Blue Ridge Parkway
Experience America's Favorite Drive
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History

Blue Ridge ParkwayCelebrating its 75th anniversary in 2010, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a product of the New Deal’s efforts to provide jobs to the unemployed of the Great Depression. Construction began in September 1935 at Cumberland Knob near the North Carolina and Virginia state line.

The idea was to create a link between the Shenandoah National Park to the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Completed in 1983, the Parkway’s history has been highlighted by documentarian Ken Burns in the six-part “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” series originally aired on PBS.

For an in-depth history, visit the official Blue Ridge Parkway 75th anniversary Web site

Calendar

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Take A Child Outside Week (TaCO)/Family Campout

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 6:00 pm

Railroad Heritage Weekend

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 6:30 pm

Upstairs Tour of Cone Manor

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 12:00 pm

The Blue Ridge Music Center Presents Steep Canyon Rangers with Mountain Park Old Time Band

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 7:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 7:00 pm

Saturday Night Square Dances

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
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Take A Child Outside Week (TaCO)/Family Campout

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 6:00 pm

Railroad Heritage Weekend

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 12:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 2:00 pm
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Take A Child Outside Week (TaCO)/Family Campout

Monday, August 31, 2015, 6:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Monday, August 31, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Monday, August 31, 2015, 12:00 pm
         

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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