Mabry Mill

Mabry Mill

Photo by Torsten Henning (wikimedia commons)

Blue Ridge Parkway Itinerary for a 4 day RV Holiday

Image from www.byways.orgPeaks of Otter Image from www.byways.org

Day 1

Start:  Oconaluftee Indian Village

Learn how the native civilization actually lived over 225 years ago.

Stop 1: Looking Glass Rock

Directions from previous place:        Continue east and then north along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:             34 miles / 54.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:        25 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:             15 minutes

Explore this rocky trail that looks like a smooth domed mountain of granite from the road.

Stop 2: Cradle of Foresty in America

Directions from previous place:        Take the Blue Ridge Parkway north up the junction of the Parkway and US 276. Turn east on US 276 and take the road south until reaching the Cradle of Forestry.
Distance from Previous Site:             8 miles / 12.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:       10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:              1 hour

Learn all about the forest through informational movies, programs, and special events that occur at the center. Hikes and trails around the facility lead to historic buildings and to scenic places in the forest.

Stop 3: Mount Pisgah

Directions from previous place:      Take US 276 east back to the Parkway, then travel north on the Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:             8 miles / 12.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           15 minutes

Once part of the Biltmore Estate, which became the first U.S. forestry school. Walk around the grounds that use to exclusively belong to the wealthy Vanderbilts.

Stop 4: North Carolina Arboretum

Directions from previous place:      Continue north on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:           14 miles / 22.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:              1 hour

Hike or bike around this 426-acre public garden in the Pisgah National Forest that presenting a natural botanical setting.

Stop 5: Biltmore Estate

Directions from previous place:      Continue north on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:           4 miles / 6.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:            1 hour 30 minutes

Explore the grounds of the extensive Biltmore Estate; hiking, horseback riding or carriage rides are available to give you a sense of classic country charm.

End: Asheville

Directions from previous place:      Continue on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:            1 miles / 1.6 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:       4 minutes

Center of many of the activities on this part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville provides hours of entertainment and many areas of interest. While here, be sure to visit the headquarters of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Totals for Day 1

Total Distance Traveled:     69 miles / 110.4 km
Total Travel Time:                    1 hour 4 minutes
Total Stopping Time:               4 hours

Day 2

Stop 1: Smith McDowell House Museum

Directions from previous place:      Go east towards US-25, then turn left on McDowell Street. Turn right, then left. Turn left on Victoria Road.
Distance from Previous Site:            1.51 miles / 2.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:            5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:               45 minutes

Tours, programs and exhibits are featured in this 1840's brick plantation home. Learn about the traditional folk art toys, Victorian Christmas and Easter while exploring this beautifully restored home.

Stop 2: Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Directions from previous place:      Start out going northeast on Victoria road toward Oakland road. Turn left onto Biltmore Ave. Biltmore Ave becomes US-25. Turn right onto E Walnut St., then turn left on N. Market St.
Distance from Previous Site:            3.37 miles / 5.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          30 minutes

Learn about the life of Thomas Wolfe as you explore his boyhood home. This Queen Anne style dwelling provided the setting for his most famous work.

Stop 3: Biltmore Village Historic Museum

Directions from previous place:      From Interstate 40, take exit 50 (Biltmore Estate exit), and head north on Highway 25. Biltmore Village is approximately one-quarter mile ahead on the right.
Distance from Previous Site:           2 miles / 3.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           2 hours

Take a look at some of the original maps and copies of original drawings of the Biltmore Village.

Stop 4: Folk Art Center

Directions from previous place:      Continue north along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:           4 miles / 6.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:         45 minutes

Visit Allanstand Craft Shop, one of Appalachia's oldest and best-known craft shops.

Stop 5: Craggy Gardens

Directions from previous place:      Continue north along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:       11.5 miles / 18.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:       8 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:       20 minutes

Start at the parking lot of the Craggy Gardens and take a trail through a tunnel of rhododendron to the top where decks at the end of the trail provide stunning views of the Craggy Mountain area.

Stop 6: Mount Mitchell State Park

Directions from previous place:      Take the Blue Ridge Parkway north, until reaching the junction of the Parkway and SR 128. Take SR 128 west until reaching the park.
Distance from Previous Site:           10.2 miles / 16.3 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:        8 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           30 minutes

Hike or horseback ride amid the natural splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Mount Mitchell State Park.

Stop 7: Crabtree Meadows

Directions from previous place:      Take SR 128 east until reaching the Parkway. Travel north on the Parkway until reaching Crabtree Meadows.
Distance from Previous Site:           12 miles / 19.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           15 minutes

Take a few moments to rest from your travels at Crabtree Meadows. Bring your lunch or buy it here; breathe in the fresh mountain air and take in the view of "Nature's Flower Garden" while enjoying a picnic lunch.

