Blue Ridge Parkway
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Home > Highlights > 15. Waterrock Knob, MP 451.2
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Waterrock Knob, MP 451.2

Waterrock KnobAn ideal spot for watching sunrise and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation.

The nearly 360-degree view from Waterrock Knob stretches the eyes over the heart of the Southern Highlands, including all of the major southern mountain ranges including the Great Balsams, Great Smokies, Cowees, Nantahalas, Blue Ridge, Newfound Mountains, Blacks, and Craggies.

The southernmost hiking trail along the Parkway on the way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Waterrock Knob Trail offers fantastic views both east and west.

What to Do

  • Explore the visitor center and learn more about the site and the region - open seasonally
  • Watch a majestic sunrise or sunset as light dances across the mountains
  • Enjoy a moderate to strenuous hike (0.6 miles one way) to the top of the summit and witness breathtaking views of the Smokies and Maggie Valley 


Handicap Accessibility

- restrooms are wheelchair accessible 

- visitor center is wheelchair accessible

- information is wheelchair accessible 

- exhibits are wheelchair accessible

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.
  • Craggy Gardens, MP 364
  • For generations, visitors have headed for the Craggies in June, typically the prime time for viewing the pink and purple blooms of Catawba rhododendrons that blanket much of the area.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Visitors can tour a collection of nineteenth century far
  • 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.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner
  • The 68th edition of the Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner is your ultimate source for planning a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • Blooms & Wildlife Watching
  • Don't forget your cameras and binoculars when visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway! Learn when and where to see blooms along your journey.
  • What To Do
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway is more than a road – it is a beautiful journey that entices visitors to explore a 469-mile gateway to America’s rich cultural heritage.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
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