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GREAT RV TOURS>BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY - VIRGINIA HIGHLIGHTS
 

The Blue Ridge Parkway - VIRGINIA Highlights

Blue Ridge Parkway - Virginia
Photo: Jim Clark

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a delightful, scenic and often breathtaking tour. But why take my word for it? You can read hundreds of reviews from real travelers on TripAdvisor. Get the truth. Then go.

HISTORICAL NOTE: The Blue Ridge Parkway crosses the North Carolina-Virginia state line at mile 216.9. Among the party that surveyed the boundary in 1749 was Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson.

Mile 0 Rockfish Gap near Waynesboro Virginia, is the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. To the north, the Blue Ridge Parkway connects directly to Skyline Drive, which winds 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park. U.S. 250 and I-64 take you to Charlottesville to the east and Staunton to the west.

Mile 5 to 9.3

Humpback Rocks has a self-guiding trail through a collection of old Appalachian farm buildings. A hiking trail from the parking area (at mile 6.1) leads 0.75 mile to The Rocks, whose humped appearance gives the area its name. Greenstone self-guiding trail (8.8).
Mile 10.7 Ravens Roost offers vistas of Torry Mountain and Shenandoah Valley to the west.
Mile 16 Sherando Lake is a recreation area in George Washington National Forest 4.5 miles from the parkway via VA.814. Swimming, picnicking, and camping. Fees charged.
Mile 29 Whetstone Ridge provided many a mountain man with a fine-grained sharpening stone
Mile 34.4 Yankee Horse Ridge supposedly is where a hard-riding Union soldier's horse fell and had to be shot. See a reconstructed spur of an old logging railroad by walking to Wigwam Falls.
Mile 58 to 63.6 Otter Creek runs 10 miles down the Blue Ridge to the James River. Otter Lake (63.1), fishing, trail.
Mile 63.8 James River and the Kanawha Canal is where a footbridge leads across the river to the restored canal locks and exhibits. A self-guiding trail follows the river bluff.
Mile 71 Onion Mountain's short loop trail leads through rhododendron and mountain laurel.
Mile 83.4 Fallingwater Cascades can be seen along a 1.6 mile loop trail.
Mile 84 to 87 Peaks of Otter's spectacular views have been popular since the days of Thomas Jefferson. A shuttle bus provides service to Sharp Top. Fee Charged.
Mile 114.9 Roanoke River Gorge opens before you from the overlook, after a 10-minute walk.
Mile 115.1 Virginia's Explore Park celebrates the state's role in Westward Expansion. Historic buildings, exhibits, and demonstrations. Fee charged.
Mile 120.4 Roanoke Mountain is a 3.7-mile side trip. The one-way loop road takes you over the mountain for impressive views. Steep grades; towed vehicles prohibited.
Mile 129.6 Roanoke Valley Overlook gives a view of the largest community along the parkway. Reach the city via U.S. 220 (at milepost 121), VA-24 (at 112), and U.S. 460 (at 105).
Mile 154.5 Smart View is just that; go to the Trail Cabin built in the 1890's and you'll see "a right smart view," especially in early May when the dogwoods bloom.
Mile 167 to 174 Rocky Knob rises like a cresting wave to overlook Rock Castle Gorge.
Mile 176.1 Mabry Mill was operated by E.B. Mabry from 1910 to 1935. A trail leads you to his gristmill, sawmill, blacksmith shop, and to other exhibits. Old-time skills are demonstrated in the summer and fall.
Mile 188.8 Groundhog Mountain is a good place to see different kinds of rural fences: snake, Post-and-rail, picket and buck. Picnic grounds and observation tower.
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