Blue Ridge Parkway: An American Favourite

Posted on 6 March 2013

The Blue Ridge Parkway is all about the scenery. In Autumn/Fall, this journey along the forested spine of the Blue Ridge in the southern Appalachians is particularly spectacular, thanks to the colourful leaves which line the drive.

by InAweofGod'sCreation Flickr Creative Commons

The Parkway begins in Rockfish Gap, Virginia and runs to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. To drive the entire thing, It would likely take longer than 12 hours, so the best way tot ackle this beautiful road trip is to stop in one or two towns along the way for the night. You will pass through Roanoke near the beginning of the route, and Asheville near the end. Both of these are great places to stay if you like a bigger city feel, and if you are looking for a small-town spot to stay the night, try Blowing Rock, Boone or Black Mountain.

Blue Ridge Parkway
by jay8085 Flickr Creative Commons

The road passes through a lot of foliage, beginning right as you leave Rockfish Gap. Passing Rocky Mountain and the Shenandoah Valley, the Parkway crosses the James River and then climbs up to Virginia's highest point, Apple Orchard Mountain. All this before Roanoke! After you have traversed the city, The Rocky Knob Recreational Area is a great spot for hiking trails, and there is a campground where you can spend the night should you so wish.

After crossing the border, you will drive through Stone Mountain State Park and Doughton Recreation Area as you continue along the ridge to Boone. Home of Appalachian State University, Boone is a playground for mountain activities in all 4 seasons. Further south, Asheville is a city rich in culture, great architecture and things to see and do. A favourite is Biltmore Estate, a stunning mansion which was once the home of the Vanderbilt family. After Asheville, the road maintains the scenic standard as it wonds along the Black Mountains and Great Craggy Mountains, passes the Glassmine Falls and reaches its highest point at Richland Balsam.

Biltmore Estate
by Smart destinations Flickr Creative Commons

The end of the road comes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a huge park which straddles North Carolina and Tennessee. It is the USA's most visited National Park, and consists of ridge after ridge of spectacular forested mountains. The park has oportunitites for walking, driving, fishing, horseback riding and picnicking, and sightseeing, so plan to stay a while!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
by pfly Flickr Creative Commons

Although there is no major depot on the Blue Ridge Parkway, popular pick up locations for major motorhome rental suppliers are in Atlanta and Washington DC - depending on which end of the Parkway you wish to start. Start booking your Blue Ridge Parkway Motorhome Rental at Motorhome Roadtrip.

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