Blue Ridge Parkway

Updated: Winter's Work: Plan Your Summer or Fall National Park Vacation Now

Now is the time to be planning your summer or fall vacations to the national parks.

Grant Will Help Blue Ridge Parkway Ranger Collect Oral Histories

A National Park Foundation grant will enable a ranger at Blue Ridge Parkway to collect oral histories from a number of workers who helped build the parkway in the 1930s and 1940s.

Books We've Read, And Liked, in 2010

There were quite a few books relating to national parks that arrived in 2010, and while we didn't get to read them all, the ones we did we liked. Here's a look back at our Fireside Reads from the year.

National Parks On Average Are The Backdrops for 41 "Suicide Events" Annually

For an overwhelming majority of visitors, national parks offer spectacular vistas that provide surroundings perfect for enjoyment, contemplation, and relaxation. For a small, yet significant, number, though, the parks are where they decide to die.

Lost in a Blizzard of Canine Confusion On the Blue Ridge Parkway

Enjoying winter in the national parks doesn't mean traveling west to the Rockies or High Sierra. There are more than enough wintry adventures in the east at parks such as Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah, and as Randy Johnson explains in the following article, even along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A Holiday Gift List For National Park Travelers

What do you get for that national park lover in the family? The options are more diverse than you might imagine.

The Wonder That Is The Linn Cove Viaduct On the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway was featured on the History Channel’s Modern Marvels series, for heaven’s sake. Nevertheless, it’s not widely understood why or how it’s noteworthy. The High Country landmark might be nothing less than the combined genius of the 20th century’s two top bridge designers.

Gary Everhardt's Impact on the Blue Ridge Parkway

During his nearly quarter-century as superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Gary Everhardt developed partnerships to both protect and better the Parkway.

Gary Everhardt: The “Right Man at the Right Time” on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Nations everywhere name buildings to honor pivotal figures, the people whose contributions form the foundation on which the future stands. We all see such structures, but it’s rare to wander the halls of one with the person whose name is chiseled on the plaque and attached to the boulder out front -- especially when it’s the headquarters of the most visited unit of the National Park system.

Traveler's Checklist: Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway

As I cross Basin Creek one more time on my way to Caudill Cabin, I carefully place my left foot and then my right between rocks and wonder where the drought is now that I could use it. It’s a warm mid-summer day and I’m in one of the most remote areas I’ve been in.

Fall Spectacular: Fall Colors Delight Motorists on National Park Roads -- Part I, Eastern States

Many national park scenic drives offer fall colors as a seasonal bonus. Here are some picks and tips for following the crowd or taking the road less traveled in the eastern states.

Fall Spectacular: Fall Colors From a National Park Lodge

You'd be hard-pressed to stay in a national park lodge in the fall without some spectacular vistas. Still, there are some places that seem slightly better situated to capture the display of foliage. Contributing writers David and Kay Scott share their thoughts on some of the best lodges to call home during the fall.

Watch For Hunters Passing Through National Parks This Fall

National park visitors hoping to spot wildlife in the parks this fall might encounter a disturbing sight: hunters toting their kills through the parks.

Rebuilding Stone Guardrails Will Cause Traffic Problems in Blue Ridge Parkway

Part of the beauty of traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway is man-made -- the gorgeous stone guardrails along some of the bends in the 469-mile parkway. Unfortunately, needed work on some of those guardrails will cause some traffic problems in the months ahead.
Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway: The Ultimate Travel Guide To America It's more than appropriate that this year, the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway, that when you visit the parkway you get out and take a hike. And Randy Johnson is ready to tell you where to go.

Blue Ridge Parkway Has a Poet Laureate

If you believe nature is poetry in motion, than you can understand why the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has named a poet laureate for the parkway.

Trails I've Hiked: Far Below And Long Ago—Basin Creek Trail to Caudill Cabin in Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Video thumbnail view of Doughton Park
Countless Blue Ridge Parkway motorists peek over Wildcat Rocks to see tiny Caudill Cabin 1,500 feet below in North Carolina’s Doughton Park. Take this hike to the cabin and explore a quintessential setting of Appalachian isolation.

Your Own Eastern National Park Road Trip

Several years ago we wrote “The Best National Park Trip,” an article that described the wonders of visiting Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon during a tour of the West. This is indeed a great trip that can be extended with visits to Lake Powell, Cedar Breaks, and other nearby units administered by the National Park Service.

Mountains-to-Sea Trail Weaves Through North Carolina's National Parks

Every state wants to have a long-distance hiking trail to show off the best of its natural features. The Long Trail in Vermont that meanders from the Massachusetts border to Canada is the oldest, having been created in 1910. Farther south, the Mountains-to Sea Trail runs from Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Atlantic.

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway: Peaks of Otter Lodge Really Has An Otter

Friday's weather was much improved with mostly sunny skies on the drive from Rocky Knob Cabins to Peaks of Otter Lodge, a distance of about 90 miles. Before heading north, we stopped for breakfast at Mabry Mill, where Kay went through a combination pancake platter consisting of one sweet potato pancake, one buckwheat pancake, and one corn meal pancake, before waddling back to the car. I demonstrated restraint by consuming two biscuits topped with black cherry preserves.

America's Smallest National Park Lodge

Wednesday entailed a short drive of 75 miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway on a day of clouds, mist, and fog. Even in this weather the parkway is an enjoyable drive, especially compared to interstates with speeding vehicles and pesky 18-wheelers.

Bluffs Lodge and the Best Coffee Shop in a National Park

As our lodging experts, David and Kay Scott, continue on their 2010 odyssey across the National Park System, they get to sample some of the best lodging, food, and coffee there is to be had. This dispatch came from the Bluffs Lodge along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Road Work Forces Our Intrepid Travelers To Detour Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Roadwork along the Blue Ridge Parkway forced our intrepid travelers to detour off the parkway, but the sidetrip proved worthwhile.

On The Road Through The National Park System

We are beginning the ultimate 2010 road trip: North along the 469-mile length of the Blue Ridge Parkway followed by 105-mile-long Skyline Drive that winds through Shenandoah National Park. Then west to St. Joseph, Missouri, to follow the Oregon Trail to Oregon City, Oregon, before returning via the route followed by Lewis & Clark along the Columbia and Missouri rivers.

Ask A Ranger. Violence Is Nothing New To The Blue Ridge Parkway.

Wayward bears addicted to Kentucky Fried Chicken are the least of a park ranger’s worries. Just ask Bruce Bytnar, who worked at the Blue Ridge Parkway for 27 years before he retired in 2008. In his book, A Park Ranger’s Life: Thirty-Two Years of Protecting Our National Parks, Bytnar tells the real story behind what it is like to patrol a 469-mile long park through some of the best scenery the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina have to offer.

The Numbers Behind National Park Visitation

What's in a number? When it reflects visitation to national parks, it's not always as obvious as it might seem.
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Symposium Marking Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th Anniversary Coming Up

Seventy-five years is a pretty good show of longevity, and shouldn't be treated lightly. It certainly isn't being overlooked at the Blue Ridge Parkway, where two symposiums are scheduled to celebrate the beautiful ribbon of highway that runs through the Appalachian Mountains.

Free Entrance to All NPS Sites during National Park Week, April 17-25

NPS entrance station.
If you're planning a spring trip to a National Park Service site, you may be able to save a little money if you schedule your visit between April 17 and 25, 2010. Free admission to all 392 NPS sites is being offered during National Park Week

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park: A Jewel Along The Blue Ridge Parkway

Much of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina currently is closed due to ice, snow, and at least one rock slide. But visitors can still access some parks along the Parkway.
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