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The Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks were each carefully considered and specifically designed…

as windows to a vista beyond or as access to a site that could not be seen from the roadway. Landscape plans at each of the overlooks created natural stone walls, walkways and view areas, removed or left trees, and added flowering shrubs to create both access to and a living frame for the views. What appears so natural now was the subject of intense scrutiny and careful planning during Parkway construction.

We’re giving you the overlooks as they are named and managed by the Park Service.

Jump to overlooks located at:
[MP 50]   –   [MP 100]   –   [MP 150]   –   [MP 200]   –   [MP 250]   –   [MP 300]   –   [MP 350]   –   [MP 400]   –   [MP 450]
or directly to:
North Carolina [MP 216.9]

Milepost Overlook Name Elevation (feet) Highlights
0.2 Afton OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_AFTON_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2054 overlook-aftonThe first overlook on the Parkway for those traveling south the Afton Parking Overlook gazes over the community of Afton. In 1818 Thomas Jefferson took this route on his way to approve the plans for the University of Virginia. Located in the scenic Shenandoah Valley this overlook is near the Natural Chimney Regional Park in Augusta County and Sherando Lake in Lyndhurst VA.
1.5 Rockfish Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROCKFISH_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2148 overlook-rockfish-valleyThe Rockfish Valley Parking Overlook sits above the Rockfish Valley where both the Rockfish River and James River run their course. In the early 1700s the Tuscarora Indians who later joined the Iroquois Confederation lived near these rivers. From here the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens the new Civil War Orientation Center and Harrisonburg attractions are easily accessible.
2.9 Shenandoah OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SHENANDOAH_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2354 overlook-shenandoah-valleyThe Shenandoah Valley historically referred to as the “bread-basket of the Confederacy” extends from Harpers Ferry West Virginia to Roanoke Virginia. The valley is believed to be named after the Iroquois chief Shendoahor a combination of Algonquin and Shawnee words meaning “spruce-lined stream.” A short drive from the Parkway the town of Shenandoah boasts with over 300 structures in its historic district and has been assigned a place in both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. One of its main historical attractions is its working railroad station.
5.8 Humpback Gap AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HUMPBACK_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2360 overlook-humpback-rocksWhen the first Europeans began to settle the Appalachian region self-sufficient farms using native materials were popular in the Humpback Mountain area. Later on those traveling between Howardsville and the Shenandoah Valley in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries often camped at Humpback Gap. Visitors today can visit many of these 19th century farm buildings including cabins and various outbuildings. Nearby at Milepost 5.8 are the Humpback Rocks themselves.
8.8 Greenstone OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GREENSTONE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3000 overlook-greenstoneLocated on top of an outcrop of Catoctin greenstone – a rock formed by ancient lava that covered the surface of vast areas of Northern Virginia and Maryland – the Greenstone Overlook provides examples of the most common rock type found in the first 19 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some possible destinations from here are Big Levels the village of Stewart’s Draft and a self-guiding trail that circles the overlook enters the forest and provides an ample look at the geology of the area.
9.6 Dripping Rock WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_DRIPPING_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2940 overlook-dripping-rockUnlike many of the overlooks found on the Blue Ridge Parkway this overlook does not look out into the valley below. Instead the overlook is located in a wooded setting where a visitor can find at least a dozen types of ferns growing. An access point to the Appalachian Trail can be found here as well.
10.4 Rock Point OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROCK_POINT_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3115 overlook-rock-pointSurrounded by Chestnut Oaks this overlook presents a broad view of the Torrey Ridge and Back Creek Valley. Like in many parts of this region Catoctin greenstone is fairly common here and can be seen just below the overlook.
10.7 Raven's Roost OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RAVENS_ROOST_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3200 overlook-ravens-roostThe overlook’s broad rock ledge provides an ideal roosting location for Ravens and Eastern Black Vultures are frequently seen at this site. The rock ledge is also a popular destination for rock climbers and hang gliders (a permit is required for hang gliding). The overlook gives the visitor a panoramic view of Torrey Ridge and the Shenandoah Valley. Also at the foot of the ridge are the remains of the Torrey iron furnace which was in use until the late 19th century.
11.7 Hickory Spring WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HICKORY_SPRING_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2940 overlook-hickory-springThis small parking area contains Pignut and Shagbark species of Hickory. The Hickory trees whose leaves turn bright yellow in autumn provided settlers with hardwood for tools and gave a unique flavor to smoked meat. Torrey Ridge can be seen from across the road.
13.1 Three Ridges OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THREE_RIDGES_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2800 overlook-three-ridgesThree Ridges Mountain and its peak of 3900 feet is actually located three miles south of the overlook. Named by visitors looking from the opposite direction the overlook unfortunately does not fit its name. Trees obstruct the view of the mountain but it does provide plenty of shade for a rest or picnic stop.
17.6 The Priest OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_PRIEST_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2690 overlook-the-priestFrom this overlook follow the 0.1-mile Priest Overlook Trail to a bench with a view of the Religious Range where The Priest Mountain is the highest. Along with The Priest the other peaks include The Friar The Cardinal The Bald Friar and Little Priest. The Priest Mountain was named after the de Priest family who were one of the first settlers in the area.
18.5 White Rock Trail AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WHITE_ROCK_TRAIL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] overlook-white-rock-trailOn the opposite side of the unmarked dirt parking area you will find the trailhead for the White Rock Falls Trail. The falls are 1.6 miles from the parking area. Beyond the falls another 0.9 miles will get you to the trailhead on the east side of the Parkway just north of Slacks Overlook (Milepost 19.9).
19 20 Minute Cliff OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_20_MIN_CLIFF_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2715 overlook-20-min-cliffThe citizens of White Rock in the valley below gave this landmark its name because during the months of corn-chopping season. At this time of year they were able to determine when they had 20 minutes until sunset by watching where the sunlight hit the rock.
19.9 The Slacks OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_SLACKS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2800 overlook-the-slacksThe forest near the overlook was harvested for lumber between 1916 to 1939. The two visible ridges of timber were called Big Slash and Little Slash. Eventually locals began to refer to both swathes of timber as The Slacks. Just north of the parking area is the White Rock Falls Trail which leads to a waterfall (0.9 miles) White Rock Gap (2.5 miles) and Sherando Campground (4.5 miles) in the George Washington National Forest.
22.1 Bald Mountain WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BALD_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3252 overlook-bald-mtn“Balds” along the Blue Ridge Parkway refer to those mountaintops that have treeless patches covering all or part of them. Bald Mountain however isn’t like many of the southern “balds” found along the Parkway’s North Carolina section. Here the mountain's rocky soil did not allow for trees to grow initially but time and weathering have provided Bald Mountain with more trees than when it was first referred to as a “bald.”
23 Fork Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FORK_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3294 overlook-fork-mtnFound between the north and south forks of the Tye River Fork Mountain introduces the Tye River to the Religious Ridges and the valley beyond.
26.4 Big Spy Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BIG_SPY_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3200 overlook-big-spy-mtnFrom the parking area take the trail that leads to a pasture known as the War Fields which got its name from the arrowheads found in the topsoil. To the right of the parking area the visitor can see Big Spy’s rocky dome. Big Spy along with nearby Little Spy served as lookout posts for Union sympathizers during the Civil War.
31.4 Stillhouse Hollow WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_STILLHOUSE_HOLLOW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3000 overlook-stillhouse-hollowBefore the 18th Amendment many legal “stills” or small distilleries operated throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. At one point a small stillhouse was located near the spring near this overlook. The apple distillery was a tax-paying institution that made legal liquor before the Amendment of 1919.
34.4 Yankee Horse Ridge AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_YANKEE_HORSE_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3140 overlook-yankee-horse-ridgeThis site receives its name from a Civil War story that tells of a hard-riding Union man’s horse that fell and had to be shot. Today visitors can see the rail bed and the reconstructed tracks of a 200-foot section of the Irish Creek Railway. Built in the early 20th century by the South River Lumber Company the narrow-gauge rail was used to gain access to swathes of trees that were considered untouched until the turn of the 20th century. The tracks carried more than 100 million board feet of lumber to the mill. The 0.2-mile Yankee Horse Trail also leads to the 30-foot Wigwam Falls which was named from Wigwam Mountain where the locals maintain that an American Indian camp was once located.
38.8 Boston Knob AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BOSTON_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2523 overlook-boston-knobThe 0.1-mile Boston Knob Loop trail goes around a hill that stands above Nettle Creek. Along the trail are log benches picnic tables and dogwood trees and wild azaleas that bloom in the spring.
42.2 Irish Creek Valley WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_IRISH_CREEK_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2660 overlook-irish-creek-valleyThe name of this overlook reflects the many Irish settlers that immigrated to the area in the mid-1700s. The Irish contributed to the construction of the James River and Kanawha Canal (Milepost 63.6). The awe-inspiring view from this overlook provides visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway a portrait of northern Virginia’s rolling mountains and scenic countryside.
44.4 White's Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WHITES_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3567 overlook-irish-creek-valleyWhite's Gap is the crossing point for the old Jordan toll road and lies directly north of the overlook. This road was formerly the most important way across the Blue Ridge in this area. Jordan Road was a stagecoach and toll road surveyed by Samuel Francis Jordan in 1835 and built within a few years after. During the Civil War the road was used on June 12 1864 when Union General Hunter ordered "twenty f your best men well-mounted" from Lexington to locate his two thousand cavalry who had crossed east at the Tye River. It was maintained by the Civilian Conservation Corpo (CCC) before 1942 when they were working on the Blue Ridge Parkway but subsequently fell in to disrepair. The local portion of the Jordan toll road has been preserved as part of the George Washington National Forest Road System due to its importance as a stage route south of Rockfish Gap.
44.9 Chimney Rock Mountain WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CHIMNEY_ROCK_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2485 overlook-chimney-rockThe view from this overlook is magnificent in all seasons but particularly in the Fall you'll find it the perfect place to see an expanse of vibrant color.
45.7 Buena Vista OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BUENA_VISTA_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2325 overlook-buena-vistaThis overlook's name means 'beautiful view' in Spanish and it does not disappoint. Everywhere you look there are extraordinary mountains rising from below. The valley beyond the mountains extends as far as the eyes can see. Below you'll catch a glimpse of the town of Buena Vista.
47.5 Indian Gap AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_INDIAN_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2098 overlook-indian-gapThe origin of the name “Indian Gap” is unknown. This is not a view overlook but a nice shaded stop with an easy hiking trail leading off it. The 0.2-mile Indian Gap Trail leads to a group of large-scale boulders.
49.3 House Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HOUSE_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2498 overlook-house-mtnIn the distance are both Little House and Big House Mountains but from this overlook the far view of the mountains merges both into a single profile.
51.4 Punch Bowl Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PUNCH_BOWL_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2498 overlook-punch-bowl-mtnThere is parking for 6-8 cars on the east side of the road at the overlook and it is used as a jump off point for the Appalachian Trail (AT). The southbound AT goes west from the north side of the overlook to Punchbowl and Bluff Mountains. It is an 1100 foot climb from the Parkway over Punchbowl Mountain to the summit of Bluff Mountain.
52.8 Bluff Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BLUFF_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1820 overlook-bluff-mtnA magnificent view of mountain ranges in the distance is available at this overlook. The most immediate range includes Bluff Mountain rising at Otter Creek. For a while a fire tower looked over Jefferson National Forest from the top of Bluff Mountain. Many also claim that the ghost of Ottie Cline Powell haunts the summit of the mountain. Legend has it that in 1890 when Ottie was fours years old he went into the woods to gather firewood for his schoolhouse but never returned. His body was found five months later at the summit of Bluff Mountain.
53.6 Rice Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RICE_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1820 overlook-rice-mtnStop by this overlook to take in a spectacular view of Rice Mountain. There is a picnic table and ample space to relax and admire the scenery.
55.1 White Oak Flats OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WHITE_OAK_FLATS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1460 overlook-white-oak-flatsFrom this overlook you can follow the 0.1-mile White Oak Flats Trail that runs along Dancing Creek and is dominated by white oak. The white oak thrives in moist areas but can easily adapt to a variety of habitats.
55.9 Dancing Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_DANCING_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1460 overlook-dancing-creekThis is a perfect place for a picnic while enjoying the sunlight dancing on the creek.
57.6 Upper Otter Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_UPPER_OTTER_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1085 overlook-upper-otter-creekCome here to relax and get away from it all. Naturalists claim to have spotted water moccasins but it is usually the northern water snake that visitors encounter. The northern water snake is a dark-colored nonvenomous snake that will bite if cornered.
58.2 Otter Creek Flats OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_OTTER_CREEK_FLATS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1085 overlook-otter-creek-flatsThe flats refer to the shallow banked areas where sudden heavy rains usually cause flooding. The unique design of this overlook gives the viewer a sensational two-bay perspective of the surroundings.
59.7 Otter Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_OTTER_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 885 overlook-otter-creekMany overlooks follow Otter Creek through the Blue Ridge giving the visitor several opportunities to experience and appreciate its beauty. Otter Creek runs 10 miles through the Blue Ridge and empties into the James River. In recent years there have been several unconfirmed sightings of mountain lions in the Otter Creek area. Mountain lions were believed to have disappeared from the area in the 19th century.
60.4 The Riffles OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_RIFFLES_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 822 overlook-the-rifflesThe 20-foot chutelike cascade on Otter Creek at the Riffles Overlook is a serene spot to enjoy the sounds of nature as the Otter Creek makes its way downstream.
61.4 Terrapin Hill OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_TERRAPIN_HILL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 780 overlook-terrapin-hillThis peaceful overlook offers access to the Otter Creek Trail which will lead you to Otter Lake. At Otter Lake and along Otter Creek Parkway visitors have access to 45 tent and 24 trailer sites rest rooms water and a campfire circle. There is also a gift shop and a restaurant at the parking area by the Parkway. Take advantage of Otter Lake anytime during the year especially for fishing in the summer.
62.5 Lower Otter Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LOWER_OTTER_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 680 overlook-lower-otter-creekA wooden bridge connects this overlook to the Otter Creek Trail. Once across Otter Creek the trail becomes an ideal hiking spot. The trail takes you through a setting of ironwood black walnut and sycamore trees; in April the area from here to the James River is one of the best places to spot the blooming pink flowers of redbud trees.
63.1 Otter Lake OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_OTTER_LAKE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 650 overlook-otter-lakeThere are two parking areas alongside the lake – one large area at the north end of the lake and one alongside the middle of the lake which parallels the Parkway. From both parking areas you can access the 0.8-mile Otter Lake Loop Trail that travels alongside the lake and crosses Otter Creek twice. In the summer expect to find people fishing for bream and trout.
63.6 James River OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_JAMES_RIVER_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 649 overlook-james-riverThis site is a fantastic scenic stop for anyone wishing to discover the beauty of the Blue Ridge region. Along with a visitor center – open May to October – there are large grassy areas beside the James River two trails and the James River Canal. Learn about the trees that grow in the region with the self-guided Trail of Trees.
69.1 James River Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_JAMES_RIVER_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1875 overlook-james-river-valleyThis overlook filled with very tall trees provides a great view of the James River Valley.
72.6 Terrapin Mountain WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_TERRAPIN_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2885 overlook-terrapin-mtnGet a magnificent view of Terrapin Mountain and the valley in the distance. Terrapin Mountain named because its outline resembles the shape of the box turtle is one of the many landmarks in the area.
74.7 Thunder Ridge AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_TERRAPIN_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3845 overlook-thunder-ridgeFrom here take the 0.1-mile Thunder Ridge Trail to a view of the Alleghenies Arnold Valley the towns of Glasgow and Natural Bridge and Purgatory Mountain. The outlines of the House Mountains are visible to the right. From this overlook the visitor can reach the scenic 2-mile (one way) Hunting Creek Trail which cuts back and forth through the mountain and tunnels of rhododendron. There is also access to the Appalachian Trail.
75.2 Arnold Valley North WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ARNOLD_VALLEY_N_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3700 overlook-arnold-valley-nNamed for Steve Arnold who settled in the area in 1749 the valley below is at the foot of the Alleghenies. Noticeable ridges include Devil’s Hopper and Snake Den.
75.3 Arnold Valley South WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ARNOLD_VALLEY_S_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3700 overlook-arnold-valley-sA second southbound widening provides additional parking for this overlook.
76.5 Apple Orchard WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_APPLE_ORCHARD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3950 overlook-apple-orchardThe highest Blue Ridge Parkway elevation in Virginia provides a breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge region. Winter’s wind ice and snow have given Apple Orchard Mountain the appearance of a deserted orchard; the northern red oaks on the mountain have been pruned by the conditions. A golf ball-shaped tower visible from the Parkway is radar used by the FAA for air-traffic control. The U.S. Air Force stationed 120 people from the 1950s to the 1970s at this location.
78.4 Sunset Field OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SUNSET_FIELD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3472 overlook-sunset-fieldIn the past Sunset Field provided boys at the summer resort of Camp Kee-wan-zee with a place to take advantage of the sun. Besides offering fantastic views of Virginia’s Great Valley this overlook has access to the 1.2-mile Apple Orchard Falls Trail (difficult) and the Appalachian Trail. Come enjoy the spring season’s wildflowers with may-apple blooming in late March trillium and bloodroot in April wild geranium and azalea in May and mountain laurel and rhododendron from late May through June.
79.7 Onion Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ONION_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3195 overlook-onion-mtnNamed for its large patches of wild onions Onion Mountain is also a fantastic place to visit in early June when mountain laurel and rhododendron are in full bloom. Take the short Onion Mountain Loop Trail from Onion Mountain Overlook to see large formations of lichen-covered boulders.
79.9 Black Rock Hill WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BLACK_ROCK_HILL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3195 overlook-black-rock-hillIf not obscured by summer plant growth catch a glimpse of the Black Rock. The stone comprising it is similar to granite but commonly known as diorite. The feldspar-rich quartz-poor rock gets its black color from the mineral hornblende. It forms the majority of the Blue Ridge between the James River and the Peaks of Otter. The Black Rock is just right of center. You can also see a swamp-like area known as the “Mash” from the overlook.
81.9 Headforemost WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HEADFOREMOST_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2860 overlook-headforemostEnjoy a framed view of Flat Top and Headforemost Mountains. Headforemost was named this way because the other side of the mountain falls sharply or “headforemost” to the valley below. This overlook let’s the visitors appreciate why Flat Top Mountain was once known as Round Top. There is also an exhibit about the tulip poplar tree.
83.1 Falling Cascades AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FALLING_CASCADES_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2557 overlook-falling-cascadesTake the 1.6-mile Falling Water – Flat Top National Recreation Trail (moderately difficult) to the beautiful Fallingwater Cascades. On the way enjoy the rhododendron and the connector trail (0.8 miles) to the Flat Top Trailhead and parking area.
83.5 Flat Top Mountain Trail AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FLAT_TOP_MTN_TRAIL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2610 overlook-flat-top-mtnFollow the 4.4-mile Flat Top Trail across Flat Top Mountain (elevation 4001 feet) to Peaks of Otter picnic area. Flat Top is one of the three mountains that make up the Peaks of Otter and from some angles it’s obvious why it was once called Round Top. The Flat Top Trail is a difficult hiking trail.
89.4 Upper Goose Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_UPPER_GOOSE_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1925 Goose Creek Valley was once a large marsh visited by migrating geese and ducks. Early settlers of the area were the Iroquois. When Quakers arrived the Iroquois forced them out but the Quakers returned in 1758 and stayed. Enjoy the magnificent yellow poplars and dogwoods that inhabit this area.
90 Porter's Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PORTERS_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2100 overlook-porters-mtnBeyond the oak-chestnut forest in front of you the Goose Valley lies before Porter’s Mountain. The oak-chestnut forest also known as a mixed hardwood forest is most commonly found along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This overlook provides an ample variety of oak trees including the northern red white scarlet black and chestnut oak. The American chestnut however is no longer found here. This forest tree was once one of the most important trees throughout its range but species was devastated by a fungal disease called chestnut blight. The rapidly growing deciduous hardwood was valued for it's nuts and straight-grained strong wood.
91.8 Mills Gap WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MILLS_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2435 overlook-mills-gapFrom this pull-off enjoy the long-range views that extend on both sides of the Parkway. Take a look at the James River flowing through the valley below from one of the picnic tables.
92.1 Purgatory Mountain WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MILLS_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2400 overlook-purgatory-mtnAt the base of Purgatory Mountain the “Carolina” road passed through the town of Buchanan serving as a path for stagecoaches and wagons. Because of its strenuous bends around the creek the drivers referred to the difficult trip down the “Carolina” as “going through purgatory”. The creek thus became Purgatory Creek and later the mountain rising over 3000 feet was named Purgatory Mountain.
92.5 Sharp Top VistaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SHARP_TOP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3875 overlook-sharp-topThis overlook grants the visitor a great view of Sharp Top Mountain one of the three mountains of the Peaks of Otter. Sharp Top (3875 feet) is on the right Harkening Hill (3372 feet) in the middle and Flat Top (4001 feet) on the left. The Appalachian Trail is also accessible from the parking area.
93.1 Bobblet's Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BOBBLETS_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2150 overlook-bobblets-gapThe Bobblet family cemetery sits on a hill which the parking area encircles. Will Bobblet farmed land in the area but eventually moved down into the valley town of Buchanan in the early 20th century leaving behind seven of his family members buried in the cemetery.
95.2 Pine Tree OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PINE_TREE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2490 overlook-pine-treeNamed after the pine trees that have since disappeared due to lightning the Pine Tree Overlook provides a glorious view of Goose Creek Valley filled with farms and forests and the several mountain ranges rising from below.
95.3 Harvey's Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HARVEYS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2524 overlook-harveys-knobHarvey’s Knob is to the right and the Great Valley spreads out below. Robert Harvey led the way in local iron production in this area. Catch a glimpse of migratory birds as they make their way down to Central and South America. In September thousands of hawks migrate down the Blue Ridge and this is a great place to view them. During this time you might also be fortunate enough to see bald eagles which are becoming more widespread in this area.
95.9 Montvale OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MONTVALE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2441 overlook-montvaleThe community of Montvale is seen below. Montvale was once known as Bufordsville named after a man who gave land to the N&W Railway. You'll find the trailhead for Spec Mine Trail 200 feet south of this overlook off the right bank of the overlook look for a sign marking the access route.
96.2 North Iron Mine Hollow WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_IRON_MINE_HOLLOW_N_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2372 overlook-iron-mine-hollowFind more long-range views of the valley below at this overlook. Many low-grade iron ore was mined in this area during the Civil War and through the early 1900s. The mines began to shut down in 1892 when richer and more accessible iron ore was found in Minnesota. Within the first half mile of the Spec Mine Trail look out for some old mine entrances.
96.4 South Iron Mine Hollow WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_IRON_MINE_HOLLOW_S_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2372 overlook-iron-mine-hollow2A nearby widening provides additional parking for the Great Valley views available in this area.
97 Taylor Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_TAYLOR_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2340 overlook-taylors-mtnThis overlook offers a long-range view of the valley below and the mountain ranges that spring up from it. The big mountain straight ahead is Porter’s Mountain Taylor’s Mountain is to the left off the mountain wall that forms one side of Goose Creek Valley.
99.6 The Great Valley Parking OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_GREAT_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2493 overlook-the-great-valleyThis overlook includes sign that interprets the magnificent Great Valley. With its rolling hills that stretch over the land the Great Valley has served as a trade route for Native Americans European settlers and today’s communities. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs alongside the Great Valley for a hundred miles south of Rockfish Gap. The Alleghenies to the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east border the Valley.
100.9 The Quarry OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_QUARRY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2170 overlook-quarryA quarry operated by Blue Ridge Stone Corporation where dolomite is mined is visible from the overlook. The quarry began mining dolomite in 1916 and has maintained an annual output of 6 to 7 million tons since. Dolomite is used for making concrete and building blocks and for surfacing roads.
106.9 N & W Railroad OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_NnW_RAILROAD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1151 overlook-nw-railroadIn 1852 the first railroad tracks were laid in this region of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Throughout the age of the locomotive Norfolk and Western now Norfolk Southern transported coal from the mines of West Virginia to the ports of Hampton Roads Virginia. The significance of this railroad to the development of the region is recognized annually at the Railway Festival which takes place during Columbus Day weekend (middle of October). Stop by the remodeled historic N & W Railway freight station housing the Virginia Museum of Transportation in downtown Roanoke to interpret railroad artifacts photos and locomotives. The Museum is home to the largest collection of diesel and steam locomotives in the United States including the Class J No. 611 steam engine with over 40 pieces of rolling stock in the Museum yard. Also on display are antique carriages cars trucks buses and trolleys and more. Breathtaking images of the end of the steam era are on display at the O. Winston Link Museum located in the former N & W Railway passenger station which is also home to the Roanoke Valley Visitor Information Center.
107 Coyner Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_COYNER_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1150 overlook-coyner-mtnPlants flowers and trees surround this overlook. Enjoy the variety of flora available at this site throughout the year. Despite the abundance of trees Coyner Mountain is still visible leaping up from the lowlands.
109.8 Read Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_READ_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1150 overlook-read-mtnThe mountain ahead is named for David Read who arrived from Henrico County around 1840 and farmed this area through most of the mid-1800s. The mountain’s profile is clearly visible from this point.
110.6 Stewart's Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_STEWARTS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1365 overlook-stewarts-knobFollow the 0.1-mile Stewarts Knob Trail (easy) to a bench where you can sit and enjoy a view of downtown Roanoke. Stewarts Knob is the first peak you will encounter south of the Roanoke Valley. From this overlook extend your hike by taking the Roanoke Valley Horse Trail which runs alongside the Parkway from Milepost 110.6 to 121.4.
112.9 Roanoke Basin OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROANOKE_BASIN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1000 overlook-roanoke-basinBuffalo and Native Americans utilized the trails in the basin and valley and later European settlers built homes along these paths and started trading with travelers passing through the area. The Roanoke Valley Birding Club constructs and maintains bluebird houses in this area of the Parkway as a way to help the native bluebird compete with house sparrows.
114.9 Roanoke River AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROANOKE_RIVER_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 985 overlook-roanoke-riverFrom this overlook follow the path down to a balcony view of the river. The Roanoke River flows into Smith Mountain lake and it offers good striped and white bass fishing from this point to the lake especially in the spring and fall. Visitors can also enjoy good trout fishing upstream.
115 Explore Park Road 3 OverlooksAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_EXPLORE_PARK_3_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] overlook-explore-parkNow a Roanoke county park and located close in to the city on the Blue Ridge Parkway Explore Park features hundreds of acres of rolling hills pristine woodlands hiking trails river frontage historical buildings and a visitor information center. Whether you’re looking to bike hike canoe or picnic this is a wonderful destination. There are three overlooks in the Park.
120.3 Roanoke Mountain Loop 5 OverlooksAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROANOKE_MTN_7_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2193 overlook-roanoke-mtnThere are seven overlooks on this four-mile loop road and those near the summit of Roanoke Mountain offer views of Roanoke Valley Mill Mountain and the city of Roanoke. Hang gliding is allowed by permit only when the wind is right you'll see hang gliders gather near the top of Roanoke Mountain.
120.5 Gum Spring OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GUM_SPRING_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1445 overlook-gum-springThere are good wintertime views of the small community of Gum Springs from this overlook. Follow the Mill Mountain Spur Road to visit the Mill Mountain Zoo (a zoo and wildflower garden) and the Roanoke Star. The Roanoke Star is the world's largest man-made star: tower height 100 feet; star height 88.5 feet; weight 10 000 pounds. The illuminated star can be seen from 60 miles away. You can continue ahead to follow the J.B. Fishburn Parkway down Mill Mountain to the city of Roanoke (2 miles).
120.5 Chestnut Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CHESTNUT_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1465 overlook-chestnut-ridgeAt this overlook you will find a map of Chestnut Ridge Trail (5.4-mile loop moderate). The trail which covers a particularly rewarding section of the Roanoke Valley Horse Trail loops around the Roanoke Mountain day use area. Side trails lead to the campground allowing for hikes of various lengths. Several sites of old iron mines are located near the campground. Local musicians perform traditional and bluegrass music Sunday evenings from June through October in the day use area.
123.2 Buck Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BUCK_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1465 overlook-buck-mtnBuck Mountain Trail (0.5-mile loop moderate) leads to a bench on the top of the mountain that offers views of the mountains surrounding southern Roanoke Valley. The overlook itself is surrounded by trees that limit the views around you. For a better view enjoy the trail.
126.6 Masons Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MASONS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1425 overlook-masons-knobJohn Mason lived near the knob at the time of the French and Indian War in the mid-1700s. From the overlook Mason's Knob rises above the surrouding landscape. Because of this during the French and Indian War his dwelling was used as a stockade.
128.7 Metz Run OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_METZ_RUN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1875 overlook-metz-runThis overlook was named for the cascade on Metz Run which is located in a small valley across the road and 100 feet south. To the left you will see a bridge connecting the overlook to the mountainside.
129.3 Poages Mill OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_POAGES_MILL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2032 overlook-poages-millElijah Poage operated a gristmill and sawmill here in the mid to late 1800s. He was a cabinetmaker undertaker mill owner and a justice of the peace. The mill shut down Shortly after his death. From this overlook you can see the Roanoke Valley and Back Creek which is one of the headwaters for the Roanoke River.
129.6 Roanoke Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROANOKE_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2100 overlook-roanoke-valleyAt this overlook visitors will find one of the best views of the development in the Roanoke Valley. Drive up to this overlook at night to see the lights in the valley below. A sign details the railroad heritage of Roanoke and the city's historic market.
129.9 Lost Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LOST_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2200 overlook-lost-mtnThe mountain is still there but the origin of its name has been lost to time. There is an outstanding panoramic view of the area at this overlook.
132.9 Slings Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SLINGS_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2860 overlook-slings-gapThe name "Slings Gap" originates with a Mr. Schilling who lived in the area. Over time the pronunciation of Schilling evolved into Sling. Sling Gap is a passageway to the Blue Ridge Plateau where pastures and fields of crops abound.
133.6 Bull Run Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BULL_RUN_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2890 overlook-bull-run-knobThe ridgeline at this overlook resembles a bull. During the French and Indian War in 1756 Native Americans heard that a colonel would be traveling through the area inspecting the forts. The Native Americans prepared an ambush but the colonel who turned out to be Colonel George Washington managed to pass through unharmed.
134.9 Poor Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_POOR_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2975 overlook-poor-mtnThe mountain is not named for folks living in poverty but for an officer Major Poore who was involved in the French and Indian War and served under Andrew Lewis. Poor Mountain is the high point on the left horizon.
139 Cahas Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CAHAS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3013 overlook-cahas-knobThe Parkway's next 215 miles south closely follow the eastern Continental Divide with almost all of the streams on the east side of the Parkway flowing eventually into the Atlantic Ocean and almost all those on the west leading to the Gulf of Mexico. To the north the Divide viers to the west into the Allegheny Mountains and streams flow across the Blue Ridge towards the Atlantic.
143.9 Devils Backbone OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_DEVILS_BACKBONE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2708 overlook-devils-backboneThis overlook allows the visitor to gaze over the western Piedmont region of Virginia and Devils Backbone. Devils Backbone is a steep point rising to the right of the overlook and Pine Spur. To the left are Cahas Knob and Grassy Hill straight ahead is Blackwater Valley.
144.8 Pine Spur OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PINE_SPUR_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2703 overlook-pine-spurThis overlook provides a view of western Piedmont and access to a picnic table.
154.1 Smart View OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SMART_VIEW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2564 overlook-smart-viewThis overlook gets its name from the Smart View Virginia post office that once stood where Smart View Park is now (off Milepost 154.5). This post office served the area prior to the United States postal service home delivery service. A wide view of Virginia's Piedmont region is available at this overlook where the visitor can see the valleys below (including Pigg River Valley) and the distant ranges of lowland hills.. You'll find dogwood along with locust maple oak cedar and pine flourishing here. From the nearby Smart View Park visitors can take the 3 mile Smart View Loop Trail which meadows with a deep stream drainage a visit to a 1890 cabin and a pleasant walk through scenic forests. The main loop (on map below) is a three mile hike. You can create shorter hikes of 2.1 or 1.6 miles by utilizing a connector trail.
157.6 Shortt's Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SHORTTS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2806 overlook-shortts-knobThe family name Shortt whether one or two “t”s is easily recognizable in Floyd County. The Shortt family has been in this country since the early 1600s coming from Europe to settle as farmers and plantation owners in Surry County and later Chesterfield County Virginia. The Shortts local to the area around Shortt's Knob have a common ancestor in Reuben Shortt who inherited 500-600 acres of plantation land nearby the James River. Though the family had been raised as sons of the Anglican Church of England sometime around 1790 there was a conversion to the Baptist Society. A gift of land was made to the Society and it is suspected that a change in philosophy inspired a moving to the area in 1804. Reuben freed his slaves and purchased a large amount of acreage at the crest of the Blue Ridge – for 220 pounds – and moved his family to an area near Shortt’s Knob Overlook. [1] Amos B. Shortt also lived in the area near the Knob and trapped animals for their pelts. When checking his trapping line Amos carried a bag a cane and a .22 revolver which was used only when necessary because it could damage the pelt of an animal.
162.4 Rakes Mill Pond OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RAKES_MILL_POND_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2477 overlook-rakes-mill-pondAn interpretive sign at this overlook tells the story of the mill and its owner Jarmon Rakes. Jarmon Rakes built the dam in the early 1800s and is remembered for his unique arrangement of allowing only customers to fish for brook trout in his pond. There was no extra charge to try your luck at fishing while waiting for your grist.
168 Saddle OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SADDLE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3381 overlook-saddleIf you're a hawk spotter Saddle Overlook is a popular destination for hawks in the Fall. The Rock Castle Gorge Trail also passes by this parking area. The Saddle is a ridge that connects two high points on Rocky Knob Mountain and forms a portion of the Blue Ridge crest line offering extensive views of the Blue Ridge. You'll find an old Appalachian Trail shelter on the Rock Castle Trail0.3 miles from this overlook.
168.8 Rock Castle Gorge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROCK_CASTLE_GORGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3195 overlook-rock-castle-gorgeRock Castle Gorge lies below and borders Brammer Spur. Visitors will find access to the 10.8-mile Rock Castle Gorge Trail is available from this parking lot. Five miles of this trail that run alongside Rock Castle Creek used to be an old mountain road.
169.1 12 O'Clock Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_12OCLOCK_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3572 overlook-12oclock-knobTwelve O'clock Knob is a mountain located in southwestern Roanoke County Virginia directly south of Salem Virginia. According to local lore slaves in the western Roanoke Valley noted that the Sun was directly over the mountain roughly around noon local time. The north slope of the ridgeline formed by Poor Mountain Twelve O'clock Knob and adjacent peaks such as Sugarloaf Mountain mark the southwestern boundary of the Roanoke Valley. [2] Visitors have access to the Rock Castle Gorge Trail from this parking overlook.
179.3 Round Meadow OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROUND_MEADOW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2800 overlook-round-meadowThose looking for a moderate half-mile hike the Round Meadow Creek Loop Trail is accessible from this overlook. At Milepost 179.4 the Parkway passes over Round Meadow Creek which is 110 feet below the Round Meadow Viaduct.
189.1 Pilot Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PILOT_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2950 overlook-pilot-mtnThe outline of Pilot Mountain is carved from an outcrop of quartzite which can be seen 25 miles to the south across the North Carolina piedmont. To many the quartize sides of Pilot Mountain resembles an island or a fortress on top of the mountain.
189.9 Puckett Cabin OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PUCKETT_CABIN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2848 overlook-puckett-cabinLocated on Groundhog Mountain Puckett Cabin gives some of the history of Orelena Puckett. The cabin on display was actually owned by Orelena's sister-in-law Betty who lived there with her children after her husband died from wounds received during the Civil War. Beginning in 1874 John and Aunt Orelena Puckett lived in a one-room cabin where the current cabin's garden is located. People would come from miles away to have Orelena deliver their children. During her career as a midwife Orelena delivered more than 1 000 babies. With the help of only water soap and a bit of whiskey-flavored camphor Orelena was said to have never lost a child or mother due to any fault of her own. Orelena delivered her last child in 1939 at the age of 102. Ironically Orelena herself bore 24 children but not one made it past infancy. The longest survived of her children was just past two year of age.
202.8 Granite Quarry OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GRANITE_QUARRY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3015 overlook-granite-quarryThe small patch of barely visible white in the valley is the Mount Airy Granite Quarry. Beneath the ground lies a vast expanse of grayish-white granite. This quarry is the world's largest open-faced granite quarry. It covers around 90 acres is a mile long and has been in operation since 1889. Geological mapping shows the total mass to cover 7 x 4 miles 6 000 to 8 000 feet deep. It's said that granite will be harvested here for hundreds to thousands of years. Granite from this quarry was used to build the National WWII Memorial in Washington DC among other monuments and buildings and there's a church at the entrance to the quarry that was built with granite from it. The quarry can even be seen by astronauts from space. [3] At the overlook there is an exhibit explaining Mount Airy granite and includes a sample of the granite. Lucky visitors will be in the area when they're blasting. From this overlook there are good views of the North Carolina Piedmont including Pilot Mountain State Park and Hanging Rock State Park.
203.9 Piedmont OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PIEDMONT_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2900 overlook-piedmontThe view of the North Carolina Piedmont 1 900 feet below is excellent from this overlook.
218.6 Fox Hunter's Paradise OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FOX_HUNTERS_PARADISE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2805 overlook-fox-huntersThe crest of High Piney Spur seen from this overlook was well known by people in the area. Many men and sometimes their wives and children would come here for the fox hunt. Often they were not too concerned with actually catching the fox; they enjoyed the chase and listening to the sound of their dogs trailing the fox. When the sky is clear and the sun is bright a view of Winston-Salem North Carolina can be seen from the overlook. There are picnic tables and a short trail leading out from this overlook to get an even broader view of the countryside below.
230.1 Little Glade Mill Pond OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LITTLE_GLADE_MILL_POND_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2709 overlook-little-glade-mill-pondThe overlook was named for the turbine-type mill that was in operation at the pond in the early 1900s. The mill was powered by the steady flow of the Little Glade Creek. The scenery at this overlook is spectacular. There are picnic tables and an easy loop trail around the pond to enjoy. Visitors may see snapping turtles newts frogs and dragonflies along the pond edge.
232.5 Stone Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_STONE_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3115 overlook-stone-mtnThe oval-shaped mass of light-gray granite 500 to 600 feet in elevation called Stone Mountain is seen from this area. The mountain is part of the 13 378-acre Stone Mountain State Park which offers rock climbing hiking camping and fishing.
232.5 Bullhead Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BULLHEAD_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3115 overlook-bullhead-mtnThe crest Bullhead Mountain resembles a bull's head. The mountain is 3 784 feet in elevation.
235 Mahogany Rock OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MAHOGANY_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3436 overlook-mahogany-rockVisible at this overlook are the common fin-shaped rock outcrops found throughout the Blue Ridge plateau. Mahogany Rocks gets its name from the mahogany tree that grew on top of the rock outcrop that lies across the road from the overlook. This is an excellent hawk-watching spot in September and October – broad-winged sharp-shinned and red-tailed hawks all fly over this pass.
