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Ridge | Plateau | Highlands | Pisgah | Nearby National Parks

Regions of the Parkway

Find lodging, dining, attractions and all the must-see stops by Parkway district

At 469 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers much to explore in a National Park! Driving the whole road takes three days at the least, and most opt for a week or more to really take in all the sights and towns along the way. Many people break their Parkway travels into multiple trips, returning later to see the rest.

Divided into four districts stretching north to south along the scenic byway: the Ridge region, the Plateau region, the Highlands region, and the Pisgah region, the Parkway can be explored bit by bit over a few different vacations. The Ridge and Plateau regions are located in Virginia, while the Highlands and Pisgah regions are located in North Carolina.

You’ll also find information about nearby places to explore in the two gateway National Parks at either end of the Blue Ridge Parkway – Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Northern & Southern Gateways

The Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive connects to the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Travelers can continue from Skyline Drive south onto the Blue Ridge Parkway to begin at Parkway Milepost 0 in Virginia.

At the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Cherokee, North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park connects to the borders of the Parkway’s lands. Travelers can travel north from Cherokee onto the Blue Ridge Parkway to begin at Parkway Milepost 469.1. There are also numerous Access Points along the way where travelers can enter the Parkway.

While each of these park systems has its own Rangers, all are valued by travelers for their unique scenic beauty and wealth of charming accommodations, activities, and culture – not to mention local cuisine, brews, spirits, and wine.

Some Points of Interest Along the Parkway

Parkway Milepost 213 | Blue Ridge Music Center The Blue Ridge Music Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve…
Parkway Milepost 339.5 – 340.2: Crabtree Falls Crabtree Falls is accessed by one of two routes: a three-mile total hike that leads to the base of the falls or a more strenuous 3.5-mile loop trail that leads to the top of the waterfall. Visitors say, whichever path you take, the…
Cumberland Knob | Parkway Milepost 217.5 Located near the Virginia state line, Cumberland Knob is the site where construction of the Blue…
Parkway Milepost 238.5 – 241: Doughton Park Visitor Information Station and Park Store, and Brinegar Cabin 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.
Explore Park Recreational Area, Visitor Center and Park Store | Parkway Milepost 115 Explore Park is 1,100 acres of woods and land to explore with bike paths, hiking trails, and historic buildings. The Roanoke River runs through the park for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Roanoke River access day passes for…
Folk Art Center, Visitor Center and Park Store | Parkway Milepost 382 The Folk Art Center showcases the finest in traditional and…
Final Link of the Parkway: Linn Cove Viaduct | Milepost 304.4 This seven-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway – once the…
Parkway Milepost 161.1 – 176.1: Mabry Mill, Rocky Knob Visitor Center and Campground, Rock Castle Gorge National Recreation Trail  Spanning Parkway Milepost 167 – Milepost 174, Rocky Knob comprises 4,800 acres and 15 miles of hiking trails. The 3,500-acre Rock Castle Gorge is within Rocky Knob, with its Rock Castle Gorge National Recreation Trail. Mabry Mill…

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