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  • 13 - Sidetrip - Whitetop

    How to get there - If you parked in front of the second store, proceed on Whitetop Rd (VA600) bearing left. Travel 5.2 miles to Elk Garden, with a parking lot on the right. The AT crosses here and a toilet is available. Continue on Whitetop Rd another 1.3 miles to a right turn on FS89 at a historic marker. Follow FS 89 for 2.8 miles to the parking lot near the summit of Whitetop.

    Things to do

    Mount Rogers (5,729) is visible from Elk Garden. It is named for William Barton Rogers, Virginia's state geologist from 1835 to 1842. He later founded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Whitetop Mountain (5,720) is the second highest peak in Virginia and the highest accessible by road.

    From the parking lot on Whitetop, one can see nearby Buzzard Rock (short trail to the rock) and dramatic views in three directions.

    The photo above is the view looking south from Whitetop.

    For History Lovers - The Whitetop Folk Festival was held annually in the 1930s. Annabel Morris Buchanan, John Powell, and John A. Blakemore organized the event that featured banjo players, fiddlers, string bands, and ballad singers, as well as storytelling, clog dancing, morris and sword dancing, and theatrical presentations. In 1933 First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended. The festival was cancelled in 1940 because of heavy rains and floods and never resumed.

    Return to the Konnarock Training School site.