Blue Ridge Parkway officials have announced the closure and restoration of the Sharp Top Trail in the Peaks of Otter Area (MP 86) beginning today, July 18, 2016. This project will require weekday closures of the Sharp Top Trail from the Nature Center near the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center to the intersection with the Summit Loop Trail near the Sharp Top Bus Shelter. The trail will be open on Saturday and Sunday of each week, through the duration of the project. The work is expected to be complete by September 17, 2016.
The Sharp Top Shuttle Bus will continue to run on its normal Wednesday through Sunday schedule which will only allow access to the quarter-mile hike to the summit of Sharp Top, but no access to the trail down from there to the Nature Center or the popular Buzzards Roost area. This will require that all bus riders on weekdays purchase a round-trip pass, as no other access from the summit back to the parking lot at Peaks of Otter Lodge will be available. The Sharp Top Shuttle Bus Road is only to be used by the shuttle bus, and is closed to all other uses.
Project work will restore approximately half-mile of seriously deteriorated and eroded trail, including replacement of several sections of stone steps that will be rebuilt and reset. The project will be completed by a work crew from the American Conservation Experience (ACE) alongside park staff. While in the Peaks of Otter area, visitors can enjoy one of the many other nearby trails like Flat Top Mountain, Fallingwater Cascades, the walk to the Johnson Farm, or a walk on the newly refurbished and ADA accessible Abbott Lake Trail.