Blue Ridge Parkway

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.

Four Men Given Jail Time For Digging Up Gingseng In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Jail terms ranging from 15 days to 120 days were handed to four men convicted of digging ginseng in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Stretches Of Blue Ridge Parkway To Be Closed For Months For Work on Historic Guardrails

Planning to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway in the months to come? Be sure to bring your roadmap, as construction work along three stretches in North Carolina will impede your progress.
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Joshua Tree National Park Abandons General Management Plan Revision, Blue Ridge Parkway Proceeding With Its GMP

While Joshua Tree National Park officials have abandoned efforts to revise their long-range General Management Plan, preferring instead to focus on specific issues, Blue Ridge Parkway officials are moving ahead with their own GMP.

Backroads and Byways – Balsam Mountain Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you're looking for an alternative to the more heavily-traveled roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, here's a great option for the fall color season, or for a late spring or summer drive next year: the Balsam Mountain Road.

Colors Peaking In The National Parks Across The Country

With mid-October practically here, the fall colors are really starting to put on their best in many national parks, places like Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Olympic, and Acadia.

Spend Your October Weekends Visiting Mabry Mill Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

If you live close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, you might consider visiting Mabry Mill on weekends this month to enjoy programs ranging from making apple butter to basket-making demonstrations.

Fall Color Without the Crowds at the Great Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Parkway?

Both Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway are justly famous for their fall color—and a flood of mid-October visitors. Can you avoid the heavy traffic and still enjoy some autumn foliage by timing your visit a bit earlier? Here's a Traveler trip report.

New Section Of Historic Trail Approved Along Blue Ridge Parkway

More than 200 years ago hundreds of patriot militia on horseback crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains to play a role in the battle at Kings Mountain. This week that section of trail will be officially certified as part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.

Easy Park Hikes – Bass Lake Trail Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

The busiest weeks for the Blue Ridge Parkway—fall color season—are almost here. If a drive along the scenic roadway is on your calendar, here's a fine stop for an easy walk to stretch your legs and enjoy the view at a slower pace.

$701,000 Grant Helps Kids Learn More About National, State and Local Parks

A $701,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation will help kids learn more about, and get more enjoyment out of, local, state, and national parks in North Carolina.

Statewide North Carolina Trail Nearly Completed on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Video

Despite a very rainy Saturday that could have changed the BIG DIG into the BIG DELUGE, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail attracted volunteers from across North Carolina and came very close to finishing the Blue Ridge Parkway portion of the trail from the Great Smokies to the Outer Banks.

Weeks Act Celebrated From the Perch of the Blue Ridge Parkway

The 100th anniversary of the Weeks Act establishing national forests in the East was celebrated on the Blue Ridge Parkway this past Saturday as officials looked out over the first tract of land purchased under the law.

Reader Participation Day: Would You Stop Donating To the Parks If You Lost the Tax Deduction?

Would you still contribute to charitable organizations such as the National Park Foundation and park friends groups if you couldn't deduct the donation on your income taxes?
Hiking North Carolina In Hiking North Carolina's Blue Ridge Heritage, Danny Bernstein comes to the task with a keen eye for details in general, but a specific eye for wildflowers.

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Helping With Improvements to Graveyard Fields Area at Milepost 418

Much-needed improvements -- better parking, trail signage, and even restrooms -- are coming to the Graveyard Fields area along the Blue Ridge Parkway thanks in part to a fund-raising campaign by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

History Of American Mountain Music To Be Told At Blue Ridge Parkway

Take a fiddle or three, add in a banjo, a guitar, and perhaps a standup bass and you have the key ingredients for a rich, traditional American artform: Bluegrass. The story of how this uniquely American musical genre came to be will soon be told at the Blue Ridge Music Center along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Construction Making It Tough To Drive The Blue Ridge Parkway This Summer

Cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway end-to-end won't be easy this summer due to construction involving 28 miles of the handsome stone guardwalls that line the route.

Inn Step With Asheville, The Blue Ridge Parkway’s Premier Place to Pause

Even if you don’t explore the Blue Ridge Parkway’s miles of easy “leg-stretcher” trails, this meandering, 45-mph-motor-trail delivers the explosive bloom of Appalachian spring right through the windshield.
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