roadway stretching 469 miles through North Carolina
. Maintained by the National Park Service
, the Blue Ridge
was established to maintain the natural beauty of the area.
The Parkway starts on its southern end near Cherokee, NC in
the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It winds its way to
Asheville, NC where the Parkway's headquarters is located. The
roadway passes through the Pisgah National Forest and close to
Blowing Rock, a popular attraction in the mountains of North Carolina.
The Parkway reaches its highest pint at Richard Balsam Overlook
at a height of 6,047 feet.
The Parkway continues into Virginia where it passes close to
Roanoke. The Appalachian Trail is accessible from the Parkway
in a number of places along this area. The Parkway ends in the
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
A number of campgrounds and picnic areas are scattered along the
length of the Parkway as well as a handfull of visitors centers. Other
attractions along its length include the Blue Ridge Music Center which
highlights bluegrass and other regional music (people who dislike
dulcimer music should avoid at all costs). For those interested
in regional arts and crafts, the Southern Highlands Folk Art Center
is located on the Parkway as well.