Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Quick Facts

Blue Ridge Parkway

North Carolina

(828) 271-4779

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Designed as a drive awhile - stop awhile recreational drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway provides both stunning scenery and close-up looks at the natural and cultural history of the southern Appalachian mountains. The Parkway meanders for 469 miles and connects Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, providing ample opportunities for stops at overlooks, picnic and camping facilities, trails, and wonderful cultural and natural areas. A drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway is designed to be slow paced and relaxing. Almost any overlook or trail will reveal much of the natural and cultural history here in the southern mountains. Fall is a special time of year on the Parkway with the harvest visible along the roadsides in many places and communities showcasing their own version of fall festivals. Explore the many communities along the route that make the region so special. Four lodges and six restaurants are scattered along the Parkway and most are open from late April through the fall color season.

Map of Blue Ridge Parkway

Latitude, Longitude: 35.564766, -82.489803

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boating regulations vary across the waterways and lakes along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Bicycling

    Bicycling is a great way to experience the Blue Ridge Parkway! Cyclists are on the paved Parkway, and designated trails are available for mountain bikers. Cyclists should always wear high visibility clothing, helmet and the required reflectors. Ride single file and well to the right of the lane. Especially during rainy or foggy conditions, watch out for automobiles.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is designed for slow-paced travel, 45 mph or less, something no one is accustomed to in this day and age! Overlooks, trails, picnic and camping areas, and a multitude of developed areas await the visitor who has time to explore.

  • Camping

    Camping is a traditional and enjoyable way for families to enjoy their National Parks. On the Blue Ridge Parkway, nine campgrounds serve the visitor from early May through the fall color season.

  • Fishing

    The Parkway lies along the headwaters of many regional watersheds. Thirteen lakes were constructed for aesthetic beauty and recreational opportunities. Streams, ponds, and rivers give anglers ample opportunity to test their skills for trout, bass, and panfish. A state license from either North Carolina or Virginia is valid for fishing in all park waters. Creel limits and other regulations vary and are posted at streamside.

  • Hiking

    Short trails offer the chance to get away from the road and see the Blue Ridge up close and personal, even if just for a few minutes. Longer trails are also available for the more adventurous.

  • Historic Sites

    Many historical and cultural landmarks dot the parkway and all make excellent stops.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horses are allowed designated trails. Short trails offer the chance to get away from the road and see the Blue Ridge up close and personal, even if just for a few minutes. Longer trails are also available for the more adventurous.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic areas are available at most overlooks and provide beautiful spots to stop for lunch or a snack. Picnic tables and firesites are also available at campsites.

  • Water Sports

    Lakes, ponds, and waterways are for fishing and scenic beauty only, with no swimming allowed.

  • Winter Sports

    The Parkway is open as long as weather conditions permit, and hiking trails provide opportunities for cross-country skiing and shoeing.

Seasonality/Weather

Throughout late fall and the winter months, the Parkway remains open as long as winter weather does not cause hazardous driving conditions. The Parkway information line (828) 298 0398 has the most updated road closure information. These can change rapidly during the winter. Most Parkway facilities close on November 1.

Park Partners

Directions

Driving

The Parkway connects Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro, VA (Milepost 0) with Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC (Milepost 469). There are entrances and exits at all major federal and state highways and part of a Parkway experience is getting into the towns and communities of the region. Asheville and Boone, NC and Roanoke, VA are the largest cities along the way. In Virginia, Interstates 64, 81, and 77 all have directions for accessing the Parkway. The same is true for Interstates 40 and 26 in North Carolina.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(828) 271-4779

Weather

(828) 298-0398

Road conditions

(828) 298-0398

Links