Blue Ridge Parkway Revising General Management Plan, Might Close Campground

Blue Ridge Parkway officials are considering, for the first time in six decades, changes to their general management plan. NPS photo.

It's been roughly six decades since the Blue Ridge Parkway's general management plan was tinkered with, so it shouldn't be too great a surprise that parkway officials are working on an update. However, what parkway officials are proposing might not sit well with everyone.

For instance, being proposed by the revision is closure of Roanoke Mountain Campground, which offers 74 tent sites and another 30 RV sites. Also being considered is "development of paved, multi-use trails parallel to, but separate from, the parkway in the four urban areas of the parkway -- Waynesboro, Roanoke, Boone/Blowing Rock, and Asheville -- to enhance opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists to safely recreate within the parkway corridor where traffic levels are higher and opportunities to link to regional trail systems are available."

These and other changes are being considered because parkway officials have noticed changes in how folks are utilizing the parkway. For instance, they've seen a drop in the number of people looking to camp inside the parkway -- hence the proposed closure of the Roanoke Mountain campground -- as well as folks heading to specific areas of the parkway for recreation rather than traveling the entire reach of the 469-mile roadway.

For more details on what parkway planners are considering, check out this story in the Roanoke Times.

Comments

The drop in the number of people wanting to camp inside the parkway is likely due to other campgrounds near the parkway with full facilities, i.e. hot showers, camp stores, laundry, even gas stations. While it may not be feasible to provide all of these services, hot showers should be a possibility. This is the one feature that would contribute most to increase the number of people camping in the parkway campgrounds. Who needs paved hiking and biking trails anyway?

I need a paved trail, thank you very much! My goal is life is NOT to be run over by someone speeding/drunk/texting/jabbering on the phone, etc on the Parkway when I bike on it!

I believe the National Park Service and Roanoke need to think big regarding the Roanoke Mountain Campground. As they say, accentuate the positive. This campground is surrounded by miles of very nice trails. Open the Chestnut Ridge Loop to mountain bikers (yep, I’m one) and install showers. I believe that would fill the campground up on many weekends, especially since there is no camping at Carvins Cove (a very popular mountain biking destination). Add another 10 miles of new trails on Mill Mountain and another 15 at Carvins Cove and some more multi-use trails along the parkway (paved or not). With that, we will have one of the best trail systems in the country. Also, Roanoke city should make a connection from the Mill Mountain trails to the Roanoke River Greenway maybe near the 9th Street bridge so visitors could explore other parts of the city. Roanoke is great – let’s make it better.