National Scenic Byways and Other Recreational Drives


Driving through Virginia offers beautiful scenery year-round. You can enjoy panoramic vistas, as well as wildlife viewing, including wild turkey, songbirds and black bear. Civil War and mining history add to the variety along Virginia's leisurely drives.

Driving Through History

Explore our nation's past and enjoy a scenic drive on this tour of four Civil War battle sites.

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.

Big Walker Mountain Scenic Byway

Winding 16 miles through the countryside surrounding the mountain from which it takes its name, the Big Walker Mountain Scenic Bywayshowcases year-round scenic beauty-frozen winter wonderlands, the wildflowers of springtime, and spectacular fall color. Summer is an excellent time to enjoy camping, hiking, picnicking, and fishing along the byway. Nearby streams offer trout fishing opportunities, and the area is also rich in Civil War history.

George Washington Memorial Parkway

Much more than a commuter way, this stretch along the Potomac connects Mt. Vernon Estate, Arlington House, wildlife sanctuaries, Great Falls Park and other historic and natural attractions.

The Highlands Scenic Tour

In addition to panoramic views and a variety of wildlife-white-tailed deer, song-birds, wild turkey, squirrel, and black bear-visitors to the 20-mile Highlands Scenic Tour can travel back in time to the site of an early iron mining operation. Though idle since the early 1900's, parts of the mines, iron furnaces, and narrow-gauge railroad operations are still in evidence.

Mt. Rogers Scenic Byway

The Mt. Rogers Scenic Byway traverses 55.5 miles of the Jefferson National Forest offering views of the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area and open rural countryside.

Potomac Basin Outdoors

Greater Washington DC offers hiking, biking, paddling, scenic driving and historic sites galore.

Skyline Drive

One of the great ones. More than 100 miles of knockout Blue Ridge Mountain purty views in Shenandoah National Park. Well marked stop-and-gaze pullouts and leg-stretcher trailheads are liberally sprinkled along the way.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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