235.7 Devils Garden OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_DEVILS_GARDEN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3436 overlook-devils-gardenThe mountainous slopes on both sides of this overlook give a narrow view down into the lowlands. Devils Garden may get its name because early mountain settlers often gave rough rocky features the Devil's name. Hikers should be aware that copperheads and rattlesnakes are common in this area.
236.9 Air Bellows Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_AIR_BELLOWS_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3744 overlook-air-bellows-gapThis site gets its name from the strong winds that travel through the area especially during winter. This was also the site of an early road across the Blue Ridge Mountains. The gap is near the former community of Air Bellows. Brinegar Cabin lies about 1.5 miles beyond the Gap on the left side of the road. This historic cabin displays weaving exhibits and is known for it's view. The vista from the overlook is designated as the Crest of the Blue Ridge; the valley below is covered in pine trees. This overlook is a nice spot for photographers to capture a sunset view along the Parkway.
238.5 Brinegar Cabin OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BRINEGAR_CABIN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3744 overlook-brinegar-cabinMartin Brinegar built the cabin in the 1880s after his family moved to this area from North Wilkesboro North Carolina. Along with the two-room log cabin Martin built a springhouse root cellar and a barn. The Brinegar family raised cows chickens and hogs for income and Martin sold the shoes he made by hand for approximately $1 a pair. The family also sold soap mayapple and blackberry roots. Caroline Brinegar was left a widow in 1925 after Martin went to church in a terrible rainstorm caught pneumonia and died. Caroline stayed for ten more years and then sold the property to make way for the Blue Ridge Parkway. In addition to the cabin the area also has an exhibit on Appalachian gardens traditional crafts including weaving spinning and open-hearth cooking.
240.6 No Name AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_NO_NAME_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3482 overlook-no-nameThere is access to the Bluff Mountain Trail here. Just north at Milepost 239.2 there are tent sites and rest rooms at Doughton Park Campground. The RV campground on the other side of the Parkway (east) has trailer sites and a comfort station.
241.1 Wildcat Rocks OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WILDCAT_ROCKS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1500 overlook-wildcat-rocksA short trail leads to the overlook where a sign describes Martin Caudill’s homestead seen in the valley below. The Caudill cabin is in the clearing 1500 feet below Wildcat Rock Overlook. When the cabin was built in the late 1800's the nearest town was Absher which was 8 miles away. There is no road to the cabin. If you want to visit the Caudill cabin you will have to hike the 3.5 mile footpath that crosses the Basin Creek a dozen times. [4]
242.4 Alligator Back OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ALLIGATOR_BACK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 1500 overlook-alligator-backThe elongated outcrop of rocks visible from this overlook resembles an alligator. The overlook includes an exhibit on mammals and raptors of the area. Once called varmints and killed on sight – snakes foxes bears owls and hawks are now recognized as an important part of our environment. Just 100 feet down the stone steps from the overlook is the Bluff Mountain Trail.
243.4 Bluff Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BLUFF_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3334 overlook-bluff-mtn-ncBluff Mountain is located to the left of the overlook with a rock outcrop of rock at its peak created by the wind. To the right of the overlook is Flat Rock Ridge. There is also access to Bluff Mountain Trail a 7.5-mile moderate trail that allows visitors to experience nature’s beauty.
244.7 Basin Cove OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BASIN_COVE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3312 overlook-basin-coveVisitors can access both the Bluff Mountain Trail and the Flat Rock Ridge Trail from this overlook. Flat Rock Ridge Trail a 5-mile moderate trail starts in the mountaintop meadow and ends at Basin Cove Creek near Grassy Gap Fire Road.
252.8 Sheets Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SHEETS_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3342 overlook-sheets-gapThis overlook with picnic tables and beautiful views is a great place to relax and contemplate Yadkin Valley and the Brushy Mountains. The Sheets Cabin is located at milepost 252.3. Originally built by Jess Sheets around 1815 the cabin continued to be the home of the Sheets family until 1940.
260.3 Jumpinoff Rocks OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_JUMPINOFF_ROCKS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3165 overlook-jumpinoff-rocksVisit this overlook if you’re looking for a particularly excellent long-range views of the mountainous terrain. The Jumpinoff Rocks along with stunning scenic views are located at the end of a half-mile easy woodland trail filled with poplar oak maple rhododendron and dogwood. There are also two picnic tables at this overlook.
264.4 The Lump OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_LUMP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3465 overlook-the-lumpThe round hill that sticks up from this overlook is known as The Lump. There is a short 0.3-mile trail that leads you to the hilltop view. Visitors can enjoy vast views that reach far into the Yadkin Valley and the Grandfather Mountain area. There is also an exhibit on Tom Dula the inspiration for the song “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley.” Tom Dula was hanged in neighboring Wilkes County in 1868 for the murder of one of his lovers. Tradition says that he composed the song while in prison. The song suggests that another jealous lover was responsible for the murder although Dula refused to give history her name.
266.8 Mount Jefferson OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MT_JEFFERSON_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3699 overlook-mt-jeffersonIn 1952 the mountain was renamed to honor one of the country’s founding fathers and because the town of Jefferson in Ashe County is located in the valley below. A cave near the top of Mt. Jefferson (4 683 feet) was used by slaves fleeing to Ohio and other states in the North before the Civil War. The mountain is now part of the 474-acre Mount Jefferson State Park.
267.8 Betseys Rock Falls OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BETSEYS_ROCK_FALLS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3400 overlook-betseys-rock-fallsLook to the left of the overlook for a band of gray rock with a small waterfall flowing over it to the bottom of the slope. The falls is a long series of cascades beginning at Betsey's Rock located near the headwaters of North Prong Lewis Fork in Wilkes County in North Carolina. The waterfall is located across the drainage but is difficult to see at any time other than winter after a heavy rain. [5] Aunt Betsey Pierce lived here during the Civil War with her two children. She made a living gathering ginseng and other herbs to sell.
270.2 Lewis Fork OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LEWIS_FORK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3798 overlook-lewis-forksThe panoramic view from the overlook guides your eyes over Yadkin Valley. The Lewis Fork River lies below the overlook and flows into the Yadkin River. This is a prime birding area. Cerulean Warblers are a highlight here and are usually found during spring at Milepost 270.5 a short 0.3 mile walk south on the Parkway from the Overlook. Many warbler species including Black-throated Blue Black-throated Green Black-and-white Warblers Ovenbird and American Redstart breed at this site and still others can be found during migration. Also be on the lookout for Pileated and Downy Woodpeckers Eastern Phoebe Wood Thrush Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos Scarlet Tanager and White-breasted Nuthatch. [6] At one time a young hunter named Daniel Boone lived in this area.
271.9 Cascades OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CASCADES_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3798 overlook-cascadesThe Cascades area has picnic tables a water fountain and a comfort station. There are also two trails one that leads to an overlook of The Cascades along Falls Creek (The Cascades Trail) and another that takes you to the Cool Springs Baptist Church (0.5 mile) and the Jesse Brown Cabin (Tompkins Knob Trail). Some call The Cascades Trail the Parkway's best interpretive nature trail. The trail is actually a loop and there are signs along the way telling what some of the vegetation in the area is. You can take either way but most hikers take the right side to the falls and come back the other way. Not too far before the top of the falls the trail crosses the creek then follows it down some stairs to a stone wall and the top viewing area. [7] An exhibit provides information on the 600-acre E.B. Jeffress Park which was named in honor of E.B. Jeffress chairman of the North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission in 1933. A strong supporter of the Blue Ridge Parkway project E.B. Jeffress led the fight to keep the Parkway from becoming a toll road.
272.4 Cool Spring Baptist Church and Jesse Brown Cabin Pull-OffAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_COOL_SPRING_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3657 overlook-cool-springsPreacher Jesse Brown's cabin stands on Tompkins Knob in the Bluffs District of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The farmstead once belonging to this African-American farmer and preacher consists of a cabin spring house and relocated Cool Springs Baptist Church. On summer sundays of long ago mountain families gathered here from miles around to hear circuit-riding preacher Willie Lee or Bill Church expound from the shade of a big maple tree. This reconstructed mountain "church" was mostly a weather shelter. The infrequent "preachins" being generally outdoor affairs after spending the night in Jesse Brown's Nearby Cabin they rode on to other soul-saving appointments.
272.5 Tompkins Knob AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_TOMPKINS_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3657 overlook-tompkins-knobThere is a half-mile trail that leads to the Jesse Brown Cabin and Cool Springs Baptist Church (only 200 yards away). The cabin was built in the late 1800s and sits beneath a large red maple tree. The Jesse Brown Cabin known for its sharp inclined roof was built as a residence for local preachers. There is also a 0.6-mile trail to Tompkins Knob.
274.3 Elk Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ELK_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3795 overlook-elk-mtnElk Mountain (3 795 feet) was named for the elk that once roamed the southern Appalachians. The overlook provides one of the best views of the Yadkin Valley. The Yadkin River headwaters are located near the Blue Ridge Parkway's Thunder Hill Overlook and from there the river flows over 200 miles southeast into South Carolina making it one of the longest rivers in North Carolina. The word Yadkin is taken from the name of an Indian village that was located near the river. Ancient Native Americans (whose presence dates back 12 000 years) and later European settlers made their homes along the fertile river banks.
277.3 Stoney Fork Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_STONEY_FORK_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3405 overlook-stoney-fork-valleyThis overlook provides a fantastic view of Stoney Fork Valley 900 feet below. There is some controversy as to whether the name of this area is spelled 'Stoney' or 'Stony' you'll find it both ways. We're going with the National Park Service (NPS) spelling of 'Stoney'.
277.9 Osborne Mountain View OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_OSBORNE_MTN_VIEW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3500 Photo by BlueRidgeKittles</td>
<td > Osborne Mountain OverlookWe can't find any good information on this overlook. It's located in Watauga County North Carolina and it's along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. If you happen to stop at the overlook and have some information that would interest other visitors please send us a note at staff@friendsbrp.org.
278.3 Carroll Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CARROLL_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3500 Photo by BlueRidgeKittles</td>
<td > Carroll Gap OverlookWe can't find any good information on this overlook. If you happen to stop at the overlook and have some information that would interest other visitors please send us a note at staff@friendsbrp.org. "
281.4 Grandview OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GRANDVIEW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3240 overlook-grandviewThere is a “grand view” of Elk Creek Valley Yadkin Valley and the community of Triplett at this overlook. The site is also loved by locals on clear nights for it's open view of the stars. Daniel Boone once loved to hunt in this area and Boone's Branch Camp is located in the valley.
285.1 Boone's Trace OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BOONES_TRACE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3240 overlook-boones-trace1Early pioneers and settlers traveled along the historic Wilderness Road west into the wilderness of Kentucky through Cumberland Gap. By the early 1820's it is estimated that several hundred thousand people traveled this historic route westward. After passing over the Cumberland Gap the Wilderness Road forked. The southern fork passed over the Cumberland Plateau to Nashville Tennessee via the Cumberland River. The northern fork split into two parts. The eastern spur went into the Bluegrass region of Kentucky to Boonesborough on the Kentucky River (near Lexington). This is the section known as the "Boone Trace". This portion of the Wilderness Road was blazed by Daniel Boone and his thirty “axemen” in March and April of 1775 from North Carolina through the Cumberland Gap to Boonesborough. Visitors will find a historical marker and a bronze plaque honoring Daniel Boone in the parking area. [8]
289.5 Raven Rock OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RAVEN_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3810 overlook-raven-rocks2One of the grandest spots to watch the sun set along the Parkway is from this overlook. The overlook looks westward as the sun sets behind Grandmother Sugar and Beech Mountains. This area is also a popular spot for rock climbers. Close to this overlook is the Tweetsie Railroad. The name "Tweetsie" was given to the original East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad by area residents who became accustomed to the shrill "tweet tweet" of the train whistles that echoed through the mountains. The nickname stuck with the train and became more identifiable than the railroad's original name. [9]
289.8 Yadkin Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_YADKIN_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3830 overlook-yadkin-valley1This is a small pulloff with limited parking between Thunder Hill and Raven Rock. For those that find space there is a panoramic view of the Yadkin Valley. The Yadkin Valley was the home of Daniel Boone. John Lawson first called the Yadkin River the Sapona in 1709 but by 1733 it was known both as the Sapona and the Yadkin.
290.4 Thunder Hill OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THUNDER_HILL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3795 overlook-thunder-hillThis overlook is one of the most popular and active overlooks along the Parkway. It is ideal for a variety of things ranging from ham radio reception to sail planing. The overlook affords one of the best long-range views of the North Carolina Piedmont. It is also said that this is the best spot on the Parkway to catch the sunrise. Due to its distance from light sources many amateur astronomers see this as a stupendous spot for stargazing. From here visitors can also catch the firework displays that occur in Tweetsie Railroad Boone Lenoir and Hickory.
