The Blue Ridge Parkway is open year round except for sections that may be closed due to ice and snow, storm damage, or for construction or maintenance activities. Weather-related closures can change quickly during the winter. Even in summer months, winds at higher elevations have been known to bring down limbs that close sections of the Parkway. An open Parkway is a safe Parkway.
Be sure to check road conditions before you travel and during your visit to ensure the areas you want to visit are open.
Blue Ridge Parkway road closure information is available on the National Park Service website on a detailed list of Parkway sections, noting whether they are closed, open or ungated. That list, which is updated daily, can be found here.
Many factors affect the removal of ice and snow, such as extreme temperatures, lack of sunlight in constantly shaded areas, or thawing and refreezing on bridges. This may cause some sections to be closed for extended periods in the winter. These sections are only opened when they are safe for travel.
Some sections of the Parkway cannot be gated and closed, and visitors should exercise extreme caution when traveling in these areas during the winter. It is important to observe all signs and information posted on the NPS website. In certain severe circumstances, sections may be closed to all traffic – including hikers, bicyclists and skiers.
Annually, Blue Ridge Parkway maintenance and resource management staff conduct boom axe operations to help control vegetation growth along the Parkway. This work, using a large tractor with a long arm cutting head, helps insure safe sight distances and a clear right-of-way. This tractor must remain in the travel lanes during operation to properly perform its work while cutting the banks and road shoulders. Both lanes of the Parkway will be closed to all activity (cars, bicycles, and hikers) in active work zones to ensure the safety of the maintenance workers as well as Parkway visitors. Planned boom axe closures begin in November and continue through early spring. Because these short-term closures occur during daytime hours and are dependent on favorable weather conditions, they may not be listed on the road closure chart and don’t usually have a signed detour route.
Repairs on the Roanoke River Bridge at Milepost 114.7 are scheduled to occur from May 16, 2021 to spring 2022. This project includes concrete repairs to bridge piers, reconstruction and drainage repairs to approach areas, removal of existing asphalt surface and waterproofing membrane, installation of new waterproofing membrane and asphalt surface, and repainting of the steel super structure of the bridge. Repairs will require a full closure of this area (no access to motorists, cyclists or pedestrians); southbound drivers will need to detour at Milepost 112.2 (VA Route 24) in Vinton, VA and take US 221 through Roanoke to Adney Gap at Milepost 135.9. The Parkway will, however, be open from Milepost 121.4 (US 220) to Milepost 115.5 (Explore Park) providing Parkway access to Explore Park from the South. Roanoke VA is offering a detailed detour route with some places of interest along the way on their website. See below for further details about road repairs in the Roanoke, VA area.
Significant rainfall in spring 2020 caused a full road failure roughly one hundred and fifty feet (150′) in length near Milepost 128. Plans to repair this road failure are underway, and work is expected to begin in this area in early 2022. Due to the hazardous nature of this slope failure, the section of Blue Ridge Parkway from US 220 (Milepost 121.4) to Adney Gap at U.S. Hwy 221 (Milepost 135.9) is closed to motor vehicles, and the fenced area close to the slide is closed to all uses, including bicycles and pedestrians. However, pedestrians and cyclists may utilize the portion of the Parkway both North and South of the closed area near Milepost 128.
Pavement preservation will be occurring at more than 80 overlooks, parking & five picnic areas along the VA sections of the Parkway from Spring to Fall 2021, requiring short-term site-specific closures. The paving project ark visitors are asked to expect short duration, single-lane closures at overlook, parking area and picnic area entrances while work at those sites is occurring. Check for current closures at www.nps.gov/blri.P
Work is underway on a project to widen approximately 16.9 miles of I-26 from U.S. Hwy 64, in Hendersonville, to Brevard Road, in Asheville, NC. The widening of I-26 requires the installation of a new bridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway over the I-26 interstate at interstate mile marker 36 (near Parkway Milepost 391). Construction of the new bridge also requires realigning approximately 3000 linear feet of Parkway. Officials from NCDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of the Interior and the Blue Ridge Parkway have agreed on a general plan to build the new bridge and remove the existing structure. The Parkway bridge project is expected to take approximately three years. Completion date according to NCDOT for the entire widening project is 2024. More information about the Parkway bridge project is available here.