The highest mountain views on the East Coast, the Blue Ridge Parkway was built to connect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park. Begun in The Great Depression, it covers 469 miles beginning in Waynesboro, VA and ending in Cherokee, NC. It helped communities in the past and present with economic impact.
3 Mountain Ranges, 16 peaks above 5,000 feet, a wide variety of animal species including: 43 Amphibians, 99 Fis, 60 Mammals, 31 Reptiles. There are 74 globaly rare plant and animal species
Open year round except during closures due to weather or construction, traffic depends on the time of the year. The fall colors are the peak season for the Parkway but wnter, spring and summer are beautiful in their own right.
Riding in any motor vehicle is what the Parkway was originally constructed for. There are many hiking trails, waterfalls and spectacular views on Parkway. Get off and visit the surrounding communities for places to stay, eat and play. Many can be found at www.blueridgeparkway.org.
In Virginia, "must see" stops include Humpback Rocks Farm and Museum at Milepost 5 and the rugged 4,000 acre Peakks of Otter near Bedford. Rustic Mabry Mill, an old fashioned Gristmill at Milepost 176 near Meadows of Dan, offers blacksmithing and other cultural demonstrations summer and fall. Nearby, hiking trails at Rock Castle Gorge traverse some of the most botanically rich places along the Parkway. The Blue Ridge Music Center, Milepost 213 near Galax, offers weekly summertime concerts of mountain music and a visitor center that is open daily in summer and fall. In North Carolina, Doughton Park, just east of Sparta, has miles of hiking trails, an uncrowded campground and full service lodge. Moses H. Cone Memorial Park at Blowing Rock features turn-of-the-century country estate, carriage roads, and craft center. Farther south, the Lynn Cove Viaduct, an engineering masterpiece, skirts the side of Grandfather Mountain, which boasts the highest summit on the Blue Ridge. Nearby, spectacular Linville Falls cascades into a rugged gorge. The Museum of North Carolina Minerals is a great stop for learning about how these mountains were formed and the mineral wealth they possess(Milepost 331, Spruce Pine) Craggy Gardens, north of Asheville, offers outstanding rhododendron displays in mid-June, while Mt Pisgah boasts the Parkways highest elevation (and coolest!) campground, at more than 5,000-feet (Milepost 407, south of Asheville). Sunsets are often spectacular at Waterrock Knob, Milepost 451, near Maggie Valley.
ADA Accessibility Notes
Pet Friendly Notes
Pet friendly, please bag poop.