If you’re looking for an epic location near Blacksburg for your elopement, consider a local gem: Bald Knob in the Jefferson National Forest.
This gets confusing, but bear with me. Colloquially this hike is called Bald Knob. And the trail to get to the top is called Bald Knob Trail. But the actual mountain you are hiking is Salt Pond Mountain. When you get to the top, you see Bald Knob in the distance.
So in other resources you may see this hike referred to as both Bald Knob and Salt Pond Mountain – they are talking about the same thing.
The summit is only half a mile from the parking area and provides panoramic views of the New River Valley. It is west facing so it’s a really popular sunset spot. On the weekends (especially during the school year), expect to share the summit with other visitors, though. If you want privacy, try for a weekday evening or visit the spot at sunrise.
Bald Knob Trail is about 35 minutes from Blacksburg and minutes from the West Virginia border.
The small gravel parking lot is easy to miss. It’s located just before the entrance for the Mountain Lake Lodge, which is where the original Dirty Dancing was filmed.
Side note – Mountain Lake Lodge is one of the best wedding venues in the region. Even if you are planning a two-person elopement like Annie and Ben did, it’s a great jumping off point for your celebration. The lodge offers things like ATV tours to the most scenic spots on the property (great if you want beautiful views but don’t want to hike!) It also has farm to table restaurants, a 2,600 preserve to explore and a lake.
Annie and Ben got ready at home in their apartment. They planned a bigger celebration the following year, but like many 2020 couples, this one was for just the two of them.
Annie and Ben got dressed separately and then we headed to a meadow near their home for their first look. They saw each other for the first time in their wedding outfits under the tree. After a few photos we set up a tripod under a beautiful tree for family and friends to watch their ceremony.
They exchanged vows, rings, kissed, cheered and were married! We then headed to Bald Knob for sunset photos and champagne.
The skies showed off as they sat on the edge of the cliffs, drank champagne and took in the views from the mountains below. It was a beautiful, simple day to celebrate their love.
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