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25 Vistas Restored So Far with the Overlook Clearing Project

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Arborists from the National Park Service Incident Response Team resumed clearing overgrown vistas on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Roanoke area December 4th through December 15, restoring 25 vistas and clearing 3,815 trees so far with this stretch of the project! It’s incredible news for us, and for visitors to the Parkway.

Milepost 89.6 Before & After


The project is a continuation of the vista restoration work launched in the fall of 2014 with the support of FRIENDS. At that time, the team cleared more than 1,000 trees in 10 days, according to arborist team member Chris Ulrey, an NPS plant ecologist. Work continued in the spring of 2015 around Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Thousands of trees have been cleared to restore the Blue Ridge Parkway views. Thanks to photographers with Exposure Roanoke, we’ve got some great images of the progress so far. Check out the website here, or browse the gallery below.


Managing the scenic beauty along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a complex task. The Parkway was designed to maximize scenic views and give visitors the impression that they are in a park with boundaries to the horizon. Restoring the views in some areas requires highly skilled arborists to carefully balance natural resource issues such as wildlife habitat protection along with the necessary work that allows park visitors to enjoy the scenic view. FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway supports this and other vista restoration projects using the proceeds of the Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plate in Virginia! For more information about this plate visit


One comment
  1. Gerald Via January 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    That is great work. However, I think the overlook at Groundhog Mountain is the absolute worst on the Parkway. It needs a ton of work. My personal favorite is the Saddle, and it needs a bunch of trees cut to show the views of years past. I contribute to the “Friends” and the “Foundation”. Would volunteer, but health issues rule that out. Good luck with this project.