Location: North Carolina, USA
Length: 563 km (350 miles)
Built: between 1935 and 1967
Width: 5 m standard, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 9
Highest point: 1,828 m (6,000 feet)
Operating times: open all year
via I-81 S
Route: from Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Blue Ridge Parkway Description
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most famous driving routes in the US, and it’s located in North Carolina. It connects two national parks. Starting at the southern end of Shenandoah National Park, it winds along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains taking you to the second national park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This route offers you a 469 miles long drive and the opportunity to enjoy the scenery of the mountain landscape.
Many people take this route during autumn when the gum trees and dogwoods turn their colors into shades of red, orange, yellow and so on. Nonetheless, the other seasons are great as well for this trip. Besides the amazing scenery that surrounds this road, the journey itself is a thrilling one. Those that take this route will enjoy the quality of the asphalted surface and the many twists and turns that stretch across the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway route. Many drivers come here for the enjoyment driving this road offers and it’s easy to understand why. It’s one of those roads that combine a fantastic scenery with a fun road.
A road with beathtaking scenery
The bulk of the Blue Ridge Parkway was built in several stages, between 1935 and 1967. The last stretch, between Linn Cove Viaduct in North Carolina was finished in the mid-1980s. If you’re interested in spending more time to enjoy what this route has got to offer, we recommend taking a small detour to visit other places nearby. There are many small towns and other highlights worth taking a look at.
The best time to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway is around October when the fall foliage is the most impressive. You should start your journey Virginia at Shenandoah National Park, near Waynesboro milepost 0. Heading south, you will have some incredible panoramic views over the valleys. Also, you will have the chance to enjoy driving on the twisting and curling section road. The views get better and better as you approach Pisgah and the Black Mountains in the south. The route ends at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at milepost 469m near Cherokee, North Carolina.
It’s difficult to choose the best part of this drive as all of them have their own charm. The route is also referred to as a window to this region as it offers access to the cultural and natural sites that define this region.
Since this is mountain terrain and there are high elevations, some portions of the road are closed during the winter season.
Overall, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a road made of pure beauty and thrill. Whether you choose to drive only a section of it or take the whole drive, this will be an unforgettable and epic trip.
Photo sources: https://www.romanticasheville.com/BlueRidgeParkway.htm, https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/, https://visitncsmokies.com/blue-ridge-parkway/, https://avltoday.6amcity.com/blue-ridge-parkway-history/