Blue Ridge Parkway
Did you know that the Blue Ridge Parkway connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia? Being the longest linear Park, stretching 469 miles and covering over 93,000 acres of land, it is one of the most unique roads to travel in America. At a seemingly minute 145 square miles, the views along the way are vast, with some lookouts being able to span out to 80 miles on a clear day. Although winding, with a speed limit at 45mph or less, traveling along the parkway allows one to take a slower and more scenic route, passing through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties. Surprisingly, the Parkway took 52 years to complete. Work on building the Parkway began on September 11th, 1935, and the last section, which completed the entire road, was done sometime in 1987. Much like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Parkway is incredibly diverse and offers refuge to some plants and animals that are only found within or along with its bounds. With the Blue Ridge Parkway ranging in Elevation from 600 feet to over 6,000 feet, wintertime can bring several closures along the Parkway’s higher Elevations, even during the summer during massive rain or wind events. Therefore, if you are wanting to travel along the parkway, it is suggested to check road conditions and closures daily.