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Humpback Rocks, MP 5.8

At the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks is perhaps the best representation of the varied combination of natural and cultural resources anywhere along the Parkway corridor.


The prominent rock outcrop was a landmark guiding wagon trains over the Howardsville Turnpike in the 1840s. A portion of the historic trace still exists. This was a major route across the narrow Blue Ridge until railroads came through the mountain gaps. The view from “the rocks” is spectacular any time of the year.

Located at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks is an area rich in history, scenic beauty, and abundant hiking trails. Early European settlers forged a living from the native materials that flourished in the Appalachian Mountains. Hickory, chestnut, and oak trees provided nuts for food, logs for building, and tannin for curing hides, while rocks were put to use as foundations and chimneys for the houses, and in stone fences to control wandering livestock. Many self-sufficient farms sprang up in the Humpback Mountain area.

Outdoor Farm Museum

Adjacent to Humpback Rocks Visitor Center, an outdoor farm museum is surrounded by nearly 3,000 acres of predominantly forested lands. Early Parkway designers collected buildings from nearby and assembled them here in an arrangement that allows for an easy stroll along the pathway.

The farm museum consists of a single-room log cabin and a series of outbuildings that represent elements of regional architecture of the late nineteenth century. Costumed interpreters provide demonstrations, including weaving, basket making and gardening. Interpretation focuses on and emphasizes the generalized life styles of subsistence farmers.


  • Hiking trails:  Mountain Farm Trail (easy .25 mi.), a section of the Appalachian Trail (strenuous 2 mi.), Catoctin Loop Trail (moderate .3 mi.), Greenstone Trail (moderate .2 mi.)
  • 91-site picnic area at Milepost 8.5 - open seasonally
  • Interpretive programs available seasonally from costumed interpreters - check NPS calendar
  • Visitor Center here features exhibits and a gift shop - open seasonally
  • Humpback Rocks Mountain Farm buildings representing mountain farms of the nineteenth century, open for self-guided tour year round - see area map

Humpback Rocks Visitor Center phone: (540) 943-4716

Handicap Accessibility

- visitor center is wheelchair accessible 

- information is wheelchair accessible 

- restrooms are wheelchair accessible 

- exhibits are wheelchair accessible 

- interpretive programs are accessible with assistance 

- picnic area (Milepost 8.5) is NOT handicap accessible


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Campground & Interpretive Programs

Thursday, November 26, 2015, 6:00 pm

The Polar Express

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Fashions for Evergreens

Thursday, November 26, 2015, 8:00 am

2015 Union Drumstick Dash

Thursday, November 26, 2015, 9:00 am

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, November 26, 2015, 7:00 pm

Campground & Interpretive Programs

Friday, November 27, 2015, 6:00 pm

The Polar Express

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fashions for Evergreens

Friday, November 27, 2015, 8:00 am


Friday, November 27, 2015, 10:00 am

Hard Candy Christmas Arts and Crafts Show

Friday, November 27, 2015, 10:00 am

Black Friday Holiday Wine Sale Kickoff

Friday, November 27, 2015, 10:00 am

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, November 27, 2015, 7:00 pm

Campground & Interpretive Programs

Saturday, November 28, 2015, 6:00 pm

The Polar Express

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fashions for Evergreens

Saturday, November 28, 2015, 8:00 am


Saturday, November 28, 2015, 10:00 am

Holiday Tree Lighting

Saturday, November 28, 2015, 3:30 pm

Campground & Interpretive Programs

Sunday, November 29, 2015, 6:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, November 29, 2015, 8:00 am


Sunday, November 29, 2015, 10:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, November 29, 2015, 2:00 pm

Campground & Interpretive Programs

Monday, November 30, 2015, 6:00 pm

The Polar Express

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fashions for Evergreens

Monday, November 30, 2015, 8:00 am


Monday, November 30, 2015, 10:00 am

Highlights & Happenings

  • Peaks of Otter, MP 86
  • With stunning views, natural beauty, and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest, it’s no wonder the Peaks of Otter area has attracted people to the region for more than 8,000 years.
  • Waterrock Knob, MP 451.2
  • An ideal spot for watching sunrise and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation. Exhibits, book sales, and a trail leading to the summit of Waterrock Knob await visitors. The last hik
  • Craggy Gardens, MP 364
  • These high elevation summits are home to spectacular floral displays. June and July are usually prime times to view the pink and purple blooms of rhododendron, but don’t despair if you miss the peak bloom. Violets, blackberry, May-apple, a
  • Blue Ridge Music Center
  • The Blue Ridge Music Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any o
  • Cumberland Knob, MP 217.5
  • Located near the Virginia state line, Cumberland Knob is the site where construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1935. It was the first recreation area opened to the public and remains a favorite destination for both locals and visitors. The m
  • Parkway Visitor Center, MP 384
  • Visitors traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway can now make one stop to learn about the entire 469 miles and 73-year history of the Parkway. The Parkway Visitor Center opened in 2008 and unveiled innovative, high-tech interactive exhibits. The LEED-certif
  • Moses H. Cone Park, MP 294
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks comprise the largest developed area set aside for public recreati
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner
  • The 66th edition of the Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner is your ultimate source for planning a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Camping
  • Camping is one way visitors traveling through the Blue Ridge Parkway can spend the night under the stars in one of America’s most beautiful natural settings.
  • Parkway Road Conditions
  • An open Parkway is a safe Parkway. Be sure to check road conditions online or by phone before you travel and during your visit.
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