The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic 469-mile road that runs through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. It’s a popular destination for travelers looking to explore the great outdoors and take in some of the most breathtaking views in the country.
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a wide variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. Some popular trails include the Black Balsam Knob Trail, which offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains, and the Rough Ridge Trail, which takes you through a beautiful rhododendron tunnel. Be sure to wear proper footwear and bring plenty of water.
Fishing Rock Trail
This hike is a bit more strenuous than the other hikes on this list, but the views are well worth it. The trail takes you to the summit of Blessing Rock, where you can see for miles in every direction. This hike in the Fishing Rock trail is especially beautiful when the leaves change colors in the fall.
Mabry Mill is a restored grist mill that was built in 1910. It’s a popular spot for visitors to take in the sights and sounds of the mill in action, and there are also a number of other buildings on the property, including a blacksmith shop and a sawmill.
Peaks of Otter
The Peaks of Otter are a group of three peaks that rise up out of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The peaks are Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. The hike to the top of Sharp Top is challenging, but it’s well worth it for the views. There is also a visitor center, a restaurant, and a Lodge on the top of the peak where you can relax and enjoy the views.
Visit the Blue Ridge Music Center
The Blue Ridge Music Center is a great place to experience the traditional music of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The center offers a variety of concerts, workshops, and other events throughout the year, and it’s a great place to learn more about the region’s rich musical heritage.
The Natural Bridge of Virginia
The Natural Bridge of Virginia is a 215-foot tall natural bridge that was carved out of limestone by Cedar Creek. It’s a popular spot for visitors to hike, take in the views, and learn about the natural and cultural history of the area.
The Blue Ridge Tunnel
The Blue Ridge Tunnel is a 4,237-foot-long tunnel built in the 1850s as part of the Blue Ridge Railroad. The tunnel is now abandoned, but it’s a popular spot for hikers, history buffs, and train enthusiasts. Visitors can see the original brick lining and the hand-cut stonework inside the tunnel. It is also a haunted place, and some say to have seen ghostly apparitions.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Campground – This campground offers a variety of camping options, including tent and RV sites, and it’s an excellent option for budget-conscious travelers. Amenities include bathrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings. It’s a great way to experience the beauty of the parkway while saving money on accommodations.
The Peaks of Otter Lodge – This historic lodge is located near the base of the Peaks of Otter and offers comfortable rooms and cabin-style accommodations. Amenities include a restaurant, a gift shop, and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool. It’s a great option for those looking for a comfortable, moderate-priced option.
The Omni Homestead Resort – This luxurious resort is located in Hot Springs, Virginia, and it is a great option for those looking to splurge on their accommodations. It offers a variety of room options, including suites and cottages, as well as amenities such as a spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, and a variety of dining options.
The Blue Ridge Yurt – If you’re looking for truly unique accommodation, the Blue Ridge Yurt is a great option. This circular tent-like structure offers a comfortable and memorable camping experience. It’s equipped with a wood-burning stove, comfortable beds, and all the necessary equipment for a good night’s sleep. It’s a great option for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience.
In conclusion, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must-see destination for any traveler looking to experience the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re looking to hike, take in some stunning views, or learn more about the region’s rich cultural heritage, there’s something for everyone on this scenic road. Be sure to plan your trip, bring proper gear, and, most importantly, enjoy the journey.