A little “peace” of heaven just off the Blue Ridge Parkway

Pilot's Perch Cabins

Top 10 Hikes near Fancy Gap

There are many great choices for hiking around Fancy Gap, Virginia. These are our picks for the top 10 hikes in the area. You’ll see beautiful vistas, waterfalls, bold flowing creeks, historical sites, wild ponies and more. Hike hard or look for something a little more laid back. If you like hiking, we hope this list helps you find one of the best hikes near Fancy Gap. Most are less than an hour from Pilot’s Perch Cabin, where you can soak in the hot tub after your hike.

1. Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve

Location: Willis, VA (Between Fancy Gap and Floyd, VA)
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~40 minutes
Distance: 1.1 miles out and back (2.2 miles total)
Skill Level: Moderate
Highlights: 360 views; views of Pilot Mountain and the Peaks of Otter

Notes: Gravel road to the top can be tight; navigate Buffalo Mountain Parking Area when using GPS.

Hiking with Pilot’s Perch

2. Cumberland Knob Recreation Area

Location: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 217.5
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~25 minutes
Distance: 2.5 miles (loop)
Skill Level: Moderate
Highlights: Small waterfall and numerous cascades

Notes: This was the starting point for construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a picnic area with an easier 1 mile hike.

Hiking with Pilot’s Perch

3. Devil’s Den Nature Preserve

Location: Fancy Gap
Distance: .5 mile (about a mile out and back)
Skill Level: Moderate
Highlights: Devil’s Den Cave

Note: It is close to the old Appalachian Trail.

Hiking with Pilot’s Perch

4. Doughton Park

Location: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 238
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~1 hour 10 minutes
Distance: Numerous trails (2-7.5 miles)
Skill Level: Numerous trails (Easy to strenuous)
Highlights: Features stream crossings, historical cabin and homestead. Cross country skiing allowed in the winter.

5. Grayson Highlands State Park

Location: 40 miles west of Galax, VA
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~1 hour 15 minutes
Distance: Numerous trails
Skill Level: Numerous trails (Easy to strenuous)
Highlights: Get up close and personal with “wild” ponies. The Appalachian Trail passes through here. Beautiful view from the park’s balds.

Hiking with Pilot’s Perch

6. Hanging Rock State Park

Location: a few miles east of Pilot Mountain, NC
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~50 minutes
Distance: Numerous trails
Skill Level: Numerous trails (Easy to strenuous)
Highlights: Amazing views of the Blue Ridge, including the Fancy Gap ridges. Long-range views and waterfalls.

7. New River Trail State Park

Location: 20 miles north of Fancy Gap just off I-77
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~25 minutes
Distance: 57 miles
Skill Level: Easy
Highlights:  It is a 57-mile linear park along an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The trail’s gentle slope makes it great for visitors of all ages to hike, bike and ride horseback. Guided horseback trips, canoe and bike rentals are also available. Popular spot for fishing.

8. Pilot Mountain State Park

Location: between Winston-Salem and Mt. Airy, NC
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~30 minutes
Distance: 57 miles
Skill Level: Numerous trails (Easy to moderate)
Highlights: The summit of Pilot Mountain offers great views of the Sauratown Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains.

Note: It can get very crowded, and parking is limited.

Hiking with Pilot’s Perch

9. Rocky Knob Recreation Area/Rock Castle Gorge

Location: Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 169
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~35 minutes
Distance:  Several trails (1-12.5 miles)
Skill Level: Several trails (Easy to strenuous)
Highlights: There are great views up top and a babbling brook down in the gorge, with ruins of old homesteads in between.

Hiking with Pilot’s Perch

10. Stone Mountain State Park

Location: Off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 229
Travel Time from Fancy Gap: ~50 minutes
Distance:  Several trails (.5-6 miles)
Skill Level: Several trails (Moderate to strenuous)
Highlights: Stone Mountain is a very unique rock formation. There is a 200′ waterfall and a mid-19th century farm. It is a popular destination for trout fishermen.

Hiking with Pilot’s Perch

Honorable Mention

Beaver Dam Trail – Easy stroll in Hillsville, VA.

Crystal Springs Recreation Area – Park with lots of hiking and other activities in Wytheville, less than an hour from Fancy Gap.

Seven Sisters Trail – Strenuous 8.5 mile trail less than an hour from Fancy Gap. Will probably need two cars for this one.