Blue Ridge Parkway - Virginia Scenic Byway
The Blue Ridge Parkway, designed for: motor recreation, is administered by the National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior, with headquarters at 200 BB&T; Building Asheville NC 28801. Most services are available from May 1 through October; limited campground facilities in winter. Sections of the parkway may be closed by snow or ice. Lodging
This service is provided along the parkway from May through October except year round at Peaks of Otter lodge). Reservations for lodging are advisable: Peaks of Otter Lodge-Virginia Peaks of Otter CO, Box 489, Bedford, VA 24523; Rocky Knob Cabins June through Labor Day)-National Park Concessions, Inc., Meadows of Dan, VA 24120; Bluffs Lodge, Doughton Park-National Park Concessions, Inc., Laurel Springs, NC 286449716; and Pisgah Inn-Drawer 749, Waynesville, NC 28786. A wide range of accommodations also is available in nearby communities.
Walks and Talks
You are invited to attend campfire programs and conducted walks at points of interest. These activities are listed on the Visitor Activities bulletin boards and in the parkway newspaper, "The Milepost," available free at any visitor center.
The nine campgrounds are open from about May 1 through October or into early November, depending on weather conditions Facilities are limited in winter. Fees are charged and length of stay may be limited. Camping is permitted only in designated campgrounds Drinking water and comfort stations are provided; shower and laundry facilities are not. Sites in each campground are designated for trailers, but none is equipped for utility connections. Campgrounds have sanitary dumping stations. Each campsite has a table and fireplace. Limited supplies may be purchased at most parkway gasoline stations and camp stores.
The hiker symbol under an overlook-ahead sign is your invitation to leave your vehicle for a walk through the woods. Some trails are short leg stretchers and take only 10 minutes round-trip; others take 30 minutes or an hour. Many miles of excellent trails are at Peaks of Otter, Rocky Knob, Doughton Park, and Cone and Price Memorial Parks. The Appalachian Trail roughly parallels the parkway from mile 0 at Rockfish Gap to mile 103.
Along the parkway are several picnic grounds with tables, fireplaces, drinking water, trash cans, and comfort stations. Several parking overlooks also have picnic tables.
Regulations and Safety Tips
Drive carefully. The maximum speed limit is 45 miles per hour. Mountainous terrain and sightseeing, however, often require slower speeds. Allow 30 miles per hour when figuring actual travel time. Report all accidents to a park ranger. Commercial vehicles are not permitted.
Remember to fasten seat belts.
Parking on the shoulder is permitted where safe and where such parking will not damage the turf or plants.
Prevent forest fires. Fires, including charcoal, are permitted only in campgrounds and picnic areas.
All plants and animals on the parkway are protected. Please watch for animals as you drive. You may gather edible fruits, nuts, and berries for your personal consumption only. Hunting is prohibited.
Pets must be kept on a leash or otherwise under physical control.
Do not litter; use trash containers at parking and picnic areas.
Do not swim in parkway lakes and ponds. Swimming areas are available in the nearby U.S. Forest Service recreation areas, state parks, and resorts.
Only boats without motors or sails are permitted on Price Lake.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication