Blue Ridge Parkway
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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I have a wedding or meeting/event on the Blue Ridge Parkway?
A:
See: Special Park Uses and Special Events Policy at http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/permits.htm

Q: When are Visitor Centers, campgrounds and Parkway facilities open?
A:
Explore a listing of openings, closings and hours.

Q: Where can I find the latest information on Parkway detours and closings?
A:
The most up to date closing information about the Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed by calling (828) 298-0398, 24 hours a day.  You may also find some closing information on the National Park Service website: http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

Q: Can tour buses travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway?
A:
Yes – no special permits are required. Please review the tunnel clearance information below.

Q: Can large RV's travel the Parkway?
A:
Yes. Explore the list of all tunnel clearances on the Parkway.

Q: What is the lowest clearance of tunnels or bridges over the Parkway?
A:
The South End between Route 19 and terminus at Cherokee is 10’6”. Explore the list of all tunnel clearances on the Parkway.

Q: Is parking adequate for large RV's and buses at Parkway scenic views and attractions?
A:
Yes.

Q: Is the Blue Ridge Parkway open in winter?
A:
Subject to snow and ice. The most up to date closing information about the Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed by calling (828) 298-0398, 24 hours a day.  You may also find some closing information on the National Park Service website: http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

Q: What is the speed limit on the Parkway?
A:
Maximum is 45 miles per hour, with some locations (in congested areas such as Mabry Mill) at 25 miles per hour.  

Q: Why are there no white lines on the sides of the road?
A: This is a part of the design of the road itself and allows it to retain a rural feel and blend into the landscape. It is one of the touches that make this road beautiful. The landscape architects maintain this design and it meets federal safety standards.

Q: Do Parkway campgrounds take reservations for spaces?
A:
Yes, at some locations at www.recreation.gov or toll free at (877) 444-6777.

Q: Do Parkway campgrounds accommodate RVs?
A:
Yes, but water, electrical and sewage connections are not available. Centralized water and restrooms are available.

Q: Are there any gas stations on the Parkway?
A:
Not directly on the Parkway. Gas is available not far off the Parkway at most U.S. or State Highway Intersections. Explore a list of nearby gas stations.

Q: Does the Appalachian Trail run with the Parkway at any point?
A:
Yes. In Virginia, North of Roanoke.

Q: Where can I get information and brochures about traveling on the Parkway?
A:
The Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner and the Blue Ridge Parkway Association's map brochure are included in a free information packet. However, for current road conditions and information, call (828) 298-0398.

Q: Can Parkway rangers make an arrest?
A:
Yes.

Q: How can I learn about local history along the Parkway?
A:
Call (828) 299-3507 to order by phone or you may purchase books and other information at Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Centers that have books available from nonprofit publisher Eastern National.

Q: How can I find out what there is to see and do along the Parkway?
A:
Explore our What to Do section or peruse the Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner

Q: Is it alright to pull over on the grass beside the Parkway and spread a blanket for a picnic?
A:
Yes. Vehicles should be fully off of the road so they can be entered and exited out of without impeding the flow of traffic. Driving vehicles across open fields is prohibited.

Q: What is a National Park Pass?
A:
An annual pass available for $80 allows free entry to any National Park Service area with a fee. Age 62 and over can purchase an Interagency Senior or Access Pass which allows free entry into Parks with an entrance fee and gives a 50% reduction for camping and other user fees. There is no fee on the Blue Ridge Parkway, however National Park Service Campgrounds along the Parkway do require a fee. Visitors with the Interagency Senior or Access Pass (or former Golden Age or Golden Access Passports) pay a reduced camping fee. More information on the Interagency Pass program can be found at this link.

Q: What is The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation?
A:
Founded in 1997, this nonprofit foundation is the primary fundraising organization for the Parkway. It solicits donations and bequests from individuals, as well as grants and corporate support for a broad range of programs and activities that provide lasting benefits to the Parkway and its visitors. Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible. For information about Foundation activities, including its estate giving program, write to Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, P.O. Box 10427 Salem Station, Winston-Salem, NC 27108, call (336) 721-0260 or visit www.brpfoundation.org 

Q: Who are FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway?
A:
FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway is also non-profit, but unlike the Foundation, it is a membership organization, some 8,500 strong. Founded in 1989, this organization’s primary mission is to fundraise for Parkway programs such as Saving Parkway Views, Junior Ranger Program, Trails Forever and to mobilize and provide leadership for volunteers who assist with a wide variety of Parkway projects. Membership in FRIENDS is tax deductible. To join FRIENDS or for information about volunteer opportunities and other FRIENDS activities, write to FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway, P.O. Box 20986, Roanoke, VA 24018, call (540) 772-2992 (Toll Free 1-800-228-PARK) or visit www.BlueRidgeFriends.org.

Q: Is bicycling allowed on the Parkway?
A:
Yes. Because the Blue Ridge Parkway was designed for motor travel bicyclists should exercise caution, have reflectors and riders should wear high visibility clothing and helmets. Avoid the Blue Ridge Parkway during fog and periods of low visibility. Long distance travelers should plan their overnight stays be sure to have plenty of water and food.

Q: Do all of those things apply to the Skyline Drive as well?
A:
Yes. But the Skyline Drive (and Shenandoah National Park) has an entrance fee.

Q: Can we bury our pet along the Blue Ridge Parkway?
A:
No. National Park Service regulations prohibit pet burials on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Recommend checking the city nearest where you usually visited the Parkway for pet burial information so you could locate an appropriate location close to that city or town.

Related Information

Calendar

<< December 2014 >>
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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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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