a state park featuring amazing scenic views and diverse ecology
Grandfather Mountain is a scenic State Park located one mile south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 305. The main attractions are the mile high swinging bridge and the stunning 360 degree view of the surrounding mountain peaks from one mile above sea level. Picnic at one of over 100 picnic tables located at Grandfather Mountain, or hike on some of the best alpine hiking trails in the south with 11 trails of varying difficulty.
With one of the most diverse ecological systems in the region, the park is a nature reserve for 16 distinct ecological communities. It is an environmental habitat for native wildlife including black bears, river otters, deer, cougars and eagles.
an engineering masterpiece in a scenic mountain setting
One of the most expensive bridges at the time, the Linn Cove Viaduct was a $10 million section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near the rugged and rocky perimeter of Grandfather Mountain. This bridge located at milepost 304.6 was one of the most complicated bridges ever, as it snakes around in an "s" curve at an elevation of 4,100 feet and does so with a minimal ecological footprint.
The Linn Cove Visitor Center at the south end of the viaduct has a museum with information on the history and construction of the bridge, as well as hiking trails for a closer look at the bridge's construction.
a restored grist mill, sawmill, woodworking shop, and blacksmith shop
The Mabry Mill was operated as a grist mill, saw mill and a blacksmith shop from 1910 until 1935. The Mabry Mill was built and owned by Edwin Boston Mabry around 1910. Located in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains the mill is now run by the National Park Service.
The gristmill and sawmill have now been fully restored by park naturalists so that Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors would be able to experience the vast history of this milling process. Today the mill is one of the most famous and most photographed rural life attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
a popular hiking and camping area
Located at milepost 418.8, Graveyard Fields elevation is 5120 feet. This area is one of the most popular hiking areas on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The beautiful loop trail system leads you to several waterfalls located all through the area. You will experience the beauty of pink and purple blooming mountain laurel and rhododendron in the open faced beauty of Graveyard Fields. There are 3 main waterfalls in Graveyard Fields that are easily accessable.
The name originates from a time when a wind storm blew down hundreds of trees. The upturned roots gave the look of gravestones. Sadly, later during the logging era a huge wild fire swept through the area burning down anything that resembled a gravestone.
the "grand canyon of the east", waterfalls, hiking, camping
The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area is one of the deepest scenic gorges in the eastern United States and is sometimes referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the East". The area features an old growth forest surrounded by rugged terrain in the southern Appalachians. It is located in Western North Carolina in the Pisgah National Forest and is home to Linville Falls, a spectacular 90 foot high multi-level waterfall carved out of the rock by the Linville River.
Many hikers, campers and rock climbers visit the Linville Gorge Wilderness area every year. The trail system spans 39 miles and is well maintained by the Grandfather Ranger District of the United States Forest Service and offers hiking that is strenuous and challenging for those who enjoy hiking.
a spectacular camping and hiking experience
Crabtree Meadows is a 250 acre recreation area located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile post 339.5. Here you can have a picnic, camp, go on a nature walk, and visit the gift shop, but the main attraction located at Crab Tree Meadows is Crabtree Falls, a 70 foot cascade waterfall.
Starting in May the Meadows become a garden of wildflowers, including Mountain Laurel, Hawthorne, Gentian, and Beard Tongue.
home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild
The Folk Art Center is a popular stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, featuring arts and crafts from the local artisans of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Visitors can enjoy a rich slice of Appalachian Mountain culture as they view local crafts and art galleries that include paintings, photography, jewelry, basket weaving, quilts, woodworking and much more.
The center also features art and craft demonstrations that you can participate in which is fun for everyone, especially the kids.
the largest recreational area on the Parkway
Doughton Park is the largest recreational park along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The area is the perfect place to spend a day, and offers adventure for every member of the family. The 6000 acre state park features more than 30 miles of hiking trails, fishing, camping, and a large picnic area.
Scenics views and a famous rustic Lodge
A popular spot along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Peaks of Otter area offers hiking near a mountain lake with incredible scenic mountains views. It is also the home to a rustic mountain lodge that is cherished for its country cuisine.
the best of the Great Craggy Mountains
Craggy Gardens is a popular destination in The Great Craggy Mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway, commonly called the "Craggies" by locals. The area features hiking trails across grassy balds through colorful rhododendron and wildflowers, a visitors center with information, a large picnic area with plenty of parking, and breathtaking scenic views of Western North Carolina including the tallest mountains in the East, the Black Mountains.
general area information, local attraction and scenic guides
The Devil's Courthouse has some of the most spectacular views on the Blue Ridge Parkway. At the summit you'll find a 360-degree panoramic scenic view that includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee all at the same time on a clear day. A sign there reads "The bare rock profile named Devil's Courthouse is sinister in appearance and legend. It's devilish look has contributed to the many folk tales surrounding this mountain".
It is also home to several rare high altitude plants including Rock Gnome Lichen and the Spreading Avens. Some of these alpine species could be remnants from the last glacial period.
the tallest peak in the Eastern US
Mount Mitchell is the tallest peak in the Eastern United States at well over a mile high. At an elevation of 6,684 feet (2,037 metres), the scenic landscape views from the observation deck at the summit are absolutely breathtaking. At the top you'll find plenty of parking, a gift shop, small cafe, and an easy walking trail to the newly built observation platform at the summit.
a collection of must-see waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding mountains are home to thousands of natural waterfalls, and many of them are easily accessed right from the Parkway. Some of these mountain waterfalls have become very popular attractions along the Parkway, and it's easy to see why!
On this page we will talk about some of the largest and most popular waterfalls, breathtaking sights that are easy to visit during your trip down America's favorite scenic drive.