ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Blue Ridge Parkway - America's Favorite Drive

Updated on September 14, 2007

Drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway are intended to be relaxing and conducted at a slow pace. The road is primarily thought of as a scenic byway, but it is also a trek through Appalachian mountain history. Visitors can get a feeling for the history of Appalachian culture through the visitor center exhibits, historic structures, and overlook signs. The Parkway, which meanders for 469 miles, connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC with the Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro, VA.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is both a National Parkway and an All-American Road. It is the longest and narrowest National Park in the world and is visited more than any other part of the United States National Park System. Land along the highway is maintained by the National Park Service. Many areas are protected by the United States Forest Service.

Originally called the "Appalachian Scenic Highway," construction began during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Work began in September 1935 near Cumberland Knob, NC. Construction on the Virginia portion was started the following February. In June of 1936, the projected was authorized by Congress as the "Blue Ridge Parkway," and became part of the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

Some of the road construction was done by the Works Progress Administration, and various agencies associated with the New Deal were responsible for part of the work. Landscaping and the development of recreation areas were carried out by the Emergency Relief Administration. Civilian Conservation Corps personnel assisted with grading, the improvement of adjacent land, planting, and roadside cleanup. Construction took over 52 years to complete. In 1987, the last stretch around Grandfather Mountain was accomplished with the completion of the Linn Cove Viaduct. The parkway includes 27 tunnels, 168 bridges, and 6 viaducts.

The Blue Ridge comes alive with flowers from the early spring through the summer. The blooming of the Dogwoods, Azaleas, and Rhododendrons adds a special beauty to the already scenic route.

Four lodges and six restaurants are scattered along the Parkway. Most of these operate from late April through the fall color season. Many of the communities adjacent to the Parkway offer regional cuisine.

The weather conditions can vary tremendously on the Parkway depending on the elevation. The highest point on the parkway, south of Waynesville and near Mount Pisgah in North Carolina, is 6047 feet above sea level. Inclement weather sometimes forces the closure of particular sections due to fog, snow, or freezing rain.

Short side roads are used to connect the Parkway with larger highways. There are entrances and exits near all the major state and federal highways. However, no direct interchanges with interstate highways were created, making it possible to enjoy the scenery and wildlife without stopping for crossing traffic. Asheville (where the Parkway crosses part of the Biltmore Estate property), Boone, and Mount Airy in North Carolina and Roanoke, Galax, and Waynesboro in Virginia are the largest cities near the Parkway. In Virginia, Interstates 64, 81, and 77 all have directions for accessing the Parkway. In North Carolina, this is also true for Interstates 40 and 26, and U.S. Highway 52.

Milepost markers along the Parkway start at zero at the northeast end of the Virginia section and increment up to 469 at the southern end in North Carolina. The mileposts, which note points of interest and scenic overlooks, can be found on the west side of the road.

For some points of interest along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, click below:

Blue Ridge Parkway - North Carolina Points of Interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      righttolifemale 

      6 years ago

      This is a nice series of blogs, and very informative. Thanks for posting!

    • profile image

      Multiman 

      7 years ago

      Great Hub

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I LOVE this drive. Have not seen it for years.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)