Humpback Rocks – An Overlook to Remember

A couple of weeks ago, we hiked the humpback rocks trail on the blue ridge parkway in Virginia. We have been coming to Sherando lake for years, but haven't really explored the beauty around this area. This year, we decided to make it a point to take advantage of the opportunity and see what was around us.

Liam wasn't up for going, he wanted to stay with the grandparents. So we took just took the girls.

With an 80% chance of rain when we were planning to arrive, we forged ahead…and indeed it did rain.  A lot. We stayed inside the camp store until the storm passed, then came outside and proceeded to walk to the trailhead.

To get there, you walked through a pioneer village preserve. There was a ranger named Alison who taught us about early pioneer life, and was incredibly helpful and great with the kids. While there, she showed them how the old beds worked, told them about early life, and we also saw some snakes and she taught about how to tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes.

We also saw a springhouse, which I thought was pretty incredible.

We moved on to the trail and started hiking. The trail was steep. A lot like the Peaks of Otter Trail near Bedford, Virginia – it was a steep uphill with a rewarding view at the top. Except this view was much less safe and more exposed than the Peaks of Otter overlook.

The hike was steep, but short. It was only about a mile to the top, and the girls handled it better than I did. I was quite winded and super sweaty when we crested the hill…but the overlook was such a huge payoff. We were honestly breathless when we came over the edge. The view was amazing, and the girls were immediately overwhelmed by how high we were, and how beautiful it all was.

In typical fashion, Norah was conservative about approaching the overlook, and we had to hold Hannah back and keep telling her to stay away from the edge. There were no fences, there were no guard rails of any kind.

The view was amazing. We were so glad we decided to take advantage of our surroundings and explore this beautiful place. It's been within our reach for years, and we never explored it. If you're in the area, check it out. It's worth the hike.

Note: There are two routes to the top. The short one is steeper, but the long one is a gradual climb. It might be more ideal for most folks.

More info on the Humpback Rocks hike here:

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Joseph Hinson is first and foremost a family man. He is the founder of, president of Out:think Group, creator of a ton of different projects and all around geek. Contact: