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Pisgah Region: Day Trip Sample

A one-day trip through the Pisgah District is a long drive, but comes with unique rewards. There is a natural resource emphasis that features relic populations of plants, long vistas across rugged and remote areas, and a feel of wilderness that dominates many areas. From Mount Mitchell (Milepost 355.3) to places like Craggy Gardens (Milepost 364.3) and Devil’s Courthouse (Milepost 422.2), visitors see sites and facilities that highlight the story of biological diversity as a product of the area's varied geology and topography. In the Asheville corridor, the Folk Art Center (Milepost 382) and Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center (Milepost 384) emphasize the craft heritage and the natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Blue Ridge region.

Morning

Heading out of Spruce Pine or Little Switzerland in the morning, you will notice the number of tunnels that begin to dominate the Parkway through the rugged mountains of this part of North Carolina. Mark Crabtree Falls as a place to come back when you have time to hike the trail (2.5 miles) to this magnificent Parkway feature. At Craggy Gardens (Milepost 364.5) stop at the visitor center for great views and exhibits on the rhododendrons that blanket the mountains here, drawing visitors for generations. A short hike (.3 miles one way) leads to a shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early days of Parkway construction.

Mid-Late Afternoon

In Asheville, visit the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s Folk Art Center (Milepost 382) and the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center with film and exhibits (Milepost 384). Lunch in Asheville or head south for a picnic at Mount Pisgah or lunch at Pisgah Inn (Milepost 407.8).

Take your time as you enjoy “the top” of the Parkway with elevations consistently over 5,000 feet and topping 6,000 feet for a short distance. This is, without a doubt, the place where the Parkway feels the most like “wilderness.” At Graveyard Fields (Milepost 418.8), or Devil’s Courthouse (Milepost 422.4), stretch your legs by strolling at least a short part of trails that lead to vistas.

Late Afternoon – Early Evening

At Richland Balsam Overlook (Milepost 431.4) the Parkway tops out at 6,047 feet and many photos have been taken at the marker that signifies the elevation. At Waterrock Knob (Milepost 451.2) a panoramic view of many mountain ranges have given this place the reputation of having the best sunrise and sunsets anywhere on the Parkway. It is less than 20 miles to the end of the Parkway at Cherokee, NC for an evening of dining and experiencing the Native American culture of the Cherokee.

Calendar

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The Polar Express™

Friday, November 21, 2014, 6:00 pm

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Friday, November 21, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Friday, November 21, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Friday, November 21, 2014, 11:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, November 21, 2014, 3:00 pm

The Polar Express

Friday, November 21, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Friday, November 21, 2014, 6:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, November 21, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, November 21, 2014, 7:00 pm
22

The Polar Express™

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

Star City Half Marathon and 10K

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 8:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 5:00 pm

Music on Main

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

Corks & Canvass

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 6:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Saturday, November 22, 2014, 6:30 pm
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23

The Polar Express™

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 6:00 pm

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 2:00 pm

Marion Christmas Parade

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 3:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Sunday, November 23, 2014, 6:30 pm
24

The Polar Express™

Monday, November 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Monday, November 24, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Monday, November 24, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Monday, November 24, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Monday, November 24, 2014, 5:00 pm

Annual Tree Lighting

Monday, November 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Monday, November 24, 2014, 6:30 pm
25

The Polar Express™

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 6:30 pm
26

The Polar Express™

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 8:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:30 pm
27

The Polar Express™

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 7:00 am

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 8:00 am

2014 Union Drumstick DASH

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 9:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Turkey Day Crafts

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Thanksgiving Day Buffet

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 11:30 am

The Polar Express

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 6:30 pm
28

The Polar Express™

Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 am

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Friday, November 28, 2014, 8:00 am

27th Annual Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts Festival

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Holiday Arts & Crafts Market

Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, November 28, 2014, 3:00 pm

The Polar Express

Friday, November 28, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 pm
29

The Polar Express™

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 7:00 am

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 8:00 am

Saturdays with St. Nickolas

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

27th Annual Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts Festival

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Annual Thanksgiving Kiln Opening

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 11:00 am

Fall Stroll Around the Lake

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 5:00 pm

Santa by Rail

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 6:30 pm

Music at the Star

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 9:00 pm
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30

The Polar Express™

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 7:00 am

Saturdays with St. Nickolas

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 6:30 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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