There is only one trail to the summit of which I'm aware. It begins at the end of the parking lot at the Waterrock Knob Visitor's Center at Milepost 451.2 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
View from Waterrock Knob.
The Waterrock Knob Trail is only one-half mile in length. About .2 miles of it is paved. However, the trail climbs a little over 500 feet in that length and the trail is very steep. I've hiked it three times (only takes a few minutes if you're in decent shape) and I always see red-faced tourists with bug-eyes and expressions of total desperation trying to make the summit. Many turn back before the half-way point.
Good shoes. Hiking staff, if you want it. I never hike without my trekking pole, even on short hikes.
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