293.4 Moses Cone OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MOSES_CONE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3865 overlook-moses-cone1Enter Moses H. Cone Memorial Park at Milepost 293.5. At Milepost 294 is the Cone Manor House (Flat Top Manor) and Craft Center. Flat Top Manor the summer home built by the wealthy textile magnate Moses H. Cone in the early 1900s serves as the visitor center which includes a regionally focused bookstore. The Southern Highland Craft Guild holds exhibitions and demonstrations in addition to their retail shop. Hiking is probably the best way to get a feel for the estate. This site is wheelchair accessible.
294.6 Trout Lake OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_TROUT_LAKE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] - overlook-trout-lake1US 221 intersects with the Parkway at this milepost. From here it’s 17 miles to Linville and two miles to Blowing Rock. Exit here and follow Shulls Mill Road under the Parkway to reach Trout Lake another of Moses Cone’s creations. Trout Lake Trail (1-mile loop easy) is not as popular as Bass Lake Trail but it’s a fantastic trail around the lake.
295.3 Sims Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SIMS_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3447 overlook-sims-creek1This overlook is located just before a high bridge that crosses Sims Creek. A house once stood nearby and was owned by a man named Hamp Sims. Legend has it that this man used to sleep in a coffin made to his own specifications and that he enjoyed scaring visitors who stopped by. There is a trailhead for moderate 2.2-mile Green Knob Trail at this overlook. Halfway up the trail there is a spectacular view of Grandfather Mountain and Price Lake glistening below.
295.9 Sims Pond OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SIMS_POND_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3447 overlook-sims-pond1Once you enter Julian Price Memorial Park Sims Pond is the first stop that you will encounter. Stocked by the North Carolina Hatcheries Sims Pond is a popular spot for trout fishing. The Green Knob Trail passes through here and if you hike a few yards north you will find the remnants of an old mill.
296.7 Price Lake OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PRICE_LAKE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3410 overlook-price-lake1This is a lake shore overlook for Price Lake. This lake is part of a very popular destination on the Blue Ridge Parkway called Julian Price Memorial Park located at the foot of Grandfather Mountain near Blowing Rock North Carolina. The Park is adjacent to Moses H. Cone Memorial Park and together the two comprise the largest area (over 4300 acres) developed for recreation along the Parkway. You can hike the moderately difficult 2.3-mile Price Lake Loop Trail circles the 47-acre lake which is stocked with trout.
297.2 Boone Fork OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BOONE_FORK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3410 overlook-boone-fork1This overlook is the northern trailhead of the Tanawha Trail and offers access to a boat dock canoe and rowboat rentals. A short loop road also reaches Price Park campground’s amphitheater and an impressive view of Price Lake. There is also access to the Mountain-to-Sea Trail at this overlook.
299 Cold Prong Pond OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_COLD_PRONG_POND_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3580 overlook-cold-pronge-pond This overlook doesn’t offer much of a vista but it does offer an easy 0.3-mile trail (Cold Prong Loop Trail) that goes through a meadow that is filled with strawberries in the summer. The trail ends at Cold Prong Pond. The Cold Prong Loop Trail also offers access to the Tanawha Trail which connects Beacon Heights and Price Lake.
299.7 View of Calloway Peak OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_VIEW_CALLOWAY_PEAK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3798 overlook-view-calloway-peakCalloway Peak is the highest point on Grandfather Mountain (5 964 feet) otherwise known as Grandfather’s nose. There is access to the easy 1-mile Upper Boone Fork Trail which heads south along the upper reaches of Boone Fork runs through a stand of birch trees and ends at the Boone Fork parking area. With a purchase of permit you can reach Calloway Peak using one of the trails on the privately owned Grandfather Mountain.
299.9 Boone Fork AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BOONE_FORK_AREA_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3905 overlook-boone-fork-areaCross the bridge over Boone Fork just south of this overlook and access the nine trails on Grandfather Mountain (purchase of permit required). Go to the entrance station for Grandfather Mountain on US 221 about one mile west of Milepost 305.1 to get your permit. The Tanawha Trail can be accessed here which intersects the Daniel Boone Scout Trail and Grandfather Trail. Boone Fork Creek carries some of the clearest and purest water as it originates at the top of Grandfather Mountain.
300.6 Green Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GREEN_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4134 overlook-green-mtnGreen Mountain is visible from this overlook. This is overlook is better to visit in the Fall and Winter months. Due to the heavy foliage during the rest of the year the vista is somewhat obstructed by leaves. When the Parkway was built this overlook had greater visibility because of the way the area was cut.
301.8 Pilot Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PILOT_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4400 overlook-pilot-ridgeThis overlook provides fantastic long-range views of Pilot Ridge. The Ridge located above the Parkway on Grandfather Mountain has a rocky outcrop known as the “pilot.”
302.1 View Wilson Creek Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_VIEW_WILSON_CREEK_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4356 overlook-wilson-creek-valleyWilson Creek is one of the streams that originates on Grandfather Mountain. Long-range views of extensive wilderness and forest provide a sense of what the Great Forest of the East must have looked like.
302.4 Raven Rocks OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RAVEN_ROCKS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4400 overlook-raven-rocks1Across from the parking area there is the ridgeline of Grandfather Mountain to the right and Beacon Heights to the left. Access to the Tanawha Trail is also available from this overlook. Tanawha Trail begins at Beacon Heights and ends at Price Park.
302.4 Rough Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROUGH_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4293 overlook-rough-ridgeThis overlook is one of the most popular overlooks on the Parkway because of its accessibility to the Tanawha Trail. To get to the trail head up the spur bear left at the intersection and cross the arched footbridge over a fork of Little Wilson Creek. The next 0.7 miles provide a unique experience through a unique ecosystem where wildflowers rare lichens and grasses grow. There is a wooden platform where visitors will find several bulletins of information on the steps the National Park Service has taken to protect these rare lichens. When you get to the open rock outcropping there is a 360-degree view with Grandfather Mountain above and the Linn Cove Viaduct below.
303.6 Wilson Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WILSON_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4357 overlook-wilson-creekFrom the overlook take the steps down go under the Parkway and continue right when you intersect the Tanawha. At this point you will find an extraordinary accomplishment by the builders of the Tanawha Trail a beautiful wooden footbridge which was placed across Wilson Creek by helicopter. Wilson Creek is only one of four North Carolina rivers that has been designated as a “Wild and Scenic” river. It originates at Grandfather Mountain and flows 23 miles down through the Pisgah National Forest and eventually flows into the John’s River in Caldwell County.
303.9 Yonahlossee OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_YONAHLOSSEE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4412 overlook-yonahlosseeYonahlossee is the Cherokee word for “trail of the black bear.” In 1889 towards the end of the stage coach days Hugh MacRae built the Yonahlossee Trail. This trail served as a toll road between Linville and Blowing Rock until the 1920s when it became part of the national highway system as US 221.
304.4 Linn Cove OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LINN_COVE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4315 overlook-linn-coveThe Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway is an international engineering marvel. The Viaduct was completed in 1987 at a cost of $10 million and it was the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be finished. It is a 1243-foot concrete segmental bridge hugs and curves around the face of Grandfather Mountain with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains that is second to none. [10] Make sure to visit the information center at this overlook to see information on it's construction and a miniature model of the Linn Cove Viaduct. A handicap accessible trail leads from the overlook to the underside of the Linn Cove Viaduct and there is also access to the Tanawha Trail.
304.8 Stack Rock OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_STACK_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4286 ExploreBooneArea.comStack Rock is a free-standing pillar of rocks resembling a chimney. From this overlook visitors can see the “swinging bridge” on Grandfather Mountain. The Tanawha Trail can be accessed here and it is just a short hike north to Stack Rock Bridge.
305.2 Beacon Heights OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BEACON_HEIGHTS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4220 Jennifer Mesk photographyAcross the Parkway from the parking area there is a great view of Grandfather Mountain. Beacon Heights Trail climbs to the 4 200-foot summit of Beacon Heights. Named by A.M. Huger in the 1890s Beacon Heights features a view of bare quartzite. This is the southern trailhead for the Tanawha Trail as well as a connector with the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
306.6 Grandfather Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GRANDFATHER_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4154 overlook-grandfather-mtnFoliage at this overlook has been cut to frame a view of Grandfather Mountain. The highest mountain in the Blue Ridge Grandfather Mountain has an elevation of 5 964 feet and it gets its name from the jagged peaks that form the profile of an old man. Standing at the summit on a clear day you can see over a hundred miles. One of the oldest mountains in the world Grandfather Mountain resisted erosion because it is made of mostly quartzite one of the most durable rock types.
307.4 Grandmother Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GRANDMOTHER_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4063 overlook-grandmother-mtnThis overlook is located on the western slope of Grandmother Mountain. A short distance from Grandfather Mountain Grandmother Mountain can be seen from several places along the Parkway – look for the tower with the blinking light. Beautiful rhododendron can be found here during the summer months.
307.6 No Name WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_NO_NAME_307_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4015 overlook-no-name1This small pull-off offers a nice view of the Linville Valley.
308.3 Flat Rock OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FLAT_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3987 Blackley PhotographyAccess to the self-guiding Flat Rock Trail is available at this overlook. Signs identifying much of the fauna flora and geology in the Blue Ridge line the trail. Flat Rock is a quartzite outcrop on the west side of Grandfather Mountain. On the summit find two copper dials that indicate the direction of several mountains including Yellow Mountain Mount Mitchell and peaks in Tennessee. Ffor the next 45 miles south of this overlook visitors begin to travel through Pisgah National Forest.
310 Lost Cove Cliffs OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LOST_COVE_CLIFFS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3812 overlook-lost-cove-cliffsThis spot is one of several where people claim to have seen the renowned Brown Mountain Lights although Brown Mountain is not visible from here. On many evenings especially after it rains pale orange lights appear on the dark and distant ridges of the area. The lights can fade in and out move and grow in intensity. No creditable explanation exists although many theories exist in local lore and tales.
315.6 Camp Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CAMP_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3812 Groovy Adventures photographAccess to the easy 0.1-mile Camp Creek Trail is available at this overlook. Camp Creek which flows into the Linville River is popular amongst local fishermen. The creek was named for the Camp brothers of Chicago who logged the area in the early 1900s when white pine and broadleaf trees filled the forest.
316.4 Linville Falls Spur Road River Bend OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RIVER_BEND_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] overlook-river-bendVisitors can pull into River Bend a one-way loop located on the Linville River. There is also access to the easy 0.1-mile River Bend Trail which is rarely used and travels through a rhododendron thicket and reaches a high overlook where you can view the river below. The Parkway’s smallest and most popular campground is also found here. Linville Falls is probably the most famous waterfall in the Blue Ridge.
316.5 Linville River AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LINVILLE_RIVER_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] BRP Trails photographThe easy 0.1-mile Linville River Bridge Trail reaches the Linville River in about 500 feet and then continues to the base of the largest arched bridge on the Parkway. The bridge spans the river in four sections. The structure was built in 1940 by a work camp set up in the community of Linville Falls.
318.4 North Toe Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_NORTH_TOE_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3540 overlook-north-toe-valleyBeautiful flora surrounds the visitor at this overlook. This area known as the Spruce Pine District is also filled with an abundance of minerals. Native Americans used to travel great distances to dig for mica and other minerals. The word “toe” comes from the Cherokee. Kaolin feldspar and quartz are other minerals found in this area.
320.8 Chestoa View OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CHESTOA_VIEW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4090 overlook-chestoa-viewThe word “chestoa” comes from the Cherokee word for rabbit. A 0.1-mile paved and stone path from the parking lot leads to a magnificent view from a stone overlook platform on the edge of a cliff. To the right Tablerock Mountain is visible though from this angle the flat top profile for which it is known is not as clear as it is from other viewpoints. Chestoa View Trail is also accessible from this overlook.
323 Bear Den OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BEAR_DEN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3359 overlook-bear-denThis side of Humpback Mountain once sheltered a bear’s den offering protection from both weather and hunters. Black bears were considered threatened due to over hunting but they are starting to thrive again in wilderness areas. “Bear den” and “bear wallow” are names that are attached to several geographic features in the Appalachians. The site overlooks a natural wooded amphitheater where the songs of birds can be heard clearly from hundreds of feet below.
325.9 Heffner Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HEFFNER_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3057 overlook-heffner-gapAmazing views of Honeycutt Mountain Linville Mountain and the flat-topped Tablerock Mountain are found at this overlook. In May the apple orchards blossom in this area and apple trees along the Parkway often indicate the site of an old homestead where the apples were used to make apple pie apple butter and more. The gap is named for Amanda Heffner who lived here during the mid-1800s.
327.3 North Cove OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_NORTH_COVE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2815 overlook-north-coveThis overlook sits at the base of Linville Mountain and the Honeycutt Ridge is seen ahead just in front of Linville Mountain. There is an interpretive sign on the Crest of the Blue Ridge Highway covering the 'Crest of the Blue Ridge Highway' proposed by Col. Joseph Pratt. This was a precursor to today’s Parkway Pratt suggested in 1912. His Appalachian Highway Company began construction of the proposed complete mountain highway only to be halted eight miles later by the advent of World War I. The section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in this area follows Pratt's initial route plan. There is a map of the proposed route on the interpretive sign along with a description of the plan which would have connected Tallulah Falls Georgia and Marion Virginia with a 350-mile road following the ridgetop and a chain of motels along the highway.
