The Blue Ridge Parkway

More Than a Road

There is only one place where stop-and-go traffic is acceptable: the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not only is a slower pace acceptable on the parkway, it is also the suggested way to travel.

Designed for leisurely motoring, the speed limit is typically 45 miles per hour and less in some places. Take your time, and discover the grandeur of this special place.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is more than a road — it’s a beautiful journey, which entices visitors to explore a 469-mile highway to America’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

When construction for the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1935, it helped provide jobs to the unemployed during the Great Depression. Today, the parkway offers an escape from the day-to-day stresses of work.

Starting in Ashe County, near the Virginia line, rolling hills and thick meadows amalgamate with rock cliffs and breathtaking overlooks.

Along the parkway, you will observe numbered mileposts. Those who make a stop at milepost 260 can take a short half-mile hike at Jumpinoff Rock and end up at a rock patio where visitors can observe soaring birds by just looking down.

A few miles further down the highway, at milepost 279, Cascades offers easy accessibility to picturesque waterfalls by taking a moderate 1.5-mile loop.

As the road gains elevation, the parkway weaves through two familiar places: Boone and Blowing Rock.

The Thunder Hill Overlook at milepost 290 is among the most popular stops, and, once there, it’s easy to understand why. Visitors could stay all day taking in the 360-degree views of the High Country. If you can’t get enough of this overlook, come back at night to take in the pristine, unharmed night sky from this well-liked spot.

Back on the parkway, look for milepost 292.7, and explore Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, which boasts more than 3,000 acres of mountain beauty. The park includes many miles of horse and carriage trails, hiking trails and fishing.

Further still at milepost 296, Price Lake is a place the entire family can enjoy. A 2.3-mile trail encircles the lake, providing access to dozens of fishing spots or a nice walking trail with beautiful views. Canoes can also be rented for a pleasure cruise on the lake.

After passing Price Lake, the parkway’s scenery begins to change. The lush overlooks turn to sharp, rocky peaks, as the road climbs onto Grandfather Mountain.

Try these stops, or explore others. With so much to see and do, it is no wonder that the Blue Ridge Parkway is among the most visited national parks.

For more information, visit www.blueridgeparkway.org.

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One of the most popular and heavily traveled roadways in the United States is the Blue Ridge Parkway. Spanning a length of 469 miles along the backbone of eastern America, the parkway extends from just north of Cherokee at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in southwest …

  • By Thomas Sherrill thomas.sherrill@wataugademocrat.com
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BOONE — Clearing of Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks and vistas is scheduled to take place in early December, according to information provided at Tuesday’s Watauga Tourism Development Authority meeting.

  • By DEREK HALSEY writer@wataugademocrat.com
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The beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway is perhaps the most traveled scenic road in all of America. Beginning on top of Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, the 469-mile long drive was meant to ride the high ridge lines of the Blue Ridge Mountains to showcase the immense natural beauty of the region.

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Craft demonstrations by members of Southern Highland Craft Guild will take place on the front porch of Flat Top Manor on the Cone Manor Estate. The demonstrations are free and open to the public.

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There are many, many reasons while Milepost 294 is among the most popular destinations on the entire Blue Ridge Parkway. First and foremost is Flat Top Manor, also known as Moses Cone Manor, the former home of Moses and Bertha Cone.

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Among the perks of living in the High Country is easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which boasts some of the most beautiful views of the mountains that surround us — making conserving that land essential to maintaining the environment we are so well known for.

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ASHEVILLE — Visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway often ask when the Parkway closes for the winter. Even as many park facilities close seasonally, the Parkway motor road remains open. Temporary weather or maintenance related closures, though, often impact Parkway travel during the winter months.

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Visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway often ask when the Parkway closes for the winter. Even as many park facilities close seasonally, the Parkway motor road remains open. Temporary weather or maintenance related closures, though, often impact Parkway travel during the winter months.

  • By Laney Ruckstuhl
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To see the sights without straining your muscles too much, check out one of the High Country’s less intense walking trails for an easier route with equally beautiful views.

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With hundreds of miles of trails winding across the area’s highest peaks and lowest valleys, hikers of all walks of life can find the perfect trek for any skill level right here in the High Country.

  • By Erik Hoffmann
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There’s not a better feeling than having the cool, crisp mountain air pushing against your face as you descend from hills at remarkable speeds, having your hair pushed to one side as you take a sharp curve, breathing in vast amounts of oxygen and then seeing through a finished bike ride.

  • Amy Renfranz
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• The Blue Ridge Parkway is home to 67 species of mammals, 43 amphibians, 30 reptiles, 227 birds, more than 130 species of trees, and 2,000 species of fungi.

  • Amy Renfranz
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The Blue Ridge Parkway has been dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive” because, well, it is much more than just a drive. It is a 469-mile national park portal through a rich diversity of Southern culture and nature.

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  • STAFF REPORT reporter@mountaintimes.com
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Local service schedules Moses Cone Park: The Parkway Craft Center at the Moses Cone Manor opens March 15. Visit craftguild.org for more information. The Moses Cone Manor House opens April 15, operating Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.—5 p.m. and is open daily beginning on April 29. Moses C…

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  • By Erika Giovanetti erika@mountaintimes.com
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Leaves are turning, resulting in red, orange and yellow-toned landscapes throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. With peak leaf season Oct. 17-24, state parks, natural areas, small towns and the Blue Ridge Parkway have become flooded with visitors who have come for leaf season. For more photos,…

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Based on recent and forecasted weather conditions and in the interest of visitor safety, the Blue Ridge Parkway is issuing a road advisory for the entire 469-mile route through Monday, Oct. 5.

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The 13th annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition is open for registrations. Amateur and professional photographers 13 years of age and older are encouraged to submit at www.appmtnphotocomp.org prior to the competition’s close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.

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  • Staff report
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October is historically one of the highest visitation months on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers spectacular vantage points for autumn’s color spread.

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A more challenging century ride and a less challenging short ride, a Sunday river excursion and a kayak raffle are some of the new additions to the 2015 Tour de Mountains Cycling Challenge held Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, in Sparta NC. Here is a quick rundown.

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  • From the Friends of the Parkway
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During the week of April 29, 2015, highly skilled sawyers from across the Blue Ridge Parkway will meet in Blowing Rock and conduct intensive vista restoration work near Milepost 300 near Grandfather Mountain. The project is sponsored by FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway as part of their Park…

  • BY Jessee Campbell
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Visitors to the Price Lake walking trail, the pedestrian byway that provides a picturesque view of one of Blowing Rock’s most popular treasures, will no longer have to contend with bullfrogs if they want to make the complete trek.

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A new large-format book by Asheville-based photographer Tim Barnwell presents a bird's-eye view of the Blue Ridge Parkway from the perspective of more than 40 overlooks along the 469-mile route through North Carolina and Virginia.

  • By Allison Haver
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There is only one place where stop-and-go traffic is acceptable: the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not only is a slower pace acceptable on the parkway, it is also the suggested way to travel.

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