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This is a view from Mt. Mitchel State Park in North Carolina. It's right next to the parkway and has a number of hikes.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Blue Ridge Parkway

199 Hemphill Knob Road Asheville, NC 28803
Parkway is open 24 hours but parts of the road may close in winter.
828-271-4779 1 Week
April 2011 Summer, Fall, Spring
$0-9 Asheville North Carolina
Website Nature Scenic Drives
First review
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469 scenic drive that links Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The parkway, which is one of the most popular National Park Service units, includes spectacular mountain scenery, numerous historic sites, waterfalls, museums and a slice of the Blue Ridge culture. It's both a tour road and a journey into Appalachia.

Parkway construction began in 1935 and was a New Deal works project authorized by President Roosevelt to help relieve hardship of the Great Depression. The final link in the parkway was not completed till 1987. The road passes through rugged mountainous terrain and is an engineering feat. It includes over 100 bridges and 20 tunnels.

When making plans, note that sections of the parkway are normally closed in winter. Also, nearby attractions, such as Grandfather Mountain and the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina are likely to be of interest. As for the parkway itself, there are generally more scenic views in North Carolina and more cultural offerings in Virginia. From south to north the following attractions are worth a visit: Waterrock Knob Visitor Center – good views and short mountain hike, Richland Balsam area – highest point on parkway and great views, Graveyard Fields – good dayhike and small waterfalls, the main parkway visitor center and the nearby folk art center – excellent film and also crafts for sale, Linville Falls – several large waterfalls, Blue Ridge Music Center – folk music museum, Mabry Mill – great photo spot, Peaks of Otter – formidable hike with expansive views at the top, Otter Creek – partially restored canal and short trails, Humpback Rocks – old homestead and great hike. Overall, the parkway is a joy to drive. A rich mix of history, education and nature makes this a vacation option that will appeal to a wide variety of tastes.
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