Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway–Peaks of Otter Lodge

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Peaks of Otter from Mountaintop
Peaks of Otter overlooking lodge and lake Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


The Blue Ridge Parkway wends for 469 miles, from Shenandoah National Park in Northern Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.The Blue Ridge Parkway, a unit of the National Park Service, is a world apart from urban centers such as Roanoke, Bedford, and Galax–and yet it’s an incredibly short drive to get totally lost in a timeless realm of Appalachian beauty. A world dominated by buckeye, ash, and elm, of rhododendrons, pine, and dogwoods.

Amazingly, it’s only a nine-mile drive from downtown Bedford, Virginia to the Peaks of Otter Lodge, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway. But with a maximum posted speed limit of 45 mile per hour for the entire length of the 469 mile-long Parkway, you’ll rapidly slow up in more ways than one.

The tranquil, lakeside, Peaks of Otter Lodge is ringed by the majestic mountains, Sharp Top, Flat Top and Harkening Hill. Built in the mid-sixties, the lodge is unpretentious and is an ideal retreat from urban life. And since there’s no cell service here, there’s a forced, but refreshing release from our perceived dependence on modern technology.

I’m your host, Tom Wilmer, come along and join me at Peaks of Otter Lodge for a visit with Helen Morton, Director of Sales and Marketing with the lodge’s National Park Service concessionaire, Delaware North. And since Helen also overseas the corporation’s concession at Shenandoah National Park, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to have her also talk a bit about Shenandoah.

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Atop Sharp Top Mountain
Vista from atop Sharp Top Mountain in the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
SInging atop Sharp Top
Singing in the morning atop Sharp Top Mountains in the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
Otter Lodge Lakeside
Lakeside at the Lodge
Photo Credit:Tom WIlmer