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Blue Ridge Parkway MP 299-340

Blue Ridge Parkway MP 299-340
The most iconic pieces of the Blue Ridge Parkway can be found in this area.  The last piece of the Parkway to be completes, the Linn Cove Viaduct, can be driven across in this stretch.  The largest waterfall along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls, can be viewed.  The iconic Grandfather Mountain mile-high bridge can be walked across!  

Rough Ridge Blue Ridge Parkway

Rough Ridge Trail
MP 302.9

This 1.45 mile trail overlooks the Linn Cove Viaduct and the meandering Blue Ridge Parkway below.  While the views are spectacular, the walk to get there is not that strenuous!  You will walk over some boulder in a well shaded area and over a bridge (that is great for photos) on your way to the top.

Once you have made it out of the woods, you will walk onto a deck that was built to protect the rare plant life found in this area.  However, there are a few boulders you may walk on to get better views.

Linn Cove Viaduct Blue Ridge Parkway

Linn Cove Viaduct
MP 304.4

This bridge over land is the most iconic image of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Take a drive over the viaduct and fell like you are driving into the sky!

View an exhibit on the construction of the viaduct including photos, videos and memorabilia of the famous visitors. The visitor center is open April-November.

This .16 mile paved trail takes you under the bridge to view the construction.

Grandfather Mountain Blue Ridge Parkway

Grandfather Mountain
Exit MP 305

At 5,964 feet Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge with some of the oldest rock formations in the world.

Why is it called Grandfather? Just take a look at the view from Hwy. 105 and you’ll see the profile of the old man with his long beard and strong nose, taking a snooze with his head tilted back.

The views on top are spectacular–walk across the Mile-High Swinging (and sometimes singing) Bridge…hike several trails and stop for a picnic or have lunch at the Museum Restaurant. Be sure to visit the bears, otters, eagles, cougars and elk in their natural habitats

Linville Falls Blue Ridge Parkway

Linville Falls
MP 316-317
**No swimming

The small visitor center contains information on the falls, the plant and animal life in the area and Blue Ridge Parkway gifts and resources.  There are also bathrooms and picnic tables around the parking area. Open April-November

There are two main trails that start from the visitor center. The easy .8 mile trail to the upper falls leads to a newly constructed patio from where you can view the waterfall (pictured).   The more strenuous .5 mile trail to the lower falls will lead you up and down steep stairs to a rewarding view from above the falls. Open year round (weather permitting)

The Linville Falls Campground is located just below the hiking area and has RV and tent camping spots.  Bath houses and ranger programs are available. Open April- November


Museum of North Carolina Minerals Blue Ridge Parkway

Museum of North Carolina Minerals
MP 331

View over 300 varieties of minerals and learn how the minerals are mined and used through interactive displays. The museum is open year round and is also the Mitchell County visitor center, provide area information as well as Blue Ridge Parkway information.

Orchard at Altapass Blue Ridge Parkway

The Orchard at Altapass
MP 328.3

The orchard offers live music every day but Tuesday from May-October.  You will find locals and visitors clogging and flatfooting to local bluegrass bands most days.

After all that dancing, you can have a bowl of apple pie with ice cream.  Or, you can visit the outdoor food stand for farm-to-table sandwiches and other specialties.

In September- October, the orchard is open to the public for apple picking.  You may purchase a bag in the barn, and then walk through the orchard.  Apples are also available for purchase indoors if you don't want to do the work yourself!

A hayride with historic stories is available on busy weekends and during October at the Orchard.  Learn about the Native Americans that once trekked this area frequently and how the Overmountain Victory Men used this point as a lookout.