Peaks of Otter

The Blue Ridge Parkway proved as beautiful, if not more so, than the Skyline Drive and we stopped several times to get out and stretch our legs.

The most pleasant surprise, however, was the Lodge at Peaks of Otter which was almost an afterthought when we planned it. I thought it might be pretty, but wasn’t prepared for the beauty of the mountain and lakeland setting. The Lodge building was attractive with decent food, and the accommodation blocks were built facing the (artificial) Abbott Lake so all rooms had a good view from their patios or balconies.

We climbed Harkening Hill, smallest of the three Peaks, and might have done more had it not been for the spectacular thunderstorms – fortunately we had read the weather forecast accurately and were back from our walk in time to enjoy the storm from our covered patio. We watched as Sharp Peak gradually disappeared – and were glad we weren’t up it!

One of the things I find fascinating on our US travels is the variety of fungi. The two below are from these few days – the orange cluster was in a picnic area just off the Parkway, and the large brown one (with my boot for size comparison) was on Harkening Hill. I find it very strange that you can get clusters on or around one particular tree, but nothing on others nearby. What makes that tree special? Answers on a postcard please.

From Peaks of Otter, we headed back onto the Parkway, heading south. Next up: Roanoke and Abingdon.


  1. I wonder why they would grow under one tree and not another. I bet it must have something to do with the moisture and what the soil type is. This looks so tranquil. I thought you might have seen actual otters:) The huge fungi actually looks like a big pancake


    • I guess so, it’s very odd to be so localised though. No otters I’m afraid – I’m not sure how the name arose. Tranquil apart from when it was thunder and lightening!