Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Dr

Blue Ridge Parkway: Traversing the Appalachians

We travel one of the most beautiful roads in the United States. A road to enjoy with tranquility while admiring the landscapes that it offers us. We are going to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway, but starting with another parkway. It is the Skyline Dr. After to finish touring Skyline Dr, we join the Blue Ridge Parkway until we reach the Smoky Mountains National Park

Blue Ridge Parkway: Traversing the Appalachians We travel one of the most beautiful roads in the United States. A road to enjoy with tranquility while admiring the landscapes that it offers us. We are going to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway,

Blue Ridge Parkway: Traversing the Appalachians We travel one of the most beautiful roads in the United States. A road to enjoy with tranquility while admiring the landscapes that it offers us. We are going to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway,

Blue Ridge Parkway: Traversing the Appalachians We travel one of the most beautiful roads in the United States. A road to enjoy with tranquility while admiring the landscapes that it offers us. We are going to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway,

Columbia Store

Columbia Store on Amazon
Columbia Store on Amazon

 Discovering Skyline Drive

It is highly recommended to visit Skyline Drive. The northernmost part of the "Ridge" meets this path of about 160 km (which then continues northeast) but here it surrounds the Rockfish Gap.
Driving on this road is slow in itself (the maximum speed allowed is approximately 35 miles per hour) which forces one to enjoy the beautiful landscape that it crosses. This is especially in Autumn, with its dazzling colors.

Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive Photo NPC PKw
Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive Photos Instagram NPS PKW

Shenadonah Valley

This highway is 755 kilometers long and crosses the southern Appalachian Mountains. It also links two national parks: Shenandoah in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina.Its construction began in 1935 and it was a great project of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This work helped to stimulate the economy and employment in this area of ​​the country, due to the Great Depression. It took more than 50 years to complete the work, the road being completed in 1987.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Shows the traditions and customs of the place in a place full of wildlife, fauna and flora. It is managed by the United States National Park Service and has millions of visits each year.It is a road designed to travel quietly, do one of its many trails on foot and stop at each of its viewpoints. In short, it is a place to travel for several days among the fog that surrounds its mountains. These are some of the most interesting places on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Animals - Architecture - Flowers - Food & Beverages  - Places

Vintage poster ads - Best Products 2021 on Amazon
Vintage poster ads - Best Products 2021 on Amazon

Charlottesville: Starting Point for the Blue Ridge Parkway

The usual thing is to start the route in Virginia, although it can also be done in the opposite direction. It is a great option to take Charlottesville as your starting city and discover its attractions. You can visit some of its wineries, stroll downtown, or discover Monticello, the residence of President Thomas Jefferson.

The Humpback Rocks Visitor Center is the first stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 30 miles from Charlottesville. In this space you can see different exhibits on life in the mountains and see examples of Appalachian farms from the 19th century.
One of the hiking trails you can do in this area climbs to the top of Humpback Rocks. From there you can contemplate a panoramic view of the Shenandoah Valley. An amazing landscape

In this first section is one of the few accommodations that is open all year round, called Peats of Otter. It is located next to a beautiful lake where you can fish. Depending on the time of year, it is also possible to camp.

City of Roanoke

To visit this city, like any other on the route, you have to leave the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is worth driving through the Roanoke Mountains and observing the Virginia landscape. In addition, this city has an old railway, various museums and places to try local cuisine.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park surrounds Skyline Dr and has excellent hiking trails. Some of them include climbing to the summits of hills from which you have spectacular views. In the park there are places to camp and also very nice cabins to spend the night.

Nearby attractions include the vivid mountain town of Staunton with its Shakespearean theater, farm-to-table restaurants and an elaborate cave system known as Luray Caverns. An additional fact is that to enter Skyline Dr you have to pay $ 10 for a seven-day pass (15, in the summer) which is not a toll but an admission charge to enter the national park. On weekends the traffic is heavy.

Mabry Mill

Returning to the Blue Ridge Parkway, you arrive at one of the most beautiful surroundings of the entire highway, Mabry Mill. It is one of the most photographed places in the country, and it is no wonder. We find an old flour mill that still works with hydroelectric power. The mill is surrounded by a beautiful pond that creates a picturesque and bucolic image.
Old workshops, such as the carpentry or the sawmill, are also preserved next to the mill.A little further on is the Blue Ridge Music Center, where you can listen to classic local music with banjos and violins. There are many performances that are held in its auditorium in the season that runs from May to October.

North Face Store

North Face Store on Amazon
North Face Store on Amazon

At what time should you go to Blue Ridge Parkway

It must be taken into account that the climate can vary a lot according to the height at which one is. While the tops of the mountains remain snowy in winter, the valleys are usually very pleasant.
The Visitor Centers are open from April to October. May is the best month to see wildflowers everywhere. Most of the people come for the fall of the leaves and the change of colors of the landscape in autumn. Spring and autumn are good times for bird watching with more than 160 species identified along the route. In the summer and fall, the park is packed with people.

Hiking on Blue Ridge Parkway

There are more than 369 miles of hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. these are our recommendations:

  • Plan first.
  • Decide what you would like to see first
  • Plan how far you would like to walk.
  • If you haven't done a lot of hikes recently, be conservative. Five miles round trip is a good maximum distance for beginners

Hiking Blue Ridge Parkway Popular Trips

Get informed. Trail conditions can change suddenly and unexpectedly. Bear activity, severe storms, and downed trees can temporarily close trails.

