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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.

Morning

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!

Calendar

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21

The Polar Express™

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, December 21, 2014, 5:00 pm
22

The Polar Express™

Monday, December 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Monday, December 22, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Monday, December 22, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Monday, December 22, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Monday, December 22, 2014, 5:00 pm
23

The Polar Express™

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 11:00 am

Christmas Crafts for Kids

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 4:00 pm

The Polar Express

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 5:00 pm
24

The Polar Express™

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 11:00 am

Christmas Eve Hike

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 5:00 pm
25

Fashions for Evergreens

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Thursday, December 25, 2014, 5:00 pm
26

The Polar Express™

Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Friday, December 26, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Friday, December 26, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Friday, December 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Friday, December 26, 2014, 11:00 am

Day After Christmas Eve Hike

Friday, December 26, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Friday, December 26, 2014, 5:00 pm
27

The Polar Express™

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 7:00 am

Winter Bird Hike

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 9:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 10:00 am

"Peter and The Wolf"

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Orienteering Treasure Hunt

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Saturday, December 27, 2014, 5:00 pm
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28

The Polar Express™

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 5:00 pm
29

The Polar Express™

Monday, December 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Monday, December 29, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Monday, December 29, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Monday, December 29, 2014, 10:00 am

The Polar Express

Monday, December 29, 2014, 5:00 pm
30

Fashions for Evergreens

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 10:00 am

The Polar Express

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 5:00 pm
31

New Year Celebration

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 7:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 10:00 am

An Eisenhower Christmas

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 10:00 am

The Polar Express

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 5:00 pm

New Year's Eve at Peaks of Otter Lodge

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 8:00 pm

New Year's Eve Reception and Gala

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 8:00 pm

Big Lick Countdown

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 8:00 pm

New Year's Eve - Downtown Marion Celebration

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 9:00 pm

New Year's Eve Celebration

Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 9:30 pm
     

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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
  • 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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