Blue Ridge Parkway
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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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Pisgah District - Hike of the Week

Friday, August 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demos

Friday, August 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, August 29, 2014, 3:00 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, August 29, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, August 29, 2014, 7:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Friday, August 29, 2014, 8:00 pm
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5th Annual LakeAlooza

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Evening Campfire Program at Mt. Pisgah

Saturday, May 31, 2014, 7:30 pm

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 7, 2014, 6:30 pm

Gatlinburg Farmer's Market

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 8:30 am

Rockfest

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 9:00 am

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 9:00 am

Walking in the Footsteps of the Overmountain Men

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 10:00 am

BBQ and Brews Dinner Train

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 7:00 pm

Wayne Henderson & Friends

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 7:00 pm

Evening Campfire Program at Linvlle Falls

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 7:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Saturday, August 30, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, August 31, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, August 31, 2014, 2:00 pm

"The Mystery of Irma Vep"

Sunday, August 31, 2014, 8:00 pm
           

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Humpback Rocks, MP 5.8
  • 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 Mountain
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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