Blue Ridge Parkway

It was 20 degrees, snowing, and I was alone with my dog in a trackless middle of nowhere. I couldn’t have been happier. more

Jan 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Going gets rough


It’s not uncommon to find church, or at least sanctuary, in the mountains. On a Sunday morning hike early last spring, I also came face to face—or foot to slippery rock, in this case—with a trail of metaphors for new parenthood. more

Dec 1, 2016 12:00 AM Departments

Arti in the woods

Holly Kays photo

It was late summer in the Smokies, and high-country greenery flourished. With each step I took down the trail, leaves and grass absorbed more and more of the traffic noise from the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Like a hawk

Manjith Kainickara photo

Each September, the skies over Southern Appalachia set the stage for one of nature’s most beautiful and spectacular dances—the migration of the raptors. more

Jul 30, 2015 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Blue Ridge Parkway in the snow

Micah McClure photo

When I moved to North Carolina, I’d brought my cross-country skis with me, but I’d been skeptical they’d get any use so far south. As each snowflake fell, those narrow strips of fiberglass seemed more and more unfit to stay in the closet. more

Nov 1, 2014 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Cradle of Forestry

Margaret Hester photo

Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls mark the winding roadway through the Pisgah National Forest to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Perhaps lesser known, the Cradle of Forestry is a unique 6,500-acre Historical Site. more

Aug 1, 2014 12:00 AM Features

Hikers along the Blue Ridge Parkway have three new trails to explore this spring, thanks to a partnership among volunteers, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and environmental groups. more

Apr 1, 2014 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Waterrock Knob

Andrew Kasper photo

Long after the autumn tourists are gone and only the burliest of leaves are still clinging to the trees, lookouts and trails stemming off the Blue Ridge Parkway become a haven for the hearty traveler. more

Dec 1, 2013 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Blue Ridge Parkway on two wheels


It’s not easy to find a good time machine. My grandparents’ house was one. No matter what the year was outside, when I walked through the front door it was the 1930s inside. more

Apr 1, 2013 12:00 AM Features

Folk Art Center

Michael Booher photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway not only provides panoramic views of nature. If you take the time, you will get a glimpse into the very soul of mountain culture through its rich arts and crafts traditions. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM , Departments

North of Buena Vista

Pat & Chuck Blackley photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway unravels gracefully across the landscape, at times suspended from high cliffs and etched into rocky crags, then skimming over hayfields and past log cabins bound by split-rail fences. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Features

Fire Pink

Don Casada photo

An avenue of asphalt winds its way along hundreds of miles of ridge lines forming a world of natural wonder. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a bounty of blessings, and perhaps nothing quite matches the breathtaking beauty of the Parkway’s wildflowers. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Groundhog Meadow

Photo courtesy of Houck Medford and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

The sheer number of Parkway overlooks is staggering: 260 in 469 miles. Many were built into the design at the outset, luring drivers to depart from their cars and bask in the vistas. Some were a case of sheer necessity. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Wildcat Rocks

Courtesy of Blue Ridge Parkway archives

As soon as the federal government endorsed the Parkway under the New Deal in 1933, a raging debate broke out between North Carolina and Tennessee over which state would win the scenic road. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Features

George Ivey, the author of the novel Up River, will quickly tell you that the Blue Ridge Parkway has been a part of his life and an inspiration to him since childhood. He grew up only two miles from the Parkway and trained as a cyclist there. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Good Reads

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

Ben Blair photo

When Dan Brown returned to the Blue Ridge Parkway as superintendent after a 20-year hiatus from his early days as a ranger, it seemed time had stood still. Couples lounged in chairs at overlooks and families gathered around Sunday picnic spreads. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Features

Richland Balsam

Michael Meissner illustration

The Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina leads to many gems, but I mostly know it for guiding me to Richland Balsam, my favorite mountain. It looms over a pullout that marks the highest point on the entire Parkway. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Good Reads

Devil's Courthouse

Vicki Dameron photo

Official Blue Ridge Parkway literature will tell you that more than 100 trails are part of the official trail system. Part of the allure of the Parkway, though, is that many of those trails link up with other trail systems. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

Jeff Greenberg photo

It’s the most visited national park unit in the U.S. with more than 17 million annual visitors riding along the 469-mile ribbon of roadway that snakes through Virginia and North Carolina. It’s also one of the most loved. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM , Features

Craggy Tunnel

Courtesy of Blue Ridge Parkway archives

The Blue Ridge Parkway means many things to many people. It’s a place where memories are made. Here, our readers share their own personal accounts of favorite Parkway memories. more

Mar 1, 2010 12:00 AM Good Reads