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Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a highway that runs from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia along the Blue Ridge Mountains to Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina, a total distance of more than 400 miles.  Although its not a national park, the road and lands around the road are managed by the National Park Service and it is the most visited National Park Service unit.

In addition to being a beautiful drive, there are numerous stops along the parkway for hiking and exploring.


Point of Interest in Virginia:

Mile Post 86.0: Peaks of Otter - A park area with hiking trails, a campground, picnic areas, historic structures, and a restaurant and lodge.

Mile Post 169.0: Rocky Knob - A park area with hiking trails, a campground, picnic areas, and scenic views of Rock Castle Gorge.

Points of Interest in North Carolina:

Mile Post: 238.5: Doughton Park - The largest recreation area on the parkway, with 30 miles of hiking trails, a developed and primitive campground, and historic structures.

Mile Post: 239.0: Brinegar Cabin - This historic cabin was built by Martin Brinegar, whose family lived here until the 1930s.  See my Doughton Park page for more information.


Mile Post 244.0: View Bluff Mountain Overlook - A scenic overlook with views of Bluff Mountain and Flat Rock Ridge.  See my Doughton Park page for more information.


Mile Post 281.0:
Grandview Overlook - A scenic overlook with views of the Yadkin Valley.

Grandview Overlook

Mile Post 295.5: Julian Price Memorial Park - A park area with hiking trails, picnic areas, a lake with boat rentals, and the largest campground on the Parkway.


Mile Post 302.0:  View Wilson Creek Valley Overlook - A scenic overlook with views into the Wilson Creek Valley.  Wilson Creek is one of the main streams originating on Grandfather Mountain and is designated a National Wild and Scenic River.  See my Wilson Creek page for more information about recreation in this area.


Mile Post 316.4: Linville Falls - A park area with hiking trails, picnic areas, a campground, and views of one the most beautiful waterfalls along the Parkway.

Mile Post 326.0: Heffner Gap Overlook - An overlook with views of the western rim of Linville Gorge.  The gap is named for Amanda Heffner, a widow who lived in the area during the Civil War era.

Mile Post 339.5: Crabtree Falls - A park area with a campground and a 2.5-mile trail to beautiful Crabtree Falls.

Mile Post: 347.9:  Hewat Overlook - Great views of the Black Mountains to the west.

Mile Post 349.2: Laurel Knob Overlook - View of Curtis Creek area, the first parcel of land purchased under the Weeks Act that established the National Forests.

Mile Post 350.5: Green Knob Overlook

Mile Post 355.3: Ridge Junction Overlook - Overlook of Black Mountains and South Toe River Valley from near the intersection with NC-128 to Mount Mitchell State Park.  Potato Knob, one of the most southern Black mountains is visible from here.

Mile Post 361.2: View Glassmine Falls - Overlook with views of 800-foot Glassmine Falls, an ephemeral waterfall that flows down Horse Range Ridge into the Asheville Watershed.

Mile Post 372.1: View Lane Pinnacle - Lane Pinnacle is named for Charles Lane who established an iron mine on the pinnacle.

Mile Post 376.8: Tanbark Ridge Overlook

Mile Post 417.0: Looking Glass Rock - An overlook with fantastic views of Looking Glass Rock, a giant granite pluton.  When water collects on the rock face, particularly in the winter when ice forms, the rock resembles a giant mirror or "looking glass".


Mile Post 418.0: East Fork Overlook - An overlook with views of East Fork, the headwaters of the Pigeon River.


Mile Post 418.8: Graveyard Fields Overlook - Overlook with views of Graveyard Fields, a high elevation open area caused by a devastating fire.  The trailhead for Graveyard Fields Loop Trail is here.  This is one of the best areas to view early fall foliage at high elevations.


Mile Post: 422.4: View Devil's Courthouse - An overlook with views of the Devil's Courthouse, a rocky summit with views of the surrounding mountains.  There is a foot trail that leads to the summit.


Mile Post 445.2: View Mt Lyn Lowry - View of Mount Lyn Lowry and Woodfin Cascades.  The waterfall is only able to be seen in the winter and early spring when the leaves are off the trees.


Mile Post 454.4: Thunder Struck Ridge - Thunder Struck Ridge lies 100 feet below the overlook.


Mile Post 455.1
: Fed Over Overlook - View of Fed Cove, named for a man who lived here during the Civil War.

External Links:

Blue Ridge Parkway website from National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/blri/

Virtual Blue Ridge Parkway website: http://www.virtualblueridge.com/

Map:


Blue Ridge Parkway