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Highlands Region: Day Trip Sample

A one day trip through the Highlands reveals the shift from flat plateau to mountain ridges. Find yourself in the rolling pastures of Doughton Park (Milepost 240 – 245) or exploring the Grandfather Mountain corridor (Milepost 295 – 300) or the rugged Linville Gorge (Milepost 317). A high degree of original Parkway design remains here and you will find mountain cabins in close proximity to magnificent country estates from the early twentieth century.


Heading south through Cumberland Knob (Milepost 218), be aware that you are traveling through the first section of the Parkway to be constructed, beginning in 1935. At Brinegar Cabin (Milepost 238.5) you can make a quick stop at the mountain home where Martin and Caroline Brinegar raised their family. Depending on the season or day of the week, costumed interpreters may be demonstrating farm life. This is the only Parkway structure on the National Register of Historic Places. Continuing south, you may want to stop at the Northwest Trading Post (Milepost 258.6) for some snacks or shopping. At E.B. Jeffress Park and the Cascades (Milepost 272), take time to picnic or stroll a short ways on the trail to the Cascades waterfalls (1.2 miles total) or head across the Parkway (.5 mile trail) to the Cool Springs Baptist Church and Jesse Brown Cabin. If picnicking isn’t an option, Blowing Rock is an easy access off of the Parkway and just twenty miles down the road.

Mid – Late Afternoon

After lunch enjoy the Grandfather Mountain corridor here in North Carolina’s High Country. Along the Parkway, visit the Moses Cone Memorial Park (Milepost 294) with the Cone family’s summer resort, Flattop Manor, serving as the Parkway’s official craft center. Views off of the front porch, a system of carriage trails, and shopping are available. Julian Price Park (Milepost 297) and the beautiful Price Lake Overlook (Milepost 297) are just a few miles south. The Linn Cove Viaduct and Visitor Center (Milepost 304.4) is an opportunity to experience the Parkway’s “last link” completed in 1987.

Late Afternoon – Early Evening

Linville Falls (Milepost 317) is one of the Parkway’s busiest areas. Lying along the Linville River, the visitor center has educational items for sale and is the trailhead for short or long hikes that will take you to a variety of overlooks, giving the visitor glimpses into one of the most rugged gorges and the first national wilderness area in the east.

Fifteen miles south, the Museum of North Carolina Minerals (Milepost 331) is the place to learn about the geology of the Blue Ridge region through highly interactive, educational exhibits. A night’s stay in Spruce Pine, Linville, or Little Switzerland completes a busy day!


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Campground & Interpretive Programs

Saturday, November 28, 2015, 6:00 pm

The Polar Express

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fashions for Evergreens

Saturday, November 28, 2015, 8:00 am


Saturday, November 28, 2015, 10:00 am

Holiday Tree Lighting

Saturday, November 28, 2015, 3:30 pm

Campground & Interpretive Programs

Sunday, November 29, 2015, 6:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, November 29, 2015, 8:00 am


Sunday, November 29, 2015, 10:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, November 29, 2015, 2:00 pm

Campground & Interpretive Programs

Monday, November 30, 2015, 6:00 pm

The Polar Express

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fashions for Evergreens

Monday, November 30, 2015, 8:00 am


Monday, November 30, 2015, 10:00 am

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • 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.
  • 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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