Blue Ridge Parkway

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It's nearly 500 miles long and runs along the ridges of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in America's east coast Appalachian Mountain chain.  Mile after mile of breath-taking beauty, panorama, flora and fauna.  People from around the country and world travel here annually for 100-mile views, red and orange leaves of Autumn, and fresh air.  It's the Blue Ridge Parkway!

February 11, 2017 by Rick Morris

Though the Blue Ridge Parkway started as two separate construction projects, one by Virginia and one by North Carolina, it connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC) with the Shenandoah National Park (VA).  It's not an official national park, but you would think it as so. 

The Parkway is protected because the land is controlled by the National Park Service.  Some of the Blue Ridge Parkway is directly neighbored by Forest Service land.

Initially known as the Appalachian Scenic Highway, construction on the Blue Ridge Parkway begin in the late summer of 1935 in Cumberland Knob (NC). Work started a few months later from the Virginia side.  The following year, the U.S. government recognized it as the Blue Ridge Parkway, giving the National Park Service official control.  At the time, it was the longest federally-planned road in the United States.

Much of the work on the Parkway was contracted to the private sector and some was performed courtesy the "New Deal", domestic programs initiated during Franklin Roosevelt's first term.  The Emergency Relief Administration took care of the Parkway "turn-outs" (viewing areas) and other recreation zones.  The Works Progress Administration helped construct the roads.  And, several Civilian Conservation Corps workers kept the roads clean and performed some landscaping. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway was officially completed in 1987 after the final piece of road was constructed near Grandfather Mountain.  It was the Linn Cove Viaduct - an 8-year, $10 million multiple-award-winning project featuring a concrete segment bridge winding around Grandfather Mountain. 

A street-level view of the winding Linn Cove Viaduct near Grandfather Mountain along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The 52-year Blue Ridge Parkway project saw the development of 6 viaducts, blasting of 26 tunnels and the building of 168 bridges. 

Road closures are frequent during winter due to ice accumulation or heavy fog.  This is especially so near Mount Pisgah (NC), where the elevation is over 6,000 feet.

Looking Glass Rock, a huge rock formation found along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.The Parkway is free to the public, but commercial vehicles are prohibited (some exceptions are permitted after approval by the Park Service).  It is not maintained during the winter.  The speed limit is 45 miles per hour (or less).  Mile posts start at 1 in Virginia and end at 469 in North Carolina.

Blue Ridge Parkway Map

Here is a rendering of a Blue Ridge Parkway Map available.  It's provided by the National Park Service. Download this and print it for your next trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway...

A small image of the U.S. Forest Service's map of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

And, another Blue Ridge Parkway Map - this one showing a broader view of the two states through with the Parkway runs...

Another map of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this one showing the two states (NC and VA) through which it runs. 

Blue Ridge Parkway Map - Southern End (Full Color)

Here is perhaps the best Blue Ridge Parkway Map (southern end) in full color.  Shown are the connecting/surrounding towns and cities, lakes, mileposts, and road names/indicators.  Also, there is a red/white star showing the exits points for the parkway.  You can print this map by clicking and enlarging...

A beautiful map of the Blue Ridge Parkway, showing the milemarkers, main roads, connecting towns, lakes, and mileposts.
Blue Ridge Parkway Map Courtesy: Blue Ridge Parkway Association ( ).  Red stars indicated exits off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blue Ridge Parkway Map - Northern End (Full Color)

Here is perhaps the best Blue Ridge Parkway Map (northern end) in full color.  Shown are the connecting/surrounding towns and cities, lakes, mileposts/milemarkers, and road names/indicators.  Also, there is a red/white star showing the exits points for the parkway.  You can print this map by clicking and enlarging...

A map of the Blue Ridge Parkway (northern end) showing milemarkers, roads, connecting/adjoining towns and cities, mile posts, lakes, rivers, and attractions.
Blue Ridge Parkway Map Courtesy: Blue Ridge Parkway Association ( ).  Red stars indicated exits off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Extending from Western Virginia and Western North Carolina, The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of America's most popular driving destinations.  This All-American Road should be on everyone's bucket list.  Starting near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and ending in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, the Parkway takes you through places such as Grandfather Mountain, Ravens Roost, Sherando Lake, Humpback Rock, Rockfish Gap, Whetstone Ridge, Yankee Horse Ridge, James River and Kanawaha Canal, Peaks of Otter, Roanoke River Gorge, Pilot Mountain, Fox Hunters Paradise, Cumberland Knob, Jumpinoff Rock, Daniel Boone's Trace, Linn Cove Viaduct, Flat Rock, Linvill Falls, Mount Mitchell State Park, Glassmine Falls, Craggy Gardens, Mount Pisgah, Looking Glass Rock, Shining Rock Wilderness, Black Balsam Knob, Devil's Courthouse, and Waterrock Knob.

