The Blue Ridge Parkway – Part I

There’s no better place to lift your spirits than to be
on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Encounter split rail fences, cabins and barns from a time long gone, and valleys filled with Dogwoods, Rhododendron, and wild flowers.  Hike to Watterock Knob where near 6200 feet you can experience a panoramic view where the sun rises and sets on the Smoky Mountains.

The Parkway is a paradise for photographers and artists.  Walks in the springtime are filled with wildflowers, Dogwoods and Rhododendron; fall with brilliant color from hundreds of species of trees and shrubs.    Winter can be just as magical as spring. Amazing ice crystal formations can be seen from water dripping down rock walls that line much of the parkway.  Cool summer rains leave fog drifting around the mountains.   And the natural blue haze, which gives the mountain range its name, is almost always there for you to witness.

There are many recreational areas, visitor centers, and other facilities available to help you plan picnicking, fishing, and hiking. More information to help you plan your trip can be found here.
The parkway runs for 469 miles along the crests of the Southern Appalachians and runs between two eastern national parks: Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains.  The parkway, originally called the “Appalachian Scenic Highway” was planned during the administration of U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Work began on September 11, 1935 near Cumberland Knob in North Carolina.  On June 30, 1936, Congress placed the project under the National Park Service and named it the Blue Ridge Parkway.  

The construction took over fifty-two years, with the section near Grandfather Mountain being the last to be completed.   The parkway crosses streams, railways, ravines and cross roads by 168 bridges, six viaducts, and goes through 27 tunnels.
to be continued….