Take A Scenic Drive To The Top Of One Of Virginia’s Highest Mountains

Travel Maven

Virginia is home to many picturesque mountaintops that pack some seriously gorgeous views. From the Blue Ridge Mountains in the north to the Roanoke Mountains in the south, there are so many high-altitude overlooks to explore here.

While most of these views require moderate to challenging hikes up rocky landscapes to get to, this article will be talking about a mountain peak that you can actually drive to.

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This scenic adventure starts at the bottom of Whitetop Mountian, the second tallest peak in Virginia. Whitetop is 5,520 feet high and contains a windy gravel road that allows visitors to drive through and see Virginia from a whole different perspective.

You'll drive past beautiful hardwood forests, gorgeous meadows filled with wildflowers, and plenty of pine trees that are very characteristic of southwestern Virginia.

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A bird watcher's paradise, the route along Whitetop Mountain is home to many northern migrant birds in the summer months like the brightly colored chestnut-sided warbler and black-throated green warbler, two tiny songbirds.

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Whitetop Mountain is located along the Appalachian Trail, which offers tons of hiking trails and camping opportunities. Veer right once you reach the parking lot and you'll come across a short trail that leads into a mixed hardwood forest. This trail meanders through woodlands and accesses an overlook where you'll be able to check out even more wildlife and gorgeous views of nature.

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This unique drive is one of the best ways to take in some of the gorgeous landscapes Virginia has to offer. The best way to access Whitetop is by taking Exit 35 on Interstate 81 in Chilhowie. It's about a 30-minute drive on a two-lane road to the entrance from there.

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