328.6 The Loops OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_LOOPS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2980 overlook-the-loopsThe Loops is the name given to the 35 miles of railroad track built by the Carolina Clinchfield and Ohio Railway to bring coal from Kentucky through McKinney Gap to the Carolinas. Visitors will see part of the track that makes its way through the Appalachians at this overlook. Construction of this section of railroad began in 1886. However the gigantic struggle with the mountains funding and land slowed the progress of the railway. In 1909 the rails were in place over the Blue Ridge. The Clinchfield Railroad was complete and running from the East to Midwest by 1915 at a cost of $1 million per mile of track. At the peak more than 4 000 laborers and 200 mules were working at one time in the nine work camps. The railroad ascends and descends through the mountains passing through 18 tunnels and descending 1 350 feet in elevation over just 12 miles. You can also see the historic Orchard at Altapass built by the Clinchfield Railroad in 1908. The Orchard is a great place to drop by especially in the summer and fall when there is free 'roots' music every weekend afternoon from end of May through end of October.
329.8 Table Rock OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_TABLE_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2870 overlook-table-rockTablerock Mountain with a peak of 3 909 feet is nine miles to the east from this overlook. Its tilted summit rises behind the remarkably long level crest line of Linville Mountain.
337.2 Deer Lick Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_DEER_LICK_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3452 overlook-deer-lickFind birch oak ash maple pine and poplar at this overlook. The mountain in the foreground is Wood Mountain and to the left is Catawba Valley. Deer are said to travel great distances to this area to lick the rocks that contain mineral salts. These deer licks were well known to hunters who hid in this area in search for game.
338.8 Three Knobs OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THREE_KNOBS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3452 overlook-three-knobsThis overlook provides one of the best examples of the different slopes and ridges in the Blue Ridge. The Seven Mile Ridge seems to stretch forever. The impressive Black Mountains loom high above Seven Mile Ridge in the background. Early mountain roads would follow a ridge instead of a river valley that could end abruptly. One of these old sled roads still extends across the Seven Mile Ridge. Some parts of the road are still used by farmers in the area.
342.2 Black Mountains OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BLACK_MTNS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3892 overlook-black-mountainsFind an interpretive sign at this overlook on the Black Mountain range. The sign includes a drawing of the range’s profile pointing out the peaks. The range is the highest in the East with an average elevation of 6 000 feet. In the summertime the temperature rarely surpasses 70 degrees Fahrenheit while it can drop well below zero during the winter. The mountains are composed primarily of quartz feldspar mica and hornblende. The durability of quartz against erosion helps explain the impressive height of the Black Mountains.
344.1 Buck Creek Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BUCK_CREEK_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3355 overlook-buck-creek-gapThis overlook near Buck Creek is a good place to picnic. It is located in the pine barrens of North Carolina which is a geologically and botanically unique area. Across the creek is a "tailings pile" or mine dump. There is an old corundum mine shaft above it in an area of dunite rock. In the late 1800s mining for the abrasive corundum (which has a hardness next to the diamond's) was carried out throughout this area. Old roads go back to Corundum Knob where corundum was also mined. Here it is possible to find tiny rubies in a matrix of green stone a type of amphibole called smaragdite. [11] You can access Woods Mountain Trail at this overlook.
345.3 Singecat Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SINGECAT_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3406 overlook-singecat-ridgeThe view here is of Mackey Mountain to the right and Onion Knob to the left. Lake Tahoma is in the center and Singecat (pronounced “sinj-cat”) Ridge is mostly hidden behind Onion Knob. A sharp flavored onion grows each spring on Onion Knob. The origin of the name singecat has been lost to time but it is known that a fire singed the ridge in 1955. New growth has recovered the once bare ridge. There is access to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail here and for the next hundred miles south the Parkway offers continual access to this long-distance trail.
347.9 Hewat WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HEWAT_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4175 Gene Phillips PHotographyVisitors have a panoramic view including Mt. Mitchell from this overlook. Hewat is a last name belonging to a family of early settlers in this region.
348.8 Curtis Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CURTIS_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4460 overlook-curtis-valleyVisitors have a broad view of Curtis Creek Valley from this overlook. The remains of a 2004 landslide that completely washed away the Parkway's road surface down to the ridge and in to Curtis Creek Valley are still visible. This overlook was created when the Parkway repairs were completed.
349.2 Laurel Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LAUREL_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4602 overlook-laurel-knobThe name Laurel refers to the rosebay rhododendron the largest of the rhododendron growing along the Parkway. This overlook provides one of the best views the Parkway has to offer. To the left is the majestic Grandfather Mountain. The outlines of Linville Mountain Hawksbill and Table Rock are visible in the distance. Straight ahead from the overlook is Mackey Mountain and Chestnut Wood Mountain. This overlook was re-named" it was called 'Licklog Ridge' previously.
349.9 Mt. Mitchell OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MT_MITCHELL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4821 overlook-mt-mitchellMt. Mitchell rises above the overlook. At 6 684 feet above sea level Mt. Mitchell is the highest mountain in the eastern United States. The mountain is named for Elisha Mitchell. Mount Mitchell State Park is located 4.8 miles from the Parkway and can be accessed from NC 128 at Milepost 355.3 of the Parkway. The park provides a nature museum trails campground and restaurant.
350 Green Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GREEN_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4761 overlook-green-knobThis overlook provides a magnificent view of the valley and Catawba River area. The Catawba Indians made their home near the river where they farmed and hunted. The Lost Cove Ridge Trail (also called Green Knob Trail) begins. The forest service trail is 3.1 miles but it is only half a mile to Green Knob (elevation 5 070 feet) which features a lookout tower. The Snooks Nose trailhead is also here but more difficult to find. The 3.8-mile trail descends to the Curtis Creek Campground to the east of the Parkway.
352.4 Bald Knob WideningAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BALD_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4284 overlook-bald-knonbThere is access to the Bald Knob Ridge Trail here. The trail leads 2.8 miles to USFS 472. The trail rolls through stands of virgin spruce Fraser fir and other virgin timber offering beautiful views of the Black Mountains.
355.3 Ridge Junction OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RIDGE_JUNCTION_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5160 overlook-ridge-junctionThere is a great panoramic view of the Black Mountains and the South Toe Valley here. The overlook marks a section of the Asheville Watershed where the mountain streams empty into reservoirs in the surrounding area. Here the Parkway leaves the Blue Ridge Mountains to skirt the Black Mountains and pass through the Pisgah Ledge Great Craggies and the Great Balsams before reaching the Smokies. This gap was first called Beech Gap followed by Swannanoa Gap before being called Black Mountain Gap in 1949.
359.8 Balsam Gap AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BALSAM_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5320 overlook-balsam-gapThis area resembles more of a northern forest with red spruce and Fraser fir standing high above the overlook. Balsam Gap is where the Black Mountains and the Great Craggy Mountains meet. This gap is the site of an old lumber railway that operated near the turn of the 20th century. There is also access to the 6-mile strenuous Big Butt Trail and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
361.2 Glassmine Falls OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GLASSMINE_FALLS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5197 overlook-glassmine-falls1There is a view here of the 800-foot falls which during wet weather plummet down the face of Horse Range Ridge. Make your way up the 0.1-mile paved path to a bench and different view of the falls. At the base of the falls are the remains of the old Abernathy Mine a mica mine that operated at the turn of the 20th century and the site of a mica miner’s cabin. Thin transparent sheets of mica called "isinglass" were used for peepholes in boilers lanterns stoves and kerosene heaters because they were less likely to shatter than glass when exposed to extreme temperature gradients. This was shortened to simply "glass" by the locals hence the name. There is also access to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
363.4 Graybeard Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GRAYBEARD_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5592 overlook-graybeard-mtnGraybeard Mountain has a peak elevation of 5 365 feet and has been a weather predictor to the people of the valley below for centuries. When the summit is “bearded” by gray clouds the people forecast that rain is on its way. This overlook is situated in an area known as Peach Orchard Glade because it’s made up of 200-year-old beech birch and yellow buckeye that have been stunted and gnarled by wind. The site is located between Craggy Dome (elev. 6085) and Bullhead (elev. 5925) and there is access to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at the overlook.
364.1 Craggy Dome OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CRAGGY_DOME_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5640 overlook-craggy-domeFind an exhibit on the Catawba rhododendron at this overlook. Generally during mid-June but depending on the weather the rhododendron at Craggy Dome (peak elevation 6 085 feet) and Craggy Gardens color the area purple. Those with white blossoms are referred to as Rosebay rhododendron. This overlook is a showplace of flora and other late-blooming wildflowers. In June and July find blooming rhododendron azaleas mountain laurel blueberries May apple Turkscap lily and blackberries. Craggy Gardens got its name from the Great Craggy Mountains so called because of the rock outcroppings on the mountain summits.
372.1 Lanes Pinnacle OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LANES_PINNACLE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3890 overlook-lanes-pinnacleThis overlook is named for Charles Lane the first owner of the pinnacle. In the early 1800s Charles Lane who operated an iron forge on Reems Creek in Asheville mined iron out of the north face of this pinnacle. From the overlook Lane Pinnacle is to the far left and the Swannanoa Mountains are to the far right; the Craggys are straight ahead.
373.8 Bull Creek Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BULL_CREEK_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3483 overlook-bull-creek-valleyThe Bull Creek Valley lies down below with the Swannanoa Mountains in the distance. From here visitors may see what was once the home of the great bull buffalo. Find a sign here on the story of the last buffalo to be seen in the area. According to the sign Joseph Rice killed the last buffalo near the parkway in 1799.
376.7 Tanbark Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_TANBARK_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3175 overlook-tanbark-ridgeThis overlook provides a great view of ridge once known as Tanyard Ridge which is named for the tannery at Tanbark Ridge Tunnel. Visitors can also see the peaks of High Knob Lane’s Pinnacle and High Swan.
380 Haw Creek Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HAW_CREEK_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3175 overlook-haw-creek-valleyHaw Creek was named in 1860 for the black haw bushes growing along its banks.
393.8 Haw Creek Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FRENCH_BROAD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2720 overlook-french-broadThe French Broad River is one of the few north-flowing rivers in the United States. The river is a prominent figure in the development and history of Western North Carolina. Fur traders named the river using the second word to depict its vast width and the first word to distinguish it from another waterway in English territory.
396.4 Walnut Cove OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WALNUT_COVE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2915 overlook-walnut-coveBlack Walnut trees although sparse among the other mountain hardwoods are found in abundance in the aptly named Walnut Cove. Mountain Black Walnut was important to the locals to make furniture and gunstocks as well as for dye still used by present day crafters. At this overlook you will find a grove of walnut trees and a good view of the French Broad River Valley.
397.3 Sleepy Gap AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SLEEPY_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2930 overlook-sleepy-gapThe gap simply got its name because a hunter laid down and went to sleep there. Long ago it was known as a good place for working woodsmen to camp. Find the trailhead for 0.9 mile strenuous Grassy Knob Trail here which descends to Bent Creek the Experimental Forest. The forest service studies trees and problems caused by fungi insects and diseases in this area.
398.3 Chestnut Cove OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CHESTNUT_COVE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3035 overlook-chestnut-ridgeChestnut trees once thrived in this area but the trees were almost completely wiped out in the 1930s by an Asian fungus called blight. Chestnut sprouts can be found near this site trying to make a comeback. The American chestnut once flourished as the most dominant tree in the southern Appalachians. The nuts fed forest animals and fattened farmers’ hogs. The wood produced a valuable rot-resistant timber.
399.7 Bad Fork Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BAD_FORK_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3350 overlook-bad-fork-valleyThe Bad Fork Overlook provides amazing long-range views from the Parkway. During autumn the vibrant colors of the leaves are a sight to cherish.
401.1 Wash Creek Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WASH_CREEK_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3435 overlook-wash-creekWash Creek is below the overlook. During heavy rain the creek rises and flows out to create a “wash.”
401.7 Beaver Dam Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BEAVER_DAM_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3570 overlook-beaver-dam-gapBeavers were plentiful before 1900 in this area. Beaver Dam Creek flows north from the gap to the French Broad River.
402.6 Stony Bald OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_STONY_BALD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3570 overlook-stony-baldThe scenic views of surging mountain ranges from this overlook are lovely. You can access Shut-In Trail from this overlook for a moderate less than a mile hike. It is a pleasant walk thru the woods with a few challenging sections.
403.6 Big Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BIG_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3820 overlook-big-ridgeThe Big Ridge to the right rises above the overlook then swiftly heads down into the beautiful valley below.
404.2 Hominy Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HOMINY_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3980 overlook-hominy-valleyThis overlook gives a picturesque view of the rural mountain community west of Asheville. The overlook offers a peaceful look into the area below. This valley was named for southern breakfast fare a small grain ground from a variety of corn. Pioneers soaked kernels in weak wood lye until the hulls floated to the top to make hominy.
404.5 Mills River Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MILLS_RIVER_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4085 Jennifer Mesk PhotographyMills River was named for William Mills who lived in this area during the late 1700s and early 1800s. Mills was a hunter and reported the last elk to be seen in North Carolina. Elk are now being reintroduced in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. This is a good spot to watch the annual hawk migration.