Stop 8: Little Switzerland

Directions from previous place:      Continue north on the Blue Ridge Parkway until reaching the junction of the Parkway and SR 226A. Turn east onto SR 226A. Little Switzerland is directly off the road.
Distance from Previous Site:           4.2 miles / 6.7 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:         45 minutes

Walk along the streets of Little Switzerland and visit a few shops that are unique to this small mountain town.

Stop 9: Museum of North Carolina Minerals

Directions from previous place:      Turn west on SR 226A back onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Travel north on the Parkway
Distance from Previous Site:           2.3 miles / 3.7 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      3 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:         20 minutes

Learn about the different gems and minerals that are found in Spruce Pine Mining District. While in the area, visit Gillespie Gap, which was once an important stop for Revolutionary War fighters. Encampments take place every year.

Stop 10: Linville Falls

Directions from previous place:      Take the Blue Ridge Parkway north until reaching the turn off to US 221. .1 miles onto US 221 is Linville Falls.
Distance from Previous Site:           11.1 miles / 17.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:        6 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           15 minutes

Hike up a number of offered trails to best glimpse the roaring waterfall through a dramatic, rugged gorge.

End: Linville

Directions from previous place:      Take US 221 northwest as it circles around, passing through the towns of Crossnore and Pineola.
Distance from Previous Site:            11 miles / 17.6 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:       12 minutes

Stay overnight in the town of Linville to rest from a long trip and to prepare for the next part of it.

Totals for Day 2

Total Distance Traveled:      73.18 miles / 117.1 km
Total Travel Time:                  1 hour 17 minutes
Total Stopping Time:             6 hours 25 minutes

Day 3

Stop 1: Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor Center

Directions from previous place:      Continue on US 221 until it meets up with the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor Center is about .3 miles from the turn off.
Distance from Previous Site:           2.3 miles / 3.7 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      5 minutes

Learn about an architectural wonder that allows travelers to enjoy driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains with minimal environmental impact.

Stop 2: Grandfather Mountain

Directions from previous place:      Adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor Center, Grandfather Mountain can easily be reached from the road.
Distance from Previous Site:            2 miles / 3.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:       5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:           2 hours

Grandfather Mountain has a wide range of areas to visit. A breathtaking view can be seen from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, and there are many wildlife habitats situated around the mountain so that animals can be seen in their natural settings.

Stop 3: Blowing Rock

Directions from previous place:      Take US 221 northeast, passing through the Julian Price Memorial Park.
Distance from Previous Site:            7.5 miles / 12.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:         30 minutes

At Blowing Rock, the wind blows upwards, causing even the snow to fall up instead of down. Visit the town of Blowing Rock to learn about the legend behind Blowing Rock.

Stop 4: Tweetsie Railroad

Directions from previous place:      Take US 321 west; the Tweetsie Railroad is located halfway between the town of Blowing Rock and Boone. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, take the Boone exit.
Distance from Previous Site:           5.5 miles / 8.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:    10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          1 hour

Visit North Carolina's first theme park, which is centered around an old west theme. There are saloon shows, chances to ride an old locomotive, and Professor Phineas T. Peppercorn's Traveling Medicine Show.

Stop 5: Boone

Directions from previous place:      Continue west on US 321.
Distance from Previous Site:            2 miles / 3.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      3 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          20 minutes

Visit the ""Firefly Capital of the World"" where Daniel Boone once camped. Be sure to see "Horn of the West" while you are there; telling the story of Daniel Boone and and the Regulators and their battle at Alamance.

Stop 6: E.B. Jeffress Park

Directions from previous place:      Take US 321/421 north until the town of Deep Gap. From Deep Gap, exit onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Travel north on the Blue Ridge until reaching the park.
Distance from Previous Site:           13 miles / 20.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      10 minutes

Grab a quick bite to eat or just stretch your legs here; the park has a trail that leads to the Cascades.

Stop 7: Jumpinoff Rocks

Directions from previous place:      Continue north along the Parkway until reaching the turn off for Jumpinoff Rocks.
Distance from Previous Site:          8 miles / 12.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        15 minutes

Hike an easy trail to get to Jumpingoff Rock; which provides an encompassing view of the ridgetops.

Stop 8: Northwest Trading Post

Directions from previous place:      Continue on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:            2 miles / 3.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:       1 minute
Suggested Time at This Site:          15 minutes

Hewed from the imagination and perseverance of local citizens, the Northwest Trading Post is a quaint store to visit. Pick up locally made crafts and goods that have been traded there for centuries now.

