The Blue Ridge Parkway is a designated National Parkway and a unit of the National Park System. It stretches for 469 miles (755 kilometers), connecting Shenandoah National Park in the north to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, winding through the Blue Ridge Mountains and offering breathtaking views of rolling hills, lush forests, and picturesque valleys. The parkway is especially renowned for its vibrant fall foliage, as the changing leaves create a vibrant tapestry of colors in the autumn months.
Along the parkway, there are numerous recreational opportunities and points of interest. Visitors can enjoy scenic overlooks, hiking trails, picnic areas, and campgrounds. The parkway also provides access to historical sites, cultural exhibits, and visitor centers that showcase the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.
VISIT Blue Ridge Parkway:
Blue Ridge Parkway was established on June 16, 1933.
|Address||Milepost 384, Asheville, NC, 28803|
|Hours||24 hours a day, it's a highway!|
|Learn More||Official Website|
When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation
Blue Ridge Parkway is the 1st most visited park in the country.
The weather information below was for Asheville, NC. The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long, and thus has different weather patterns as it makes its way up through North Carolina and Virginia.
Using Historical Data to Predict
We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Blue Ridge Parkway. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Blue Ridge Parkway is.
Our data shows the best months to visit Blue Ridge Parkway are October, April, May & June.
Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trips
Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Blue Ridge Parkway is visited.
|Trip Name||Trip Miles||Trip Days|
|The Full Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip||713||8|
|Mammoth Cave & Smoky Mountains||536||8|
|DC, Shenandoah, New River Gorge to Great Smoky Mountains||767||9|
Other Nearby National Park Sites
From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Blue Ridge Parkway.
|Guilford Courthouse National Military Park||66 mi|
|Bluestone National Scenic River||71 mi|
|Booker T. Washington National Monument||77 mi|
|Kings Mountain National Military Park||99 mi|
|New River Gorge National Park||100 mi|
|Cowpens National Battlefield||107 mi|
|Andrew Johnson National Historic Site||109 mi|
|Gauley River National Recreation Area||118 mi|
|Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site||121 mi|
|Appomattox Court House National Historical Park||132 mi|
Nearby Campsites & RV Parks
If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Blue Ridge Parkway, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.
|Stone Mountain State Park||Roaring Gap, NC more||10 miles|
|Doughton Park - Blue Ridge Parkway||Laurel Springs, NC more||15 miles|
|Raven Cliff||Cripple Creek, VA more||23 miles|
|Comers Rock||Speedwell, VA more||23 miles|
|New River State Park||Jefferson, NC more||26 miles|
|Pilot Mountain State Park||Pinnacle, NC more||29 miles|
|Rural Retreat Lake||Wytheville, VA more||31 miles|
|Raccoon Branch||Sugar Grove, VA more||31 miles|
|Grayson Highlands State Park||Mouth Of Wilson, VA more||32 miles|
|Bandits Roost - W. Kerr Scott Reservoir||Wilkesboro, NC more||32 miles|
Nearest Ski Resorts
For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway:
|Appalachian||Blowing Rock, NC||4,000 ft||35%||47 mi|
|Beech Mountain||Banner Elk, NC||5,505 ft||39%||56 mi|
|Sugar Mountain||Banner Elk, NC||5,300 ft||34%||58 mi|
|Winterplace||Ghent, WV||3,600 ft||32%||95 mi|
|Wolf Ridge||Mars Hill, NC||4,700 ft||29%||95 mi|
When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Blue Ridge Parkway, we've listed the closest airports in the area.
A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Blue Ridge Parkway.
|Charlotte Douglas International Airport||CLT||Charlotte, NC||90 mi|
|Raleigh-Durham International Airport||RDU||Raleigh/Durham, NC||128 mi|
|Richmond International Airport||RIC||Richmond, VA||211 mi|
|Washington Dulles International Airport||IAD||Washington, DC||253 mi|
|John Glenn Columbus International Airport||CMH||Columbus, OH||263 mi|
|Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport||DCA||Washington, DC||267 mi|
|Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport||CVG||Cincinnati / Covington, KY||268 mi|
A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Blue Ridge Parkway.
|Mercer County Airport||BLF||Bluefield, WV||56 mi|
|Piedmont Triad International Airport||GSO||Greensboro, NC||63 mi|
|Roanoke–Blacksburg Regional Airport||ROA||Roanoke, VA||77 mi|
|Concord-Padgett Regional Airport||USA||Concord, NC||79 mi|
|Tri-Cities Regional TN/VA Airport||TRI||Bristol/Johnson/Kingsport, TN||82 mi|
|Raleigh County Memorial Airport||BKW||Beckley, WV||88 mi|
|Lynchburg Regional Preston Glenn Field||LYH||Lynchburg, VA||111 mi|
Credits: Campground data provided by USCampgrounds.info. Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from OurAirports.com. Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.