407.6 Mt. Pisgah OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MT_PISGAH_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5721 overlook-mt-pisgahThe peak of Mount Pisgah once part of the Biltmore Estate can be reached by a winding trail from the parking area. The estate became home of the first U.S. Forestry school as well as the heart of the Pisgah National Forest. Near by at Milepost 408.6 is Mount Pisgah. In the late 1800s industrialist George Washington Vanderbilt while building his grand Biltmore Estate in Asheville purchased Mount Pisgah and thousands of surrounding acres for a private hunting retreat for family and friends. The nearby 16-mile Shut-In Trail (a National Recreation Trail) is part of a longer route that Vanderbilt originally created for his hunting parties. Today the area adjoining the Parkway is part of the Pisgah National Forest and is still playing host to nature enthusiasts. Equipped with lodge restaurant campground and more Mount Pisgah has the distinction of having by far the highest elevation of any developed area along the Parkway. Advisories – Be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions. Also the recreation area is the one area on the Parkway frequented by the black bear and visitors should watch for them.
407.7 Buck Springs Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BUCK_SPRINGS_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4980 overlook-buck-springs-gapThere are nice eastward views of the Blue Ridge at this overlook and you'll find three trailheads here. The trails go to the summit of Mt. Pisgah up and over Little Bald Mountain and on to Pilot Rock. The easy Buck Spring Trail includes a pedestrian overlook with two benches and goes past the site of Buck Spring Lodge George W. Vanderbilt's hunting retreat. Constructed around 1896 the lodge was built primarily from chestnut logs. The mountain complex which included a kitchen and dining hall and several outbuildings could sleep more than a dozen friends and family members. In 1959 North Carolina bought the lodge and surrounding land for construction of the Parkway. A series of stone walls marks the location of the lodge. Locate the lodge's springhouse in the rhododendron just to the right immediately after turning onto the spur road. You can walk inside and see Buck Spring. [12]
409.3 Funnel Top OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FUNNEL_TOP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4925 overlook-funnel-topFrom the overlook there are wide views and you will look down upon Funnel Top Mountain.
410.3 The Pink Beds OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_PINK_BEDS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4822 overlook-pink-bedsThe Pink Beds a unique upland bog in Pisgah National Forest extends 5 miles east from the Pisgah ridge to Soapstone and Dividing Ridge. The “pink” is for the lush thicket of rhododendron laurel and phlox that blooms in the late spring and early summer. There is a popular woodland hike on the Pink Beds Trail and a picnic spot near the overlook.
411 The Cradle of Forestry OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_CRADLE_OF_FORESTRY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4710 overlook-cradle-of-forestryThe overlook looks over a unique high elevation valley. The Pink Beds Trail takes you on a five mile loop thru this area where you'll see rare mountain bogs including glimpses of some rare and endangered species of plants if you're lucky. You'll pass through a forest in transition as beavers have dammed the South Fork Mills River to form their ponds which are drowning out the trees. You'll also find crystal clear brooks wildlife meadows and scenic fern-filled woods. This forest is one of the first to ever be managed through modern forestry techniques earning it the nickname "The Cradle of Forestry in America." [13] In the late 1800s George Vanderbilt bought a very large portion of the Pisgah wilderness. Vanderbilt was an early conservationist who wanted to preserve the natural beauty of the area and create a vast game preserve. Dr. Carl Alwin Schenck a German forestry professor was hired by Vanderbilt to manage his property and start a forestry school. The first School of American Forestry was operated from 1898 to 1913. Schenck trained 300 foresters. The U.S. Forest Service has recognized the importance of the early pioneering conservation effort and has made a considerable investment in replicating the school and providing exhibits to show early forestry practices.
411.9 Cold Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_COLD_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4542 overlook-cold-mtnAt 6030 feet the temperature at the peak of Cold Mountain has been known to drop more than 20 degrees below zero. The mountain is also notable for the award winning and best selling book about Civil War-era Appalachia that bears its name.
412.2 Wagon Road Gap AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WAGON_ROAD_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4550 overlook-wagon-road-gapStarting as a foot path the Wagon Road was eventually used for wagons travelling between Brevard and Waynesville. This area is home to monarch butterfly migration in middle September to early October each year.
413.2 Pounding Mill OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_POUNDING_MILL_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4700 overlook-pounding-millMore than a century ago mountain people would build a hammer type mill to grind corn. The mills were water powered and built along streams such as Pounding Mill Branch.
415.7 Cherry Cove OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CHERRY_COVE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4327 overlook-cherry-coveBecause of favorable conditions the Black Cherry trees grow up to 100 feet in the cove as compared to about 50 feet in the lowlands. In the early fall thousands of birds are attracted by the ripened cherries on the trees.
416.3 Log Hollow OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LOG_HOLLOW_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4445 overlook-log-hollowIn the 1880s loggers cut down thousands of trees on the surrounding slopes. Using tools called cant-hooks the lumberjacks would slide the logs down the slopes to the hollow below. After the logs were slid into the creekbed men would open dams from nearby streams to create a flood of water to carry the logs to the lumber mill.
417 Looking Glass Rock OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LOOKING_GLASS_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4492 overlook-looking-glass-rockOne of the largest masses of granite in the Eastern United States this 3 969-foot mountain gets its name from the way the icy or wet rock glitters with reflections of sunlight. Weathering of a larger mountain composed of softer rock—quartz mica and shale—exposed this granite dome. Looking Glass offers some of the best climbing in the South on its 400-foot sheer face.
418.3 East Fork OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_EAST_FORK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4995 overlook-east-forkLocated here are the headwaters of the Pigeon River. Yellowstone Falls is a short distance away and gets its name from the yellowish moss covering the rocks. You can find U.S. Forest Service trail access to Shining Rock Wilderness Trail system here.
418.8 Graveyard Fields OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GRAVEYARD_FIELDS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5120 overlook-graveyard-fieldsGraveyard Fields a short drive from Brevard North Carolina is jointly managed by the US Forest Service (Pisgah Ranger District) and the National Park Service (Blue Ridge Parkway). Primary access is from this overlook. This area is invariably listed as one of the most popular hiking areas in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Summer visitors are attracted to the area because of seasonally cool days and to experience several waterfalls. Fall visitors experience vivid colors and the opportunity to collect blueberries.
419.4 John Rock OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_JOHN_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5330 overlook-john-rockJohn Rock appears to have gotten its name from a horse (named John?) that fell to its death there. A trail leads to a close-up view of the bare rock.
421.7 Fetterbush OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FETTERBUSH_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5494 overlook-fetterbushThis overlook is named after the fetterbush that thrives in this area. The fetterbush is a member of the heath family of shrubs along with Rhododendron and Laurel. Because the branches are so densely tangled even small animals are fettered from getting through.
422.4 Devil's Courthouse OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FETTERBUSH_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5362 overlook-devils-courthouseDevil’s Courthouse Trail climbs through a spruce-fir forest to the 5 462-foot summit of Devil’s Courthouse. The 360-degree view encompasses three states: South Carolina Georgia and Tennessee. A metal compasslike plaque pinpoints mountains on the horizon. According to Cherokee belief the devil had a courtroom in a cave inside this mountain where he delivered judgment to those who went astray. This is the southernmost spot on the parkway to watch the annual hawk migration.
422.8 Mt. Hardy OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MT_HARDY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5415 overlook-mt-hardyMount Hardy is named for Dr. James F.E. Hardy. Hardy was an Asheville physician during the Civil War.
423.5 Courthouse Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_COURTHOUSE_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5362 overlook-courthouse-valleyThe Courthouse Valley below joins the flatlands of the French Broad River in the distance.
424.4 Herrin Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_COURTHOUSE_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5510 overlook-herrin-knobThough misspelled Herrin Knob was named after James Herren who owned land and operated a sawmill here.
424.8 Wolf Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WOLF_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5500 overlook-wolf-mtnThe valley below Wolf Mountain contains Wolf Lake. This area was home to large numbers of Timberwolves before 1900. By then bounty hunters farmers and cattlemen hunted the wolves into extinction.
425.4 Rough Butt Bald OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROUGH_BUTT_BALD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5300 overlook-rough-butt-baldThe distinct mountain ridges seen from the overlook make an extraordinary sight. Butt is a term describing how a mountain breaks off or "butts" off sharply (as opposed to what you were thinking when you read the first sentence).
427.6 Bear Pen Gap AreaAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BEAR_PEN_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5560 overlook-bear-pen-gapLong ago bear hunters would stack up logs and rig a trip line attached to bait. When a bear pulled at the bait the logs would fall on the bear killing it. These bear pens were built in gaps where the bears would travel.
427.8 Spot Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SPOT_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5652 overlook-spot-knobVisitors to the overlook are treated not only to a nice mountain view but also upon occasion to unusual fauna such as wild orchids.
428 Caney Fork OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CANEY_FORK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5650 overlook-caney-forkCaney Fork overlook provides inspiring views of the valley below and the tumbling mountain ranges in the background.
428.5 Beartrap Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BEARTRAP_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5580 overlook-beartrap-gapMany early hunters used steel traps to catch bears. They were very large traps about 2-3 feet long and required standing on the lever type springs on both side of the toothed jaws in order to set the trap. The traps were set on bear trails and were camouflaged. An unlucky bear would spring the trap by stepping on it.
430.4 Beartrail Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BEARTRAIL_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5872 overlook-beartrail-ridgeThis area of the Balsam range apparently had one of the largest concentrations of black bears in the region during the mid- to late-1800s. There are many streams mountains ridges and gaps named after the bear.
430.4 Cowee Mountain OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_COWEE_MTN_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5950 Jason Penland PhotographyAt an elevation of 5 950 feet the overlook's stunning mountain views and orientation one of the best places on the Parkway to watch a sunset.
431 Haywood Jackson OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HAYWOOD_JACKSON_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 6020 overlook-haywood-jacksonThe self-guided trail from this overlook leads to the peak of Richland Balsam. Straight ahead is the ridge line of the Balsam range. This ridge line forms a natural border between Haywood County on the far side and Jackson County on the near side.
432.4 Richland Balsam OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RICHLAND_BALSAM_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 6053 overlook-richland-balsamRichland Balsam is a mountain in the Great Balsam Mountains in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Rising to an elevation of 6 410 feet it is the highest mountain in the Great Balsam range and is among the 20 highest summits in the Appalachian range. A short interpretive trail connects the parking lot with the summit. This self-guiding trail walks you through the remains of a spruce-fir forest. The highest point of the Parkway is found here at 6 053 feet. The overlook gives views of the southern Appalachians. From here the Cowees Nantahalas and the Plott Balsams can be seen.
432.7 Lone Bald OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LONE_BALD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5635 overlook-lone-baldAt one time a red spruce or he-balsam stood on what was then known as Lone Balsam Mountain. One day the tree fell and the mountain is now known as Lone Bald.
433.3 Roy Taylor Forest OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_ROY_TAYLOR_FOREST_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5580 overlook-roy-taylor-forestA short walkway (100 feet) leads to a pedestrian overlook. An octagon-shaped deck offers a look at reforestation. Interpretive plaques tell the story of the Roy Taylor Forest designated to call attention to a congressman’s efforts to safeguard our natural resources.
435.7 Licklog Gap Overlook" 5135Adopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LICKLOG_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] overlook-licklog-gapBefore becoming part of the national forest the grassy meadows of the region were used as pastures for herds of cattle. Settlers drove their cattle to high ground in the summer. Here in a gap they "salted" them placing rocks of salt for the animals in hollowed-out logs. The overlook has great views into Haywood County a nice picnic area and a nature trail behind the picnic area that wanders through the high elevation forest."
436.8 Grassy Ridge Mine OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_GRASSY_RIDGE_MINE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5250 overlook-grassy-ridge-mineBelow the overlook is the remains of a mica mine which was operated until about 1950. Mica is deposited in very thin sheets and is a silvery brittle substance. Mica used to be important because of its insulating qualities and was used in a lot of electrical equipment. The development of plastics rendered mica obsolete.
438.9 Steestachee Bald OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_STEESTACHEE_BALD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4780 overlook-steestachee-baldSteestachee is the Cherokee word for “mouse.”
439.4 Cove Field Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_COVE_FIELD_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4620 overlook-cove-field-ridgeThe Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) purchased 34 acres adjacent to and highly visible from the Parkway with the intent to convey it to the National Park Service (NPS). The property visible from this overlook includes the headwaters of Richland Creek which flows through the town of Waynesville and in to Lake Junaluska less than seven miles downstream.
440 Village of Saunook OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_VILLAGE_OF_SAUNOOK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4375 overlook-village-of-saunookThe overlook has a view of Saunook a small community outside Waynesville. Saunook is a Cherokee last name. Saunook Village has a Cherokee Heritage Museum & Gallery which is a wonderful stop for those appreciating the very best in contemporary Cherokee art.
440.9 Waynesville OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WAYNESVILLE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4110 overlook-waynesvilleWaynesville is seen below the Plott Balsam range. Legend says Waynesville was named for "Mad" Anthony Wayne who served in the Revolutionary War.
441.4 Standing Rock OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_STANDING_ROCK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3915 overlook-standing-rockThe Standing Rock is at the south end of the parking area of the overlook. The huge rock seems out of place among all of the trees.
