Blue Ridge Parkway

A Masonic Marker On the Blue Ridge Parkway

BLRI - masonic marker
Hidden on the Blue Ridge Parkway spur is a Masonic Marker dating back to 1938. Freemasons gather here gather here every year to hear an address from their leader.

Public Input Wanted On Future Trail Connections Between The Blue Ridge Parkway And Asheville

Public process underway to find the optimum locations for possible connections between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Asheville as part of Buncombe County's Greenways and Trails Master Plan.

Roadwork Planned Through Year's End Along Blue Ridge Parkway

If you're planning on exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer or through the fall, here's a heads' up on road projects that you might want to avoid if possible.

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Conveys New Communications Center Building to the Parkway

Ceremony for Center Debut
In late March, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation continued its cascade of contributions to the Parkway by conveying ownership of a new 1,800 square-foot Communications Center building.

Spring In the National Parks: Where Can You Find Wildflowers?

Spring is showing up in more and more corners of the country, which means it's a perfect time to check out what's blooming in the National Park System. Here's a quick list of some reliable sites to catch wildflowers in the weeks ahead.
As the Traveler's travel editor, I do my best to be in the right place at the right time. Recently, award-winning travel journalist Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS News, interviewed me to hear why off season is often a great time to visit a national park, especially if solitude is what you're looking for.

Blue Ridge Parkway CEO Honored By White House For Getting Kids Outdoors

Carolyn Ward, chief executive officer of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, has been honored by the White House for her organization's efforts to get kids outdoors.

Blue Ridge Parkway Sets Opening Schedule

Humpback Rocks Picnic Area Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway Sets Opening Schedule

Appalachian Spring: The Video

The Blue Ridge Parkway, between Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, is a prime venue to a secret season—the explosive beauty and bounty of Appalachian Spring.

Discriminating Explorer: Appalachian Spring

The Blue Ridge Parkway, between Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, is a prime venue to a secret season—the explosive beauty and bounty of Appalachian Spring.

Pull Up a Tent: Camp on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Fall camping on Price Lake Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, NC.
There's great camping all along the 469-miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, starting with the Parkway's own campgrounds.

As Time Nears To Hit The Appalachian Trail, Some Stats For Thru-Hikers To Keep in Mind

With an eye on the prize, this year's crop of would-be Appalachian Trail thru-hikers are getting ready to hit the trail. With that in mind, here are some stats, courtesy of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, to help them stay focused.

Ranking The National Parks By Visitation In 2011

People seem to like numbers, and hierarchy, so here's a rundown of the leading units of the National Park System in terms of 2011 visitation. The first list combs through all 397 units in the system, while the second looks only at "national parks."

Walking to Rattlesnake Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway

BLRI - Cistern at Rattlesnake Lodge
At the time when most of the Blue Ridge Parkway seems closed in North Carolina, you can take a delightful, short hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to Rattlesnake Lodge. You'll see the many remains of the summer home of Chase Ambler.

Winter Closure to Interrupt Two Portions of Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway tunnel in winter.
Repairs to two Blue Ridge Parkway tunnels will interdict the high road from mid-February through mid-April between Asheville and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

TRACK Trails Offer Nationwide Weapon Against “Nature Deficit Disorder”

A new grant appears likely to popularize outdoor education and exercise for families with national franchising of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation's TRACK Trails concept.

Blue Ridge Parkway Digital History Now Online

A new Web site rounds up remarkable visual resources about the history of the most popular unit of America's National Park System.

We've Added The Blue Ridge Parkway To Our Collection of Essential Park Guides

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a globally recognized icon of the American landscape. Stretches of road elsewhere in the United States may indeed be spectacular, but nothing matches this manicured, uniquely uncommercialized, half a thousand mile thoroughfare through the lofty heart of America’s first frontier.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Moses Cone Park, Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Photo by Randy Johnson


The Blue Ridge Parkway is a globally recognized icon of the American landscape.

Stretches of road elsewhere in the United States may indeed be spectacular, but nothing matches this manicured, uniquely uncommercialized, half a thousand mile thoroughfare through the lofty heart of America’s first frontier.

Trails We Hiked During 2011

We managed to get out on some national park trails during 2011 -- not as many as we'd like, but still a few that brought smiles to our faces. Here's a look back at those trails.

Winter: A “Secret Season” in the South’s Loftiest National Parks

When the snow closure signs go up on portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains, cross country skiers and snowshoers are often seen striding and stomping into a winter wonderland.

NPS to Package Three Lodges on the Blue Ridge Parkway Under One Concessions Contract

The National Park Service recently announced that it would package the Blue Ridge Parkway concessions operation for lodging, retail, and food and beverage visitor services for Peaks of Otter Lodge, Bluffs Lodge, and Rocky Knob Cabins under a single prospectus expected to be released in April 2012.

Grant Will Rehabilitate Boone Fork Trail Portion of Mountains-to-Sea Trail on Blue Ridge Parkway

A $75,000 grant from the North Carolina Recreation Trails Program will fund rehabilitation and improvement of one the most popular trails in Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Fears Rise That Congress Could Open More Units Of National Park System to Hunting

Few units of the National Park System are open to hunting, but there are fears that legislation now working its way through Congress could clear the way for hunting across dozens of parks in the system.

License Tag Law Threatens Support for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

License tag money has helped support national parks in North Carolina for over a decade. But a new law enacted by the Republican legislature will decrease the amount of money that will go to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Blue Ridge Parkway Management Alternatives Draw More Than A Little Debate

The first-ever management plan for the Blue Ridge Parkway treads a fine line between two forces park managers have juggled for the 76-year history of the high road—the economic development aspirations of adjacent communities and the need to ensure the integrity of a “national park” that’s 469-miles long and a half-mile wide.

NPCA Report Paints Somber Portrait Of An Underfunded National Park Service

America is abundantly rich in the "natural assets" found within the National Park System, but inadequate funding by Congress is threatening the core health of that system, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.
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