National Scenic Byways and Other Recreational Drives

North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway extends 469 miles along the crests of the Southern Appalachians and links two eastern national parks--Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains, crossing the North Carolina and Virginia state line at mile 216.9. The 1749 party that surveyed the boundary included Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas. View a detailed description of the parkway.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway - The southern end of the Parkway, its highest and wildest segment, offers classic Smokies views, rugged mountains, and thickets of rhododendrons.

Forest Heritage Scenic Byway

The Forest Heritage Scenic Byway follows a 79-mile loop through the mountain valleys and rural countrysides on the Pisgah National Forest where American forestry was born. The byway, rich in the history of the early exploration and settlement of the Southern Appalachians, features attractions such as The Cradle of Forestry, Looking Glass Falls, and Sliding Rock. (See the Pisgah National Forest page for a detailed description of these and other attractions.

Mountain Waters Scenic Byway

The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway is a 61.3-mile drive that winds through southern Appalachian hardwood forest, two river gorges, and rural countryside. Traveling from Highlands to Almond, the byway follows U.S. 64, old U.S. 64, SR 1310 (Wayah Road), and U.S. 19. Part of this nationally-recognized byway coincides with two State scenic routes. Much of the byway travels through the Nantahala National Forest. For a sample of attractions along the route, view a detailed description of the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 12 Jul 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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