End: Doughton Park

Directions from previous place:      Continue driving the Blue Ridge Parkway north. The Parkway drives through Doughton Park, but also extends for miles to the east.
Distance from Previous Site:          11.5 miles / 18.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:       7 minutes

Doughton Park is home to many area attractions, such as the Caudill Family Homestead, Northwest Trading Post and the Brinegar Cabin. Walk on leafy trails as you explore the 7,000 acre park.

Totals for Day 3

Total Distance Traveled:     53.8 miles / 86.1 km
Total Travel Time:                 56 minutes
Total Stopping Time:            4 hours 20 minutes

Day 4

Stop 1: Brinegar Cabin

Directions from previous place:     Located at the edge of Doughton Park.
Distance from Previous Site:          3 miles / 4.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        20 minutes

Standing since 1885, Brinegar Cabin is now open to the public. Peer inside to see a century old loom that is still used in craft demonstrations.


Stop 2: Cumberland Knob

Directions from previous place:      Continue north on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cumberland Knob is located near the border of North Carolina and Virginia.
Distance from Previous Site:          18 miles / 28.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     12 minutes

At 2,885 feet, Cumberland Knob is a delightful spot to walk through fields and woodlands.

Stop 3: Blue Ridge Music Center

Directions from previous place:     From Cumberland Knob, take SR89 west until reaching the town of Galax.
Distance from Previous Site:          8 miles / 12.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:   10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          2 hours

Enjoy listening to some old time and traditional mountain music, along with their many contemporary variations, during summer concerts and exhibits.

Stop 4: Mabry Mill

Directions from previous place:     Take SR89 back to the Parkway, then travel north on the Blue Ridge Parkway until reaching the mill.
Distance from Previous Site:          25 miles / 40.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:    15 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:         30 minutes

Enjoy a glimpse of early of pioneer life along the Parkway as you visit Mabry Mill and its sawmill, blacksmith shop and water-powered gristmill.

Stop 5: Rocky Knob Visitor Center

Directions from previous place:     North on Blue Ridge Parkway
Distance from Previous Site:          6 miles / 9.6 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     5 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        30 minutes

Rocky Knob is an accurate description of the shape of the mountain which bears that name. Hike through wild apple orchards and remains of stone chimneys; a remainder of the mountain families that once made their home here.

Stop 6: Smart View

Directions from previous place:     Travel north on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:          14 miles / 22.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          20 minutes

This moderate hike will take visitors through deep forests with views of cascading streams, bluffs, and Trail Cabin.

Stop 7: Roanoke

Directions from previous place:     Travel north on the Blue Parkway, turning west into the town of Roanoke after 25 miles. Roanoke is three miles west on the Parkway.
Distance from Previous Site:         28 miles / 44.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:    20 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          2 hours

Visit the "Capital of the Blue Ridge" in Roanoke. The town's history goes back to the 1740's.

Stop 8: Peaks of Otter

Distance from Previous Site:          27 miles / 43.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     15 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          10 minutes

Visit one of the Blue Ridge Mountain's best-kept secrets.The three mountains that make up the Peaks of Otter are by most accounts the most famous peaks in Virginia.

Stop 9: Cyrus McCormick's Farm

Directions from previous place:     Take the Blue Ridge Parkway north for 29 miles, then turn west on SR56 to Steeles Tavern. The farm is located in the town.
Distance from Previous Site:          34 miles / 54.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     20 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          30 minutes

Cyrus McCormick was the inventor the mechanized reaper that sparked the industrial revolution and changed the world forever. Visitors are welcome to tour the blacksmith shop, gristmill, museum and scenic site at the McCormick farm.

Stop 10: Crabtree Falls

Directions from previous place:     Take SR 56 east for 12 miles. The falls are just off the road.
Distance from Previous Site:           12 miles / 19.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          10 minutes

Crabtree Falls is the largest vertical drop waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

Stop 11: Humpback Rocks Visitor Center

Directions from previous place:     Turn east on SR 56 until reaching the Blue Ridge Parkway; travel north on the Parkway for 16 miles.
Distance from Previous Site:           22 miles / 35.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     12 minutes

Visitors will experience magnificant views and catch a glimpse of farm life in the 1890s.

End: Waynesboro

Directions from previous place:     Take the Parkway north for eight miles.
Distance from Previous Site:           8 miles / 12.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:      5 minutes

Waynesboro's pedestrian-friendly environment is home to businesses like specialty and service providers, museums, arts and cultural centers, unique restaurants and lodging opportunities.

Totals for Day 4

Total Distance Traveled:     205 miles / 328.0 km
Total Travel Time:                 2 hours 19 minutes
Total Stopping Time:            6 hours 30 minutes

Featured content and photo from www.byways.org

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