441.9 Rabb Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RABB_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3725 Rabb Knob Overlook is next to Redbank Cemetery and is located in Haywood County North Carolina. The facilities include a picnic table. Close to this overlook in 1776 Indians living along the Tuckaseigee River were pushed back into what is now Cherokee when Gen. Griffith Rutherford led an attack that destroyed their cabins. [12]
442.2 Balsam Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BALSAM_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3630 overlook-balsam-gap1The Balsam and other trees at Balsam Gap overlook loom high above you like they are trying to reach the sky. This area is a perfect place for a picnic a good book or to simply listen to the peaceful sounds of nature.
444.6 The Orchards OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THE_ORCHARDS_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3810 overlook-the-orchardApple orchards cover the bottomlands of Richland Creek. Near this area the Barber Orchard Superfund site is located just outside of Waynesville North Carolina. From 1903 to 1988 Barber Orchard grew apples for commercial markets. The growers used various pesticides and insecticides on trees and fruit. The growers pumped these chemicals throughout the property using an underground piping system.
445.2 Mt. Lynn Lowry OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_MT_LYNN_LOWRY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4000 overlook-mt-lynn-lowryThe mountain was named for the daughter of General Sumter Lowry. Sumter de Leon Lowry Jr. (1893-1985) was a businessman active in the insurance and real estate markets. He was also a veteran of the Florida National Guard serving in both World Wars and winning Distinguished Service Medal in the second. He rose to command the 51st Division National Guard (1950-1952). The evangelist Dr. Billy Graham dedicated the 60 foot cross at the mountain peak in 1962.
446 Woodfin Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WOODFIN_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4120 Hank Waxman photographerAcross the road from the overlook is a road cut showing the highly-folded banded biotite gneiss. These rocks are the oldest on the drive. They have been deformed and metamorphosed at least 3 times:1 billion years ago 450 million years ago and less intensely 250 million years ago. Their highly-folded appearance hint at the tectonic stresses they have experienced. [14]
446.7 Woodfin Cascades OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WOODFIN_CASCADES_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4535 NC WaterfallsAcross the Parkway from the overlook is a lovely waterfall. This is not Woodfin Cascades if these falls have a name it's not known here. Woodfin Cascades is actually reached most easily from Mt. Lynn Lowry overlook at Milepost 446.7. It is difficult to see once the summer leave cover fills in. The falls are about 235 feet high with 300 feet of run not counting the smaller cascades upstream from the main drop. The top of the falls can be reached by following an overgrown quarter mile trail from the southeast corner of the Mt. Lynn Lowry overlook.
448.1 Wesner Bald OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WESNER_BALD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4914 Senior Moments</td>
<td > Scenic Sunday #71: Wesner Bald OverlookYou can see Wesner Bald from the overlook. This mountain has a peak elevation of 5560 feet. The overlook itself is next to Cut-Off Ridge in Jackson County North Carolina. This is a phenomenal spot to get in some sunrise photography as evidenced by the beautiful shots in Flickr. It's not known here who the Bald was named after although Wesner is a last name found in this area.
448.5 Scott Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SCOTT_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5050 overlook-scott-creekThe view from Scott Creek overlook is in to a long heavily wooded valley. Here the Mountains-to-Sea Trail dives in to the woods for 300 miles. Scott Creek is 10-mile stretch of water that runs from its headwaters near Balsam downstream to Silvia. The stretch also includes North Fork Scott Creek and Bluff Creek which are very scenic. These creeks are stocked and have a good population of brown and rainbow trout.
449 Fork Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_FORK_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5280
450.2 Yellow Face OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_YELLOW_FACE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5610 A Black Rock Lumber Company logging camp once situated nearby floated logs of the mountain to Sylvia using a flume and diverted creek water. In the winter when the moss on the mountain died the rock face appears yellow. The mountains here geologically are part of the Great Smoky group dating back to the late Proterozoic era (about 750 million years ago).
451.2 Browning Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BROWNING_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5718 overlook-browning-knobThere is a plaque honoring R. Getty Browning a civil engineer and the North Carolina Senior Locating and Claims Engineer for the State Highway Commission at this overlook. Mr. Getting played a major role in determining the route for the Blue Ridge Parkway. He is credited with convincing the Secretary of the Interior to build the Parkway through North Carolina instead of routing it partially through Tennessee. Read more about R. Getty Browning here
451.2 Waterrock Knob OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WATERROCK_KNOB_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5718 overlook-waterrock-knobThe Plott Balsam Range and the Great Balsam Range meet at Waterrock Knob the second highest point on the Parkway. Display boards point out prominent peaks on the horizon adding distances and explanation of names. Because the parking area offers views to the southwest and the northeast this spot is ideal for watching the sunrise and sunset. Waterrock Knob Trail ends at the summit of Waterrock Knob. With an elevation of 6400 feet this trail goes higher than any other trail along the Parkway. From May through October a van based at this overlook acts as a mobile visitor information and interpretive sales center with maps books and other items. A comfort station is also located at this overlook.
452.1 Cranberry Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_CRANBERRY_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5475 overlook-cranberry-ridgeThe southern mountain cranberry found in this area is not like commercially grown cranberry plants. This plant is a shrub with edible berries native to high altitudes in the southern Appalachian mountains rather than the vine-like commercial plant grown in bogs. In late summer the ripened berries attract large numbers of native birds.
452.3 Woolyback OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_WOOLYBACK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5425 overlook-woolybackA blanket of rhododendron and mountain laurel shrubs cover the low ridge to the right creating a wooly look.
453.4 Hornbuckle Valley OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HORNBUCKLE_VALLEY_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5425 overlook-hornbuckle-valleyThe valley and creek were named after James Hornbuckle a Cherokee Indian who farmed the area. Hornbuckle served in the Union army during the Civil War enlisted in Knoxville Tennessee Company D 3rd regiment under Major W.W. Rollins of Ashville according to his son Israel Hornbuckle (Cherokee North Carolina 1954). He died in 1896 at about 60 years of age. The Cherokees were divided in loyalty during the war some fought for the Union and some for the Confederacy.
454.4 Thunderstruck Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THUNDERSTRUCK_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4780 overlook-thunderstruck-ridgeThe Thunderstruck Ridge lies below the overlook at an elevation of 4680 feet.
455.1 Fed Cove OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THUNDERSTRUCK_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4550 overlook-fed-coveA man named Fed had a cabin here and was able to live in peace in what was mostly Indian land at the time of the Civil War.
455.5 Soco Gap OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_SOCO_GAP_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4550 Romantic Asheville</td>
<td > Soco Falls</td>
<td > North CarolinaThe gap was a strategic location for the Cherokees because it was the main route for entering their land in the 1700s from the north and east. The Cherokees maintained an ambush outpost here to protect from the Shawnees and Europeans. The Cherokee word for the gap is “ahaluna” meaning ambush place. Soco Falls is a beautiful double waterfall on the edge of the Cherokee Indian Reservation. It is just 1.5 miles south of the outlook.
456.2 Jonathan Creek OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_JONATHAN_CREEK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4460 overlook-jonathan-creekA good place to camp the creek here was named for early pioneer Jonathan MacPeters (meaning 'son of Peter').
457.9 Plott Balsam OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_PLOTT_BALSAM_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5020 overlook-plott-balsam North Carolina's state dog the Plott Hound is named after the family of Jonathon Plott who emigrated from Germany in 1750. After a long ocean voyage on a ship named the Priscilla 16 year-old Jonathon arrived in Philadelphia PA on September 12 1750. Oral history states that he was accompanied on this adventure by an older brother who died at sea and five dogs–three striped and two yellowish–that were to be used to protect him and his livestock from predators. After a short time in Philadelphia Jonathon made his way south to North Carolina and eventually settled in Cabarrus County where he married Margaret Littleton purchased a farm and raised a family of five sons and four daughters. At the age of 30 Jonathon's son Henry moved his family and pack of dogs to Canton NC but eventually moved west toward the Balsam Mountains where game was plentiful. It is for this famous hunter and his descendants that the U. S. Park Service (NPS) named three peaks in the Balsam Mountain range and erected the interpretive sign at this overlook. The interpretive sign reads: "Before you lies the massive Plott Balsam Range. On one of its eastern slopes Henry Plott a German immigrant's son made his home in the early 1800's. In this game-filled frontier hunting dogs were a prized possesion. Here Henry Plott and his descendants developed the famous Plott Bear Hounds carefully selecting for the qualities of stamina courage and alertness the breed possesses today."
458.2 Heintooga Spur Road 6 OverlooksAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_HEINTOOGA_SPUR_6_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5352-5250 CNYHikingThis paved nine mile mountain road begins as a spur of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Wolf Laurel Gap located at mile marker 458.2 of the Parkway. It leads drivers along the crest of Balsam Mountain with scenic overlooks on both sides and into a remote part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
458.9 Lickstone OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_LICKSTONE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 5150 overlook-lickstoneThe Lickstone Ridge tunnel here is 406-feet long. A lickstone was a smooth stone where settlers would spread salt for their livestock.
459.5 Bunches Bald OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BUNCHES_BALD_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4925 overlook-bunches-baldThis area was most likely named after an early logger. The tunnel to the left is 290 feet long.
460.8 Jenkins Ridge OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_JENKINS_RIDGE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4445 overlook-jenkins-ridgeThe overlook is named after Jonas Jenkins a settler who was able to live peacefully with the Cherokees. His cabin was on the far side of the large ridge visible to the left of the overlook.
461.9 Big Witch OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BIG_WITCH_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 4160 overlook-big-witchThis overlook is named after one of the last great Cherokee medicine men. This overlook provides great views of the Smoky Mountains.
463.9 Thomas Divide OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_THOMAS_DIVIDE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 3735 overlook-thomas-divideOne great mystery of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the one of the Thomas Divide. During the day the Thomas Divide is a great overlook spot to take a rest and enjoy the mountain panorama. However at night across the valley and on the mountain range lights began to appear flicker burn and fade across the face of the mountains. The lights appear white but then change to blue or even blood red. The biggest mystery is why the lights are there in the first place. The story goes that many years ago when the Cherokee were forced to move from the mountains of North Carolina soldiers were sent into the area in order to enforce the new regulations. A group of rebellious Native Americans led by a "witch doctor" tried to resist the movement and stay on their land. Nonetheless the soldiers captured the witch doctor's family and instructed him to turn himself in order to save his family himself and the others. The witch doctor did as he was told in hopes of a saving his people but was tricked. Not only was the "witch doctor's" family killed the witch doctor himself was killed dismembered and spread all across the area as a warning to all of the others that chose to defy the soldiers. The legend goes that the lights are the witch doctor's parts trying to find themselves. Of course there are the usual skeptics that make up stories about natural gases reacting or some other natural phenomenon. [15]
467.4 Ballhoot Scar OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_BALLHOOT_SCAR_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2550 overlook-ballhoot-scar"Ballhoot" is a term used by loggers who would yell it as a warning before the trees tumbled down the mountain. The scars are the remnants of the paths the trees took on their way down the mountain to the sawmill.
467.9 Raven Fork OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_RAVEN_FORK_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2400 overlook-raven-forkThe fields below are Floyd Bottoms and are part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Raven Fork enters the Oconaluftee River a mile downstream. The river bed was once used as a crossing known as Ravensford.
468.4 Oconaluftee OverlookAdopted by: [insert_php]echo OVERLOOK_OCONALUFTEE_ADOPTED;[/insert_php] 2200 overlook-oconalufteeA Cherokee village once stood a few miles down river called "e-gwan-ul-ti" meaning "by the river." After time the pronunciation led to its current name.
Footnotes
Don’t overlook this… FRIENDS Adopt-an-Overlook program keeps many of these overlooks pristine and beautiful thru the work of our volunteers. If you’re interested in adopting an available overlook, please learn more here.

You’ll find many lists of Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks on the web and they can be a bit different from one another. As an official National Park Service (NPS), Blue Ridge Parkway partner, we at FRIENDS adhere to the Parkway Service list and naming conventions.

We welcome additional information, corrections and additions to our list. Please feel free to contact us at staff@friendsbrp.org if you can add to what we’ve put together.

Citations
[1] Floyd Magazine, “Floyd County is Home”
[2] Wikipedia, “Twelve O’clock Knob (Roanoke County, Virginia)”
[3] Roadside America, “Mount Airy, North Carolina: World’s Largest Granite Quarry”
[4] Caudill Family Cabin Homestead
[5] Wikipedia, “Betsey’s Rock Falls”
[6] North Carolina Birding Trail, “Lewis Fork Overlook”
[7] CNY Hiking, “E. B. Jeffress Park”
[8] The Boone Society, Inc., “The Boone Trace Project”
[9] Wikipedia, “Tweetsie Railroad”
[10] Blue Ridge Parkway Overlooks, “Linn Cove Viaduct – Blue Ridge Parkway Attraction”
[11] Sherpa Guides, Buck Creek and Chunky Gal Mountain
[12] GORP, Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway
[13] HikeWNC, Pink Beds Loop Hike
[14] Emporia University – Kansas, Tectonics of the Blue Ridge Mountain Province
[15] Western Carolinian, The Thomas Divide

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