Botetourt County High Point Trip Report

Apple Orchard Mtn (4,225 ft)

Date: March 8, 1999 (updated October 26, 2000)
Author: Ron Tagliapietra

This peak is also the summit of Bedford County and boasts the greatest prominence of any peak in the state (see prominence part of website).

Some 20 miles north of Roanoke at Buchanan (exit 167), drive east about 5 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Drive north, passing the Peaks of Otter until you see milepost 79. This is a key landmark. Continue 0.6 to the Sunset Fields overlook (mi. 78.4), and then to a gated gravel road on the left near mile 76. This road goes a half-mile to the top, but has "Area Closed" signs and many radio towers. Instead of stopping, continue on the parkway a bit farther to the signs for the Appalachian Trail crossing and park on the shoulder as you can. Hike southbound on the trail about a mile (passing through an interesting rock squeeze) until the trail reaches the open summit ridge. Walk uphill to the left a couple dozen yards to the jumble of boulders (before the fenced towers). The boulders probably have the highest ground but walk around until satisfied. (I assume area closed refers to what's fenced, and you can walk around the fence to the gated spur road.)