Blue Ridge Parkway

Essential Friends + Gateways: High Tech Means High Touch With National Parks

As people become more and more wedded to mobile devices, the National Park System is trying to keep up—and so are its friends. To engage visitors and potential supporters, national park friends groups and foundations are enticing the public with high technology. Here are some savvy ways that’s happening.

Check This Schedule For Music Along The Blue Ridge Parkway

Just as the Blue Ridge Parkway winds 469 miles down the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains through Virginia and North Carolina, so too does an Appalachian tradition of mountain music run deep in the history and culture of the people whose ancestors settled the region and gave it its special character.

Peaks Of Otter Lodge On Blue Ridge Parkway Set To Open In Mid-July

The Blue Ridge Parkway’s Peaks of Otter Lodge is scheduled to open July 15 under new concessionaire, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts. Reservations are currently being taken for the upcoming season that will run through December 16.

Reader Participation Day: Which Flowers Mean "Spring Is Here" In The National Parks?

The spring and early summer blooming season is well underway in much of the country, and for many people that brings to mind some specific varieties of wildflowers or blooming trees or shrubs that they associate with a particular National Park Service area. Do you have any favorite "park flowers"?

Essential Friends + Gateways: The Boone Area High Country, An NC Parkway Gateway

The scenery and attractions of the lofty Blue Ridge Mountain bastion called the High Country are a pinnacle of the Blue Ridge Parkway experience.

Secret Sleeps, Tips For Snagging A National Park Campsite This Summer

There is nothing as traditional as camping out in the national parks for summer vacation. Reserving a campsite on www.recreation.gov can lock in a site long before you hit the road, but sometimes you just don’t get around to doing that. So what to do?

National Parks Traveler's Essential Friends + Gateways

Traveler's 2nd Annual Essential Friends + Gateways publication, a collaboration between the Traveler and a core group of national park foundations, cooperating associations, trusts, friends groups, and gateway communities, is aimed at enhancing and furthering the now nationally significant role of these organizations and entities in the preservation and enjoyment of our parks.

Blue Ridge Parkway Awards Concessions Contract For Peaks Of Otter Lodge

Delaware North Parks & Resorts, which last year landed the contract to run concessions at Shenandoah National Park, has added the Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway to its operations.

Traveler's Essential Friends + Gateways Initiative Celebrates National Parks

Just in time for National Park Week -- Traveler's 2013 magazine Essential Friends + Gateways! Flip through 50+ pages of full-color features celebrating national parks, their increasingly indispensable friends' groups—along with great park gateways and the local insight and travel tips you need to savor summer in the country's top national parks.

Can You Name The Most-Visited Units Of The National Park System From 2012?

Acadia, Yellowstone, and Yosemite are some of the most adored units of the National Park System, but they don't show up in the top 10 list of most-visited parks during 2012. They're quite a ways from the top 10, actually.

Parkway Superintendent Phil Francis Retires After A Career of Parkway Firsts

Phil Francis, the National Park Service’s superintendent for the Blue Ridge Parkway since 2005, is retiring on April 1st.

Concession Opportunity On The Blue Ridge Parkway

The National Park Service recently released a prospectus soliciting proposals for the operation of Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob Cabins; two concessions on the southern Virginia section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sequestration Cuts To Reduce Staff, Facilities On The Blue Ridge Parkway

The approximately 15 million visitors expected this year on the Blue Ridge Parkway—the most visited unit of the national park system—will find fewer ranger-led walks and talks, reduced facilities at campgrounds, picnic areas, and visitor centers, and perhaps a shorter full-service season. Superintendent Phil Francis says the goal is limiting the impact on visitors.

First-Ever Prescribed Burn To Be Conducted On The Blue Ridge Parkway

In a reversal of seventy years of “vigorously suppressed” fires on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Superintendent Phil Francis has announced that 150 acres will be burned near Doughton Park “to return the site to a more natural vegetation type” and “increase the quality of wildlife habitat.”

Interior Secretary, National Park Service Director Lament Looming Budget Cuts

Fewer rangers for search-and-rescue missions, closed campgrounds, and possibly more devastating forest fires are facing the National Park Service as a result of the looming budget fiasco, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said Monday.

NPS Cultural Landscapes Explained And Featured On This Website

History buffs and students working on a class report are among potential users of a website that features cultural landscapes in the National Park System. Not with familiar the term "cultural landscapes"? This site can help fill in the gaps.

Blue Ridge Parkway’s First—and Final—General Management Plan/EIS Is Now Available

After more than 75 years—many of them passed as the most visited unit of the National Park System—the Blue Ridge Parkway has announced the release of its very first Final General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.

Welcome Changes Mark Renewal Of Folk Art Center Lease On Blue Ridge Parkway

The Southern Appalachian Handicraft Guild has run the Parkway’s Folk Art Center in Asheville since 1979 and that record continues with the organization gaining another 10-year lease on the property.

NPS Extends and Revises Concession Prospectus for Blue Ridge Parkway Lodgings

Following an unsuccessful attempt to drum up interest in several commercial properties on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the National Park Service has extended the submission date and issued a revised and scaled-down prospectus.

Help the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation: Drive a Donation to the 469 Challenge

End the year with one last philanthropic gesture and become one of 469 donors needed to “match the mileposts” on the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

The Kids Are Alright: Discovering National Parks Through Service

America’s kids are suffering from “nature deficit disorder” and that includes national parks. As the National Park Service closes its first century, park proponents across the country are trying to get young people engaged in parks and their preservation. It’s a big challenge, but not all of the news is bad. One university town in North Carolina is showing how proximity to national parks invites newbies into involvement.

Exploring Crabtree Falls In The Blue Ridge Parkway

What are you looking for on your Blue Ridge Parkway visit—camping, a picnic area, a gift shop, a restaurant, waterfalls, great hiking, or ranger programs? Crabtree Falls has it all!

Creature Feature: Some Squirrels Really Can Fly

Humans weren't the only ones stocking up for a feast this month. Flying squirrels, which call a number of national parks home, have been busy with their own meals with winter coming.

Parkway Slope Repair Shuts Down the High Road Between Craggy Gardens and Mt. Mitchell State Park

Sunday drivers take note—your opportunity to soar the entire piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville and Boone—across the massive Craggy Mountains past Mount Mitchell—has gone the way of autumn leaves. Road stabilization efforts have closed the high road between Milepost 355.3 and Milepost 359.8.

Updated: "Superstorm Sandy" Brings Heavy Snows, Flooding, And Towering Waves To National Park System

Sunrise today showed deep, heavy snow in national parks in the Appalachians, flooding along coastal and barrier island parks, and waves towering more than two stories along some lakeshores farther inland.

Lodging In Limbo On The Blue Ridge Parkway

There is a real possibility three of the four lodging facilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway will close or remain closed following the 2012 season.

Predictions Of Good Fall Color Proving True On Blue Ridge Parkway

Predictions on how colorful the fall foliage will be for any given year is always a bit of a dice roll, but the forecasts for the current season in eastern national parks were generally promising. So...how accurate were those educated guesses? I took a drive on a short section of the Blue Ridge Parkway this week to find ou
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