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The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 470 miles in Virginia and North Carolina. It is accessible from many areas throughout Virginia, but the way I know best is Rt. 60 from Buena Vista, or Rt. 501 east from Buena Vista over the mountain at the James River gorge to the parkway at Otter Creek.

The Parkway was built in sections, with construction beginning in 1935 near the Virginia-North Carolina state line. The first portion of the road was opened in 1939. The final piece of the parkway, around Grandfather Mountain, was finished in 1987.

Besides beautiful views of the southern Appalachian Mountains and valleys, the parkway provides a look at the natural and cultural history of the region. Popular times for the parkway are the late spring, when the rhododendron and mountain laurel are in bloom, and the fall leaf season.

At regular intervals, visitors will find campgrounds, restaurants, picnic areas, and comfortable motel-style accommodations. You can spend a few hours or several days traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway, and see new and different things around every turn. If you enjoy natural beauty and scenic views, take drive on the parkway anytime you’re in Virginia.

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