Blue Ridge Parkway
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Home > Highlights > 2. James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8
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James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8

Recreational opportunities here include hiking, camping, picnicking and fishing. An accessible fishing pier on Otter Lake provides opportunities for visitors with impaired mobility to fish for warm water species. A pedestrian walkway connects the James River Visitor Center with restored Battery Creek Lock from the Kanawha Canal.

James River is the Parkway’s the lowest elevation (650 feet above sea level) and a historic transportation route through the mountains, represents a major geological (water gap) and cultural component of the Blue Ridge section of Virginia.

The 3.5-mile Otter Creek Trail follows the creek from the Otter Creek Campground down to the James River Visitor Center. The trail can also be accessed from overlooks at MP 61.4, 62.5 and 63.1. At the visitor center, the James River Canal Trail will take you to the restored James River and Kanawha Canal Lock that was built between 1845-51. When completed the canal had 90 locks and went from Richmond to Buchanan, Virginia.

Area hikes include: Trail of Trees, Otter Creek, Otter Lake Loop and James River Canal Trails. View map of James River & Otter Creek Area

What to Do and See

  • Hike one of the many nearby trails
  • View the restored Battery Creek Lock
  • Stop by the James River Visitor Center, MP 63.8
  • Enjoy a picnic at the picnic area
  • Camp at Otter Creek Campground, MP 60.8
  • Go fishing from the pier on Otter Lake, which is handicap-accessible
  • Eat at Otter Creek Restaurant (currently closed)

Check the operating hours and seasons for all visitor centers, campgrounds, and concessions when planning your visit.  2013 information is not yet available.

Natural Bridge

This page is sponsored by the Natural Bridge Hotel and the new Butterflies at the Bridge indoor butterfly garden.

Calendar

<< April 2014 >>
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
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6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17

64th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 6:00 pm

Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 11:00 am

Copy of "The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

"Laughter on the 23rd Floor"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
18

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Friday, April 18, 2014, 6:00 pm

64th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show

Friday, April 18, 2014

Peanuts the Easter Beagle Express Train Event

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Family Festival at Fontana

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Friday, April 18, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Friday, April 18, 2014, 11:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, April 18, 2014, 3:00 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, April 18, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, April 18, 2014, 7:00 pm

"Laughter on the 23rd Floor"

Friday, April 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
19

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 6:00 pm

64th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Peanuts the Easter Beagle Express Train Event

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Family Festival at Fontana

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Catawba Falls Hike

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 9:30 am

Overmountain Victory Trail Hike

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 10:00 am

Bird Hike

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 10:00 am

Earth Day Celebration

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 10:00 am

Morning Walk, Evening Dance

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 10:30 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 11:00 am

Earth Day Music - Skiffle Creek: Folk Rock & Green Cities

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 1:00 pm

Make Room for Monarchs

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 2:00 pm

Classic Car Cruise-In

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 3:00 pm

"Laughter on the 23rd Floor"

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 8:00 pm

Dillsboro Easter Hat Parade

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 10:00 pm
<W
20

Earth Week

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 6:00 pm

Easter Family Festival at Fontana

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Gatlinburg Easter Sunrise Service

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 6:00 am

Turkey Talk

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 10:00 am

Easter Service at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 11:00 am

Easter Brunch at Peaks of Otter

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 11:30 am

Loon Boat Tour

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 2:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 2:00 pm
21

Earth Week

Monday, April 21, 2014, 6:00 pm

Smoky Mountain Regional Bridge Conference

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Monday, April 21, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Monday, April 21, 2014, 11:00 am
22

Earth Week

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

Smoky Mountain Regional Bridge Conference

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 11:00 am
23

Earth Week

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

Smoky Mountain Regional Bridge Conference

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 11:00 am
24

MerleFest

Thursday, April 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Earth Week

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Earth Day Festival

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Smoky Mountain Regional Bridge Conference

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Greyhounds in Gettysburg

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Thursday, April 24, 2014, 11:00 am
25

MerleFest

Friday, April 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

87th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Friday, April 25, 2014

Buchanan Civil War History Weekend

Friday, April 25, 2014

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Friday, April 25, 2014

Earth Week

Friday, April 25, 2014

Smoky Mountain Regional Bridge Conference

Friday, April 25, 2014

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Friday, April 25, 2014

Greyhounds in Gettysburg

Friday, April 25, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Friday, April 25, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

American Odyssey Relay Race

Friday, April 25, 2014, 7:30 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Friday, April 25, 2014, 11:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, April 25, 2014, 3:00 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, April 25, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, April 25, 2014, 7:00 pm

Earth Day 5K

Friday, April 25, 2014, 9:00 pm
26

MerleFest

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

87th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Buchanan Civil War History Weekend

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Earth Week

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Smoky Mountain Regional Bridge Conference

Saturday, April 26, 2014

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Greyhounds in Gettysburg

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

American Odyssey Relay Race

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 7:30 am

Birds & Blooms Guided Hikes

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 8:00 am

Boone Birding Festival

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 8:00 am

Mountain Adventure Winery Weekend

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 8:00 am

17th Annual Greening up the Mountains

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 8:00 am

Migratory Bird Day

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 8:30 am

Virginia Hot Glass Festival

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 9:00 am

Mountain Thunder Cat Show

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 9:00 am

Pioneer Day

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 9:00 am

Wine, Body & Soul

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 9:30 am

Earth Day at Peaks of Otter Lodge

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Emerge and Fly

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 10:00 am

National Junior Ranger Day in the Smokies

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 11:00 am

Vineyard Deck Music Series - Melody Cox & The Days of Wine & Posies

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1:00 pm

Rocktown Beer & Music Festival

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 2:30 pm

Nature Through Indian Eyes

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 3:00 pm
<W
27

MerleFest

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

87th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Buchanan Civil War History Weekend

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Earth Week

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Smoky Mountain Regional Bridge Conference

Sunday, April 27, 2014

NOC Spring Fling & ERA /Wave Sport Nantahala Open

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Greyhounds in Gettysburg

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Annual Gettysburg North-South Marathon

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 6:00 am

Virginia Hot Glass Festival

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Beautiful Butterflies

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Go Green Disc Golf Tournament

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 12:30 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 2:00 pm

Junior Ranger Boot Camp

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 3:00 pm
28

87th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Monday, April 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Monday, April 28, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Monday, April 28, 2014, 11:00 am
29

87th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 11:00 am
30

87th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain Spring: It’s a Spring Thing!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"The Fantasticks"

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 11:00 am
     

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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
  • Julian Price Memorial Park, MP 297
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, comprises this popular park and lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks make up the largest developed area set as
  • Folk Art Center, Milepost 382
  • Open year round, the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians.
  • 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
  • Rocky Knob & Mabry Mill, MP 169, 176.2
  • These Parkway treasures offer many opportunities for visitors including hiking, camping, picnicking, and one of the most-photographed structures along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
  • Attractions, Dining, Shopping & More
  • From fine arts to fun, experience the best places and activities to enhance your visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway region.
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • 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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