When hiking: Keep in mind that sunset time varies from just after 5:00 p.m. in December until almost 9:00 p.m. in June. Permission is not required for hiking. Bring water, a raincoat or poncho, and a first aid kit. Walk with another person. Make sure you have plenty of time to complete your hike before dark. As a general rule of thumb, allow an hour to walk 1.5 miles. Be aware that many people travel slower. You must walk at the pace of the slowest person,

The links below provide short descriptions and maps of popular trails. Trails listed by mileage are available for Virginia and North Carolina. Or stop at a visitor center for recommendations.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

See Complete Review

 

From back country trails and camping, to favorite picnic areas and full service concession operations, the parkway offers visitors a wealth of opportunities to experience the scenic beauty and natural and cultural heritage of the southern Appalachian region.

Operating schedules are subject to change in support of federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. More Info...(National Park Service)

Facility operating schedules are also subject to change due to adverse weather conditions and other uncontrollable factors. Real-time road information is available at www.nps.gov/maps/blri/road-closures, All the information in the following tables is from the  Blue Ridge Parkway -  NPS

Victorinox Store

Victorinox Store
Victorinox Store

Blue Ridge Parkway - Visitor Centers & Areas of Interest

Operating schedules are subject to change in a continuing effort to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

MilepostVisitor Center/Area2020 Operating DatesNotes
5.8Humpback Rocks Visitor CenterClosed until further notice due to COVID-19Visitor Center and historic buildings are closed. Visitors may take self-guided tours of the mountain farm grounds.
63.6James River Visitor CenterClosed until further notice due to COVID
85.6Peaks of Otter Visitor CenterClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
85.6Johnson FarmClosed until further notice due to COVID-19Farmhouse is closed. Visitors may take self-guided tours of the grounds.
169Rocky Knob Visitor CenterClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
176.2Mabry Mill Cultural SiteLimited outdoor facilities openHistoric structures are closed, but visitors may tour the grounds.
213Blue Ridge Music CenterLimited outdoor facilities openVisit blueridgemusiccenter.org for more information.
238.5Brinegar CabinClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
241.1Doughton Park Visitor CenterClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
294Moses Cone Manor HouseJuly 16 - Nov 1Craft shop and book store open Thursday - Sunday from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Other areas inside the manor house are closed due to COVID-19. The grounds and carriage trails around the house are open.
304.4Linn Cove Visitor CenterClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
316.4Linville Falls Visitor CenterLimited facilities opening July 31Park Store open daily 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
330.9North Carolina Museum of MineralsClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
364.5Craggy Gardens Visitor CenterLimited facilities opening August 6Park Store open Thurs - Mon 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Closed Tues - Weds.
382.2Folk Art CenterOpen Year-roundOpen Tues - Sun 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
384.5Asheville Visitor CenterLimited outdoor facilities openPark Store is operating outside the visitor center, daily from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
451.2Waterrock Knob Visitor CenterLimited facilities openPark Store open daily 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

 

Campgrounds

Operating schedules are subject to change in a continuing effort to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Firewood regulations are in effect.

MilepostCampground2020 Operating DatesNotes
60.8Otter Creek CampgroundClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
85.6Peaks of Otter CampgroundJuly 31- Oct 31Reservations available on www.recreation.gov for May 15 - Oct 24. First-come, first-served Oct 25 - Oct 31. Closing at noon on Nov 1.
167.1Rocky Knob CampgroundJuly 31- Oct 31.Equal to the previous
239.2Doughton Park CampgroundClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
296.9Price Park CampgroundJuly 31- Oct 31.Equal to the previous
316.4Linville Falls CampgroundJuly 31- Oct 31Equal to the previous
339.5Crabtree Falls CampgroundClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
408.8Mount Pisgah CampgroundAug 18 - Oct 31Open to hard-sided campers and RVs starting 8/18/20. This applies to both reservations and walk up users.

Tent campers will not be allowed until further notice.

Food and waste storage will be strictly enforced and use of bear resistant trash cans and food storage lockers will be mandatory.

No food or waste is to be burned in campfire rings.

 

Picnic Areas

Operating schedules are subject to change in a continuing effort to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

MilepostPicnic Area
2020 Operating Dates
8.5Humpback Rocks Picnic AreaJune 13 - Nov 1
63.6James River Picnic AreaReopening June 13
85.6Peaks of Otter Picnic AreaJune 13 - Nov 1
120.4Roanoke Mountain Picnic AreaJune 26 - Nov 1
154.5Smart View Picnic AreaJune 26 - Nov 1
169Rocky Knob Picnic AreaJune 26 - Nov 1
188.8Groundhog Picnic AreaJune 26 - Nov 1
217.5Cumberland Knob Picnic AreaJune 13 - Oct 31
241.1Doughton Park Picnic AreaJune 13 - Oct 31
271.9Jeffress Park Picnic AreaJune 13 - Oct 31
296.4Price Park Picnic AreaJune 13 - Oct 31
316.4Linville Falls Picnic AreaJune 13 - Oct 31
340.2Crabtree Falls Picnic AreaClosed until further notice due to COVID-19
367.6Craggy Gardens Picnic AreaJune 13 - Oct 31
407.8Mount Pisgah Picnic AreaJune 13 - Oct 31

 

Related Post

Leave a Comment