A short video slideshow of a visit to the natural bald high up on Whitetop Mountain in Grayson County, Virginia. This area is located inside the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. A visit to Whitetop is like being in another land...a product of the last Ice Age, it has more in common with areas much farther North. If you have a high clearance vehicle, you can reach the bald via National Forest Service roads. You can also access the area via the Appalachian Trail. The bald offers excellent views south into North Carolina and Tennessee, and you can see Mount Rogers, Virginia's highest mountain, and towards Wilburn Ridge and Haw Orchard Mountain at Grayson Highlands State Park.
Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers: Have fun out there
Take one drive through the state, and it is plain to see Virginia is one of the most beautiful places in the world. To truly enjoy this natural beauty, you have to get out of the car and go play. Whether you’re chasing new experiences or finding a new place for your favorite sport, Virginia has the outdoor adventure you need.
Where such variety and such beauty abound, it’s hard not to create a new historic outdoor moment on each trip. This is why Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers.
White Top Mountain, Virginia USA
Dedicated to my wonderful mother Kathy
Stop action 35 mm digital movie taken from the top of White Top Mountain, Virginia, USA
Overland Grayson Highlands - Hurricane Crk & Whitetop Mtn
July 2017 we explored the Grayson Highlands area of Virginia for three days.
Wild Ponies In My Campground? - Grayson Highlands Virginia
My name is Lola (Lost On Land Again). In this episode I feed a few hikers and make my way to the Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia. Seeing the wild ponies who run free in this area was one of those bucket list dreams I never thought would come true. I am a happy girl! Life is all about the journey, not the destination. I hope you enjoy my videos! Stay Lost my friends!
Town of Fries Virginia in Grayson County
This is a photo slide show of the beautiful Town of Fries Virginia in Grayson County. It is a beautiful little manufacturing town next to the New River. Photography by Keith Hall Photography Elkin NC.
Hiking Potts Mountain Trail to White Rocks in Giles County, Virginia
A late March 2014 visit to the Mountain Lake Wilderness Area of the Jefferson National Forest in Giles County, Virginia. This adventure starts out hiking northbound on the Appalachian Trail up to the awesome Wind Rock overlook, then continuing on and eventually ending up hiking northbound on the Potts Mountain Trail. I continue on the Potts Mountain Trail until I reach the White Rocks outcrop and also briefly enter Monroe County, West Virginia. This trip is just under 3 miles (one way) and is a pleasant hike along the crest of Potts Mountain. Thanks for watching!
APPALACHIAN TRAIL 2017 Elk garden to TN.91
Hillbilly here! Join me on another awesome section of the Appalachian Trail. On this hike we walk southbound from Elk Garden, VA to Route 91 near Shady Valley, TN. This was a very important adventure to me, as it marked my completion of the AT in VA and the linking of all of my sections in to one continuous 687.2 mile stretch!! Please enjoy, like, share and subscribe for more adventures!!