At Afton Mountain, we got off I-64 and turned south on the parkway and drove to milepost 29, where the visitor center is located. Afton is where Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway meet.
We walked a little ways on the Whetstone Ridge Trail. It is a rocky trail and runs through a forest of oaks, pines, tulip poplar and mountain laurel. I thought it was a pleasant trail, though I thought, since the description of the trail said it follows the ridge, there would be more views. Chris didn’t think the trail offered a lot of variety.
A man we met who was leaving the trail as we were starting it said the first 4 miles are very easy going. He didn’t describe the remaining 7 miles, but he had 2 hiking poles, so maybe they’re a little strenuous. The visitor center’s description of the trail says 8 miles follow along a ridge and the remaining 3 miles go down the mountain.
There are two picnic tables at the center, so this could make a really good trip for a picnic and a hike.