Waynesville NC Weather
The weather in Waynesville is mild, with warm summers, cool autumns, cold winters, and warming springs.

Restaurants in Waynesville NC
When it comes to finding good food, there are several quality restaurants, bar and grills, and eateries.

Waynesville NC Hotels
So, you need a place to stay?  No worries.  Try one of our cozy Bed and Breakfast's, motels, or cabins.

Bogarts Restaurant
One of the town's most regarded restaurants.  If you are looking for good food prices, this is for you.

Ingles Grocery
Head over to Ingles for all your grocery needs.  One of about 200 Ingles chain groceries in the area.

Wells Funeral Home
A respected funeral home in Waynesville for more than 100 years.

Urgent Care
This is where you go when you are sick, but not enough to warrant a visit to the ER. Two locations in Waynesville.

Downtown Waynesville
Where its happening! Walk the cozy sidewalks and take in the shops, street art, and culture.

Mountain Projects
A community action agency, serving Haywood County since 1965.

Old Stone Inn
This mountain lodge and restaurant is currently for sale (February 11, 2017).  Seven buildings. 18 guest rooms.  Price: $900k.

The Lodge
The Lodge is a hotel in Waynesville offering complimentary coffee and doughnuts in the lobby.  Queen-sized beds, no-smoking in all rooms. All rooms are poolside.

Movie Theater
If you are looking for a regular movie theater in Waynesville NC, you're out of luck.

Cabin Rentals
Nothing says living rustic like a night in a 19th century cabin.

Barbers Orchard
Barbers Orchard is a produce market/fruit stand that is open Monday - Sunday from 9am until 6pm.

Things to Do
There are plenty of things to do in Waynesville NC.  From browsing shops on Main Street in this Historic town to visiting the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway

Music Box
The Music Box is a DVD and video store in Waynesville, NC.

Here is a selection of dentists in Waynesville.

Shopping is a fun part of any visit to Waynesville NC.

Go Grocery
Go Grocery provides surplus grocery products which they purchase from producers at discount.

Hair Salons
Time to get that hair done?  Here is a small listing of hair salons in Waynesville NC where you can do it.

Herren House
A Bed and Breakfast in Waynesville, NC.

Pisgah Inn
Situated at about 5,000 feet in elevation on Mt. Pisgah, the Inn offers basic rooms at a reasonable price.

Garrett Funeral Home
Garrett's present building, built in 1968 features a chapel for 250 guests, cushioned seats, a piano...

Cold Mountain
Take a hike up the famous Cold Mountain, from the movie.

Mast General Store
Quality goods for the living, coffins & caskets for the dead.

A listing of churches in Waynesville, NC.

Waynesville Inn
The Waynesville Inn is a golf resort and spa located in Waynesville, NC.

Frog Level
Visit the historic "Frog Level" district just below the Waynesville courthouse area.

Carolina West Dental
With a staff of about 20 people, 8,000 square feet, and 8 chairs.

Homes for Sale
Buying or selling a home or land in Waynesville area.

Waynesville NC Newspaper
There are a couple newspapers that service Waynesville NC.

The Swag
The Swag features an award-winning restaurant, awesome accommodations, and world-class hiking trails.

Oak Park Inn
Old-fashioned lodging for visitors to Waynesville, North Carolina.  Nice place!

Tractor Supply
Located just outside of town off Highway 19.

Haywood County
One of the 100 counties in the state of North Carolina, Haywood is located in the western part of the state.

Bed and Breakfast
One of the most enjoyable ways to experience Waynesville NC is by staying at a bed and breakfast.

Sweet Onion Restaurant
Without question the best restaurant in Waynesville NC!

Parkway Inn
The Parkway Inn motel offers rooms for smokers or non-smokers, honeymoon suites, and double-wide hot tubs.

Main Street Realty
Main Street Realty has a number of real estate agents/brokers to serve you.

Waynesville NC Map
Here is a large map of Waynesville, NC.

Hart Theatre
The HART Theater, or Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, is a community theatre showcasing regional talent.  Plenty of plays and musicals are performed in the 255-seat James Auditorium.

Population & Elevation
What is the elevation of the town of Waynesville?  How about it's population.  Here are some basic facts.

Autumn Care
Autumn Care in Waynesville opened in 1985 and provides 24-hour nursing care.

Producer of medical products and employer of local people with disabilities and disadvantages.

This is an Italian style restaurant serving authentic Italian or Mediterranean dishes.

The primary hospital serving Waynesville NC and the rest of Haywood County is Haywood Regional Medical Center.

Tuscola High School
Tuscola is one of two high schools in Haywood County.  The other is Pisgah High School in Canton.

Sunburst Realty
A real estate agency/broker in business since 1974. 

Massie Furniture
A place to buy solid wood furniture in Waynesville, NC.

High Country Furniture
Furniture store in Waynesville NC.

Windover Inn
Windover Inn...

Star Ranch
This is an animal rescue location for abused and neglected horses.