BLUE RIDGE, Va. – Apple Orchard Mountain is a bald spot on the Appalachian Trail that has a unique peak and beautiful views. You’ll start in the sunset field overlook parking lot off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Start heading down the paved road that turns into a trail and you’ll start a quick descent. Mid-July makes for lush, cool and green woods.
After about a quarter of a mile, you’ll come to the intersection of the Appalachian Trail. Stay to the right to head north on the AT. You’ll cross a fire road and climb some stairs to begin your ascent!
This part of the trail is marked with white blazes. The first section of this hike is rough. It’s straight-up and a pretty rocky terrain.
It did level off quite a bit with multiple switchbacks on the way up, making a trip way more enjoyable. When you’re almost to the top, there’s a nice place to sit and enjoy nature
After about 100 meters of another steep hill, you’ll be at the top! The trees open up to a sweeping view to the east and the west, and maybe the coolest part is the Federal Aviation Administration radar that towers over the peak.
Overall, this hike was a great way to get out and get your heart rate up due to its versatile terrain and only took about an hour and a half.