MP 5.8-8.5, Humpback Rocks Area

At the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks represents the varied combination of natural and cultural resources along the Parkway corridor.

The prominent rock outcrop was a landmark guiding wagon trains over the Howardsville Turnpike in the 1840s. A portion of the historic trace still exists. This was a major route across the narrow Blue Ridge until railroads came through the mountain gaps. The view from ?the rocks? is spectacular any time of the year. Adjacent to Humpback Rocks Visitor Center, an outdoor farm museum is surrounded by nearly 3,000 acres of predominantly forested lands. Costumed interpreters provide demonstrations and the stories focus on and emphasize the generalized life styles of subsistence farmers.

Located at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks is an area rich in history, scenic beauty, and abundant hiking trails. Early European settlers forged a living from the native materials that flourished in the Appalachian Mountains. Hickory, chestnut, and oak trees provided nuts for food, logs for building, and tannin for curing hides, while rocks were put to use as foundations and chimneys for the houses, and in stone fences to control wandering livestock. Many self-sufficient farms sprang up in the Humpback Mountain area.

Today, visitors can tour a collection of nineteenth century farm buildings. The Mountain Farm Trail provides access to the cabin and various outbuildings. The area also houses a visitor center, interpretive exhibits, Humpback Rocks Picnic Area (MP 8.5), and trails.


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