Considered by many to be one of the most scenic roads in America, The Blue Ridge Parkway has a lot to offer to your eyes. This is especially true during fall when the crisp air and yellow and red trees give the surrounding mountains a beautiful glow, which plays a significant role in why it has become so widely visited.
Here we will look at the Blue Ridge Parkway, where it is located, and some of the most impressive sites to visit along this mountain road.
Where Is The Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway is a national parkway in the United States known for its beautiful scenery. As America's longest linear park, Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles and passes through Virginia and North Carolina as it links the Shenandoah national park and the Great Smoky Mountains national park.
Since 1946, the Blue Ridge Parkway has been one of the most visited national parks in America. One interesting aspect of the roadway is the max speed limit never reaches more than 45 mph, and commercial vehicles are prohibited from traveling along its roads. "Aside from the low-speed limit, the parkway is also known for its highly variable weather conditions and brilliant autumn foliage" writes Jeff Holtz, a writer at PhD Kingdom.
Best Places to Visit Along The Blue Ridge Parkway
Humpback Rocks: Just a few miles away from Waynesboro's northern entrance, one will find the Humpback Rocks visitor center. Here, you can enjoy the gift shop, the outdoor farm museum, and a few short-paved trails.
The highlight of this stop is the outdoor farm museum, which gives an interesting look into farm life in the Appalachian Mountains. Aside from this, there is also a network of trails that will take people through the surrounding forest.
James River Visitor Center
The bridge that crosses over into the James River visitor center is only 600 feet above sea level, making it the lowest point on the entire Blue Ridge Parkway. Once over the bridge, you will be met by the small visitor center, which has a customer service desk and restrooms available. From there, you can embark on a series of trails that will take travelers to the restored battery creek lock, which is an old water canal.
If you’re looking to embark on a more strenuous trail, consider visiting the 7-mile round trip otter creek hike.
Apple Orchard Mountain
While James River was the lowest point, at 3,950 feet above sea level, the apple orchard mountain outlook is the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Aside from the outstanding views and scenery, there isn't very much to do aside from visiting an old US navy Radar station, although the hike may prove difficult for some.
Virginia's Explore Park
Virginia's Explore Park is the first location on this list not owned or operated by the national park service, and it is a great place to visit. The visitors center has an impressive 3D map of the entire parkway, along with a gift shop and information center.
On top of this, the explore park offers you an impressive array of outdoor activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, kayaking, and hiking. Of all the Blue Ridge Parkway destinations, Virginia's Explore Park is one of the best if you looking to engage in outdoor activities.
Of all the stops and destinations on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Marby Mill is perhaps the most iconic. At its core, Marby Mill is a mill and pond that receives a high number of visitors when the trees start changing colors, however, those who know the area well will agree that it is much, much more. Aside from the restaurant and gift shop, the area is also home to a vast trails network that many people enjoy walking through it when the leaves change colors.
If you traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway during fall, take special care to visit the Marby Mill.
Blue Ridge Music Center
The final stop on this list is the Blue Ridge Music Center which is a state-of-the-art performance center. Aside from being an active performance center, it is also a music heritage museum, owing to the fact that the Blue Ridge area has produced more celebrated bluegrass musicians per capita than any other area in the world.
Michael Dehoyos is an essay writer . Over the course of his career, he has helped many companies develop and implement marketing strategies. In his spare time he also contributes to numerous sites and publications.