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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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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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