Blue Ridge Parkway
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Interacting With Wildlife & Plants

The Blue Ridge Parkway is more than a road - it's a journey! Make a difference during your visit on behalf of the plant and wildlife species by observing the following tips:

  • The best diet for all animals is a natural one. Human food can make any wild animal sick. The digestive system of a white tail deer, common around campgrounds and picnic areas, only breaks down the natural food sources including twigs, bark, leaves, grasses and acorns. Wild animals like the taste of human food, but for their safety and health, do not feed them.
  • The Parkway has unique habitats that support rare and endangered plants and animals. Many of these plants are threatened by foot traffic. The problem can be alleviated by the simple practice of staying on the trail. There are several especially sensitive areas, including the Tanawha Trail around Grandfather Mountain, the Craggy Pinnacle Trail at Craggy Gardens, and at Devil’s Courthouse. Whether you suspect the presence of rare plants or not, please stay on the trail – if for no other reason than to protect all plants and to prevent erosion.
  • Rabies can be transmitted by most wild animals. Animals in the park should not be treated as pets or lured close enough to feed or touch. If a squirrel, chipmunk, or other animal comes close without your encouragement, it could be a sign of serious illness, please tell a ranger.
  • All plants on the Parkway are protected. Many of our native wildflowers in the Blue Ridge are threatened by illegal harvesting. The large, round, shiny evergreen leaves of Galax have been gathered commercially in the southern Appalachian mountains for generations for decorative uses in floral arrangements. Now harvested on a much larger scale, they are being shipped to flower shops around the world.

Calendar

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Oktoberfest

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Hauntober Weekend

Friday, October 24, 2014, 9:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 24, 2014, 3:00 pm

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Friday, October 24, 2014, 3:30 pm

The Legend of Tommy Hodges: An Outdoor Drama

Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:30 pm

Silent Film Screening

Friday, October 24, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Friday, October 24, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Beary Scary Halloween

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 7, 2014, 6:30 pm

Black Mountain Tailgate Market

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 9:00 am

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:00 pm

Big Lick Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:00 pm

Fall Colors Canoe Excursion

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 2:00 pm

Legends of the Land

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 5:30 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

The Legend of Tommy Hodges: An Outdoor Drama

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:30 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 7:30 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Saturday, October 25, 2014, 8:00 pm
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26

Oktoberfest

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Exploring Old Home Sites

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 12:00 pm

Sunday Sounds at Chateau Morrisette

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 2:00 pm

Trick-or-Treat at Old Salem

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 8:00 pm
27

Oktoberfest

Monday, October 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Monday, October 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Monday, October 27, 2014, 6:00 pm
28

Oktoberfest

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 3:00 pm

Fall Festival Downtown Trick or Treat

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 3:30 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:00 pm
29

Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:00 pm
30

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Oktoberfest

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Hotel Floyd Concert Series

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Legends and Lanterns Halloween tours

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:00 pm
31

Oktoberfest

Friday, October 31, 2014, 6:00 pm

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Friday, October 31, 2014, 10:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, October 31, 2014, 3:00 pm

Downtown Trick or Treat

Friday, October 31, 2014, 3:30 pm

Halloween Eve Fish, Fry, Wine & Costume Party

Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:00 pm

Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train

Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:30 pm
 

Highlights & Happenings

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8
  • At the lowest elevation along the Parkway, visitors can hike, camp, fish, have a picnic, and see restored Battery Creek Lock from the Kanawha Canal.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Mount Pisgah, MP 408
  • Mount Pisgah’s spectacular views, hiking trails, camping and the Mount Pisgah Inn make this area a popular destination for visitors along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The mountain and thousands of surrounding acres was originally purchased by indust
  • 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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