Blue Ridge Parkway | STEWARTS KNOB OVERLOOK (110.6)

Best view of Roanoke you will get from the Stewarts Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Best view of Roanoke you will get from the Stewarts Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

View: None
Trails: Stewarts Knob Trail, Roanoke Valley Horse Trail
Picnic Tables: None

A sign at the entrance to Stewarts Knob Overlook states that the overlook is closed from sunset to sunrise, as if people are beating down the gates to stare at trees in the middle of the night. It may have been a teenage make-out spot generations ago when you could park and still see the lights of Roanoke, the biggest city on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but there’s nothing to see here now, the view having long ago been blocked by trees.

With the view gone and no picnic tables to be found, that leaves hiking as the sole purpose for a stop at Stewarts Knob. The Blue Ridge Parkway Outdoor Guide lists a “Stewarts Knob Trail” at 1.2 mile, one-way, and there is also a 5-mile horse trail that stretches from here to the Roanoke River (hikers are also welcome on the horse trail). However, there is only one trailhead—no trails are identified by name—and the Roanoke Valley Recreation Area map only shows the horse trail. I started out on the unidentified trail, passing a gap in the trees where I caught a glimpse of Roanoke (top photo), but I quickly turned around because I had no idea where I was going.

Trailhead at Stewarts Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Trailhead at Stewarts Knob Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

After doing some research at home, I was able to get a better idea of the trail routes (albeit too late to do me any good as far as actual hiking was concerned). Both trails begin at the single trailhead at Stewarts Knob Overlook, though I believe that technically this is the horse trail. Not too far from the start, the Stewarts Knob Trail forks off to the left and heads northeast to the top of Stewarts Knob. The horse trail continues south, following closely to the Blue Ridge Parkway. For information on other trails in the area, see the Roanoke Valley Hiking Trails web page.

The parking area is very large, so there is plenty of room for vehicles with horse trailers.


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Last updated on December 14, 2023
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