Blue Ridge Parkway

On the Blue Ridge Parkway, the journey is the destination. Called "America's Favorite Drive," the Blue Ridge Parkway spans over 400 miles from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, to the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Over 120 miles of the Parkway runs through the High Country and our area features some of the most photographed, most visited stops on this amazing scenic drive. The High Country is also an integral part of the history of the Parkway because construction both began here, at Cumberland Gap, and ended in 1987 with the completion of the Linn Cove Viaduct.


Tour the Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost by Milepost


Blue Ridge Parkway History

  • Parkway History

    • thumb_linncoveviaduct_spring Linn Cove Viaduct

      After 52 years of construction, the Blue Ridge Parkway was completed in September 1987.Ground was broken on September 11, 1935 at Cumberland Knob, North Carolina, and all but 7.5 miles of its 469 were constructed by 1967.  During the intervening twenty years, this final section-which skirts the rugged and rocky perimeter of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina-presented state and federal

    • U.S. Forest Service offers new digital maps for mobile devices

      WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2013 - The U.S. Forest Service now offers access to a variety of visitor maps for people using Android and iOS devices. “This mobile app makes it easier than ever to plan your visit to a national forest or grassland,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “By putting important forest information right at your fingertips, it will

    • hawkcover Fall Hawk Migration Viewing Sites- NC High Country

      The NC High Country is a popular viewing area for hawk migrations due to the rocky outcroppings and mountain ridgelines that provide optimal wind currents for the hawks to ride as they head south for the winter.The migration for the broad-winged hawks takes place around the middle of September, with smaller hawks migrating into October.Here is a list of the

    • NewTrails New Hiking Trails Open in High Country

      Two new hiking trails have been created and are now open to the public.  The trails are located in the Pisgah Game Lands and are the first trails to create access to two mountain peaks in the region.  The trails are located along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Linville and the Orchard at Altapass, creating easy access for visitors to

    • Blue Ridge Parkway Open Despite Government Shutdown

      The Blue Ridge Parkway will remain open for driving, hiking and nature exploration despite the government shutdown.  However, the facilities including welcome centers, bathrooms, museums and other education centers along the parkway will be closed. To make your drive most enjoyable, reference this list of gas stops along the parkway, where you can fill up, eat up and use the restrooms:US

    • boone The Best Ways & Days to View Fall Leaf Color in the NC High Country!

        2013 FALL COLOR REPORT Appalachian State University’s Professor of Plant Physiology, Howie Neufeld, Ph.D., provides weekly leaf color updates for the High Country.  According to Neufeld, peak colors will occur in mid-October, around the 10-14th in the High Country.  Leaf color will peak earlier at higher elevations near Grandfather Mountain and Mt. Mitchell. To see the latest color update,

    • thumb_parkwayhistory Blue Ridge Parkway History

      The construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway came about through a combination of circumstances, which could never be duplicated. Although the idea of a road that would reach across the southern Appalachian Mountains had been discussed from time to time, serious discussion of the building of the Parkway during the great depression of the 1930’s. The Public Works Administration prepared

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