Peaks of Otter, Blue Ridge Parkway Offer Winter Solitude

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As old as the hills . . . Peaks of Otter has drawn settlers and travelers to the region for more than 8,000 years. The community whose vestiges remain to be explored today had its beginning in 1766 when Thomas Wood arrived from Pennsylvania.

The wife of one of Wood’s descendants would open her home as the area’s first lodging for travelers in 1834. By the late 1800s, Peaks of Otter would be home to some 20 families, a school, a church and a resort hotel.

In the mid 1900s, the location was selected for special attention as the National Parks Service developed recreation and service areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Abbott Lake was constructed and Peaks of Otter Lodge opened in 1964.

The peaceful solitude of winter is found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia. A short drive up the mountain from Bedford, rustic and quaint Peaks of Otter Lodge, open weekends now through mid-March, is surrounded by hiking trails and thousands of acres of nature. With national park lodges closed for the season along the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, Peaks of Otter offers rare on-site accommodations along the Blue Ridge Parkway in winter.

After celebrating with a Christmas Eve Buffet and a New Year’s Eve Gala, the lodge and dining room will settle into its winter routine, welcoming visitors on weekends who will experience an up-close-and-personal visit with the rugged, scenic beauty of western Virginia during a slower time of the year.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is open year round, weather permitting, for drives through the winter woods with scenic overlooks that take in the valley landscapes below. You will also find hiking, biking, nearby vineyards, and historic landmarks to explore. For lodging and dining, see the entire Winter Schedule for Peaks of Otter. Go exploring this season!

Photo courtesy of Peaks of Otter

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