The Blue Ridge Parkway

Stretching 469-miles along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains through Virginia and North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is an All-American Scenic Highway and one of the most beloved park units within the National Parks system. Established in the 1930s as part of an effort to stimulate the economy, preserve the natural beauty of the area, and connect smaller, more isolated communities, the Parkway affords sweeping views of the Blue Ridge from multiple overlooks, hiking trails and interpretive stations.

The speed limit on the road is 45 miles per hour, an important fact to note as the Parkway was designed to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace and is a popular bicycling route. The biodiversity of the Parkway is one of the most important environmental habitats in America. From one point along the Parkway, you can access Mount Mitchell State Park and the highest elevation in the United States, east of the Mississippi River. Near Asheville, you can also visit the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s Folk Art Center, featuring hand-made arts and crafts from the region.

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