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Doughton Park [MP 238.5 – 244.8]

The 7,000 acres of Doughton Park makes it the largest recreation area along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It features more than 30 miles of trails along rolling hills and streams as well as a campground with trailer sites, primitive camping and historical sites. The park is one of the best places on the Blue Ridge Parkway to view wildlife, including white-tailed deer, raccoons, red and gray foxes and bobcats. Flame azalea and rhododendron bloom in the late spring. As an added bonus, Monarch butterflies pass through here by the thousands along their annual migration to Mexico.

It includes the picturesque Brinegar Cabin (circa 1885) and the Caudill Family Homestead (circa 1895), a dramatic exhibit of isolated mountain life. The cabin was the home of Martin Brinegar and his family. Brinegar was a cobbler as well as a farmer. Regarding the Caudill Family Homestead, the sign at the Wildcat Lookout reads: “In the hollow below is the log cabin home of two hardy pioneers, Martin Caudill and his wife, Janie. Martin’s Father, Harrison Caudill, also lived in the Basin Creek Cove about a mile down the creek from this cabin. Martin raised a family of 14 children. Harrison was the father of 22. Martin’s clearing, still traceable, provided corn, potatoes and other needs for the table. The way to Absher, the nearest settlement, is 8 miles, half by foot trail, half by Absher Road.”
Once known as the Bluffs, Doughton Park was renamed in 1961 in honor of Robert Lee Doughton, also known as “Farmer Bob”, a staunch Parkway supporter and advocate as well as a longtime U.S. congressman.
Points of Interest
  • Brinegar Cabin [MP 238.5]
  • Caudill Family Homestead [MP 240.6]
  • Northwest Trading Post [MP 258]
Interpretive and Educational
  • During the summer months – Ranger led nature walks and talks are given. Hand-loom weaving and other craft demonstrations are also often given at Brinegar Cabin.

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