• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    700 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nestled away in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd, VA is the Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve. The unique summit of Buffalo Mountain is naturally treeless and offers 360 degree views of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and also hosts many rare plants and animals.

A short 1.0 mile hike to the summit with 700’ elevation gain, the trail switchbacks steeply up to the exposed rocky summit. To the north you can see Sharp Top and Flat Top at the Peaks of Otter, and to the south you can see Pilot Mountain in North Carolina.

The summit has many places to spread out and is a great place for a picnic. Once done exploring simply retrace your steps back down the trail to your car. On your way out, continue onto the Blue Ridge Parkway for more beautiful views of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, or stop by Chateau Morrisette Winery for a delicious meal or wine tasting.

Getting there: From downtown Floyd take US-221 south for about 6 miles, then directions to the preserve are clearly marked from there. The last road to get to the preserve is a gravel road that is quite bumpy in some places and may require high-clearance vehicles. Access to the preserve is free.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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Alone in the woods. Saw my first chipmunk!

11 months ago
11 months ago

Great little hike! In my opinion the better layered views are to the West making it ideal for sunset. And hiking back down with a headlamp is no problem at all. Well worth it!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This hike is very short but there are views in every direction and plenty of room to sit down and soak them in. A great vista!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Elyse Clark Explorer

Explorer. Hiker. Photographer.

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