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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.

History

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.

Activities

  • 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

Calendar

<< April 2015 >>
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Blue Ridge Marathon, Half Marathon and StarK

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 7:30 am

Birds of the Holly Discovery Trail

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 8:45 am

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 9:00 am

Annual Sounds of the Mountains Music and Storytelling Festival

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 10:00 am

17th Annual Blue Ridge Kite Festival

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 10:00 am

Winery Deck Music Series - Skiffle Creek

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 1:00 pm

Guided Natural History Hike

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 3:00 pm

Classic Car Cruise-In

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 3:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 7:00 pm

"The Giver"

Saturday, April 18, 2015, 7:30 pm
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19

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 9:00 am

Spring Boat Tour

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 9:45 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 2:00 pm

"The Giver"

Sunday, April 19, 2015, 2:30 pm
20

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Monday, April 20, 2015, 9:00 am
21

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 9:00 am

Garden Day

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 10:00 am
22

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 6:00 pm

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 9:00 am

Earth Day Hike

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 6:00 pm
23

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 6:00 pm

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 9:00 am

Speak for the Trees!

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 10:00 am

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 7:00 pm
24

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Friday, April 24, 2015, 6:00 pm

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Friday, April 24, 2015, 9:00 am

Gallery Grand Opening

Friday, April 24, 2015, 4:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, April 24, 2015, 7:00 pm
25

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 6:00 pm

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Virginia Hot Glass Festival

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 am

International Migratory Bird Day

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 am

Pioneer Day

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 am

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:00 am

Greening Up the Mountains

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10:00 am

Mountain Thunder Car Show

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10:00 am

Earth Day Roanoke

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10:00 am

Spring Open House at Chateau Morrisette

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 11:00 am

Rockin' Brews & BBQ

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 12:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 7:00 pm

Toad Trek

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 7:30 pm
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26

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 6:00 pm

Vinton Dogwood Festival

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Annual Gettysburg North-South Marathon

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 6:00 am

Spring Migration Bird Hike

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 8:00 am

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 9:00 am

Virginia Hot Glass Festival

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 10:00 am

Spring Open House at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, April 26, 2015, 2:00 pm
27

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Monday, April 27, 2015, 9:00 am
28

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 9:00 am
29

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 9:00 am
30

"Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times"

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 9:00 am

2015 Grandin Theatre Film Festival

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 1:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 7:00 pm
   

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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
  • Doughton Park, MP 240
  • Renew your senses amid this landscape of open meadows. Doughton Park is one of the best places along the Blue Ridge Parkway to view white-tailed deer, raccoons, red and grey foxes, and bobcats.  Flowers burst on the scene in late spring and crea
  • 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
  • James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8
  • At the lowest elevation along the Parkway, visitors can hike, camp, fish, have a picnic, and see restored Battery Creek Lock from the Kanawha Canal.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Civil War Sesquicentennial
  • 2015 marks the 150th year anniversary of when the last shot east of the Mississippi was fired during the Civil War, which rang out in present-day Waynesville.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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