Biodiversity Along the Parkway
Millions of visitors enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway each year. Some think of it as just a motor road or a pleasant drive. But the Parkway is also a place of varied and significant natural resources.
Spanning the southern and central Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers an exceptional glimpse of the regional flora and fauna. It is world renowned for its diversity.
The Parkway covers a wide range of habitats along the Appalachian Mountains, and some of these habitats are exceptionally rare. Visitors encounter unsurpassed diversity of climate and vegetation as well as geological features.
The wide range in elevation offers a tremendous variety of wildflowers during spring, summer, and fall months. While the summer wildflowers are blooming in the valleys, the spectacular spring wildflowers are just beginning to bloom on the high peaks.
The same environmental variability that leads to such spectacular bloom displays in the spring and summer also contributes to autumn leaf color. Throughout the month of October the leaf color changes gradually, beginning in the high mountains and concluding at the lower slopes and valleys.
Not to be outdone by the plants, many species of animals make their homes along the Parkway. A Parkway visit may seem incomplete without the glimpses of white tailed deer, wild turkey, and perhaps a chance to see the elusive black bear.