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.