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NOTABLE SITES

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The open road beckons…

open-road-parkway

and sometimes the best part is not knowing what’s around the next bend.

When you do want to know what’s next, we’ve put together information on some of the best and most visited destinations for you by milepost number. For those of you unfamiliar with the Blue Ridge Parkway milepost numbering system, the mileposts are used to identify locations along the Parkway. They begin at the north end of the Parkway in Virginia with Milepost 0 and end in North Carolina with Milepost 469. For expediency, you’ll find that we use the acronym “MP” for Milepost frequently… saves typing.

Our interactive map is linked to these same resources so if you hop over there, you can search specific sections of the Parkway for whatever you’re interested in – like hiking trails or campgrounds.

Whatever method works for you, FRIENDS has you covered with lots of great information on America’s Favorite Drive.

Milepost(s) Destination Highlights
0 Shenandoah National Park At the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway lies Shenandoah National Park, 200,000 acres of protected lands stretching 105 miles from Front Royal, Virginia to the Waynesboro-Charlottesville area of North Carolina.
5 – 9.3 Humpback Rocks Humpback Rocks is an area rich in history, scenic beauty and abundant hiking trails. Today, visitors can tour a collection of nineteenth century farm buildings, hike and explore the region's history in the Visitor Center museum.
60.8 – 63.6 Otter Creek and the James River The area of lowest elevation along the Parkway runs through George Washington National Forest and is located where Otter Creek joins the James River.
83.1 – 86.2 Peaks of Otter A resort destination since the 1750’s, the Peaks of Otter is geographically defined as the area within the triangle created by Sharp Top Mountain, Flat Top Mountain and Harkening Hill.
111 – 121.4 Roanoke Mountain Roanoke, VA, the largest city along the Parkway is just four miles off it at Milepost 120. With many options for dining, lodging and entertainment this is a great place to stop over and enjoy a day (or two).
154.5 Smart View Smart View offers several hiking trails and picnic areas (with rest rooms and drinking water) coupled with excellent views of the Virginia Piedmont. Various trails meander through moist deciduous woodlands, hardwood forests and open fields.
167 – 176.2 Rocky Knob and Mabry Mill Rocky Knob, due in no small part to the rocky landscape that gives it its name is an extremely unique and beautiful area along the Parkway. Couple that with a restored mill / interpretive exhibits and you have a fascinating place to stop and stretch your legs.
189.9 Groundhog Mountain Here visitors can picnic, hike, climb an old National Park Service observation tower and tour a restored pioneer cabin standing as a monument to a woman who delivered more than a 1000 children in her 102 years.
213 Blue Ridge Music Center Part of The Crooked Road Music Trail, the Music Center offers a traditional music museum, visitor center and live music.
217.5 Cumberland Knob This is where the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1935.
238.5 – 244.8 Doughton Park Once referred to as “The Bluffs”, the 7,000 acres of Doughton Park is the largest recreation area along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
258.6 Northwest Trading Post For more than 50 years, this charming country store has featured “HAND MADE IN THE USA” timeless craftsmanship from more than 500 active artists from eleven counties in northwest North Carolina.
271.9 – 272.5 EB Jeffress Park This is a small park along the Parkway that offers great views, hiking trails and a gorgeous waterfall in addition to being home to the historic Jesse Brown Cabin, an African-American farmer and preacher, and his Cool Springs Baptist Church.
292 – 295 Moses Cone Memorial Park This 3,600 acre park features 25 miles of horse and carriage trails, hiking, fishing, lakes and Flat Top Manor which houses the visitor center and the Southern Highlands Craft Guild gallery and store.
295.1 – 298 Julian Price Memorial Park Comprising more than 4,300 acres including a small lake, Julian Price Memorial Park offers many activities – hiking, fishing, canoeing, camping, guided walks and evening campfire programs.
304.4 Linn Cove Viaduct The Viaduct is a 1,243-foot concrete segmental bridge which snakes around the slopes of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. It was completed in 1987 at a cost of $10 million and was the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be finished.
316.4 Linville Falls One of the most visited sites along the Parkway, Linville Falls was purchased for the Parkway by John D. Rockefeller and features dramatic overlooks of the Linville River.
331 Museum of North Carolina Minerals This museum showcases the importance of mining in western NC, as well as the more than 300 varieties of gems and minerals located in the area.
339.5 Crabtree Meadows and Falls Crabtree Falls is the main feature of this site, and it is one of the finest waterfalls in the state, never mind along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
355.4 Mt. Mitchell State Park This 1,946-acre Park offers picnic areas (one nice picnic shelter resembles an old log cabin), tent camping areas, trails, nature study, Natural History Museum, restaurant (May-October) and an observation tower.
363.4 – 396.6 Craggy Gardens Craggy Gardens is the nickname given to the Great Craggy Mountains by locals, known for their exposed mountain balds, twisted trees and native rhododendrons.
382 Folk Art Center The center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians. In addition to an Eastern National bookstore and Blue Ridge Parkway information desk, the center houses three galleries, a library and Allanstand Craft Shop.
384 Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center The Center houses a 70-seat theater, information and orientation services, and a retail shop offering books, apparel, CDs, DVDs, collectibles, souvenirs and children's items.
407.6 Mt. Pisgah Mt. Pisgah is part of Pisgah National Forest and offers camping, hiking and some of the most dramatic views of the Parkway.
451.2 Waterrock Knob Named after a natural spring that runs over the rocks on the summit, Watterock Knob is the highest peak in the Plott Balsams.
469 Great Smoky Mountains National Park At the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway you'll find the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, ridge upon ridge of forest straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. This area is known for the beauty of the mountains and the remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture you'll still find today.