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Old 03-06-2016, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default BlueRidge Parkway, hope to see this year

Hi, We are hoping to do the drive on the Blueridge Parkway this spring or fall, have heard many great stories of people and the drive, so I would like to go this year, I was wanting to ask if anyone here has done the trip, and what your thoughts were on what is the best time of year to do this drive, I would imagine it is packed in the summer time, also wanted to ask how many days you would need to complete this, as I imagine there must be so much to stop and see and do along the parkway. even the pictures look amazing , hope to hear from you, thank you,,,,,Josef,,,,
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:33 AM   #2
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Leaf season is when it's packed. That is late fall. Most of it is open all year, but they close sections with weather.

It's a lovely drive and mostly a slow pace - 45 mph most of the way. I like to dry camp near Linville Falls, NC - there is a nice campground right on the parkway. There is no overnight parking allowed on the parkway, so you'll have to get off to find a campground or other parking area.

Personally, I like spring and summer up there. It's much cooler than at lower elevations, and not really any traffic - especially on week days.

You might also want to check out Mile High Campground - it's at 5280' and it's at the Wolf Laurel exit near Maggie Valley.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, I thought fall might be a busy time, thanks for the tips on where to stay also, its nice to hear from personal experiences. Im guessing it would take about a week to really enjoy it, does that sound about right?, thanks again,,,,, Josef,,,
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:53 AM   #4
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Fall is definitely the prettiest and of course the busiest. We usually try to go before or after the rush. We've also gone in August to escape the summer heat. It's a lot cooler in the higher elevations.

There are 7 dry camping campgrounds ran by the national park service and I think you can make reservations at all of them through their website. There is also Mt. Mitchell State Park which is good to see but I think it only has tent camping.

I would also plan on driving the 109 miles of Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park at the beginning of the Parkway in addition to the 469 miles on the Blue Ridge. There are 4 campgrounds in that national park. Smoky Mountains National Park is at the other end of the Blue Ridge which also has campgrounds. There are also private campgrounds right on and a little off the Parkway.

Of course there is also a lot to see on the Parkway and off of it. Towns like Mt. Airy which was Andy Griffith's hometown and was the inspiration for Mayberry. Also, several towns that I call tourist type towns.

One word of warning is that some of the campground are occasionally closed along with sections of the Parkway. Go to the National Park website to check on road closures. I've been on it several times where I would get to a section where I had to turn around to drive back to where I could get off the Parkway and then take usually a long detour. You are not always warned about road closures until you get to it.

There are a lot of books and info on the Internet so I would definitely check that out. There is definitely a lot to see and it's one of my favorite places to visit.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:43 AM   #5
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I live at the foot of the mountain where the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive meet. If you like beer or wine, I would suggest staying at Misty mountain camp resort virginia camping, waltons mountain, and enjoying the Brew Ridge Trail | Virginia Breweries | Nelson County and Charlottesville - let me know when you are in the area!
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:11 PM   #6
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The Parkway is amazing. I live close to where rjf7g lives (I'm in Charlottesville), and I can vouch for (1) the beauty of the Parkway and (2) the great stuff happening right around 64 where the Parkway and Skyline meet up.

Closures usually happen during freezing weather, and you've got to keep in mind that it's much colder up on the Parkway than down in the valleys AND a lot of it is shaded and thus retains ice longer than usual. We often drive as close as we can get to the Parkway during ice closures and then hike/ski in to the cliffs so we can ice climb the frozen waterfalls and drainages---this is awesome for us, but it illustrates the crazy temperatures and adverse weather you can encounter from December straight through late February.

Fall is absolutely gorgeous; you'll have more trouble finding open camping during the fall, and you'll be restricted closer to the posted 45 mph because of all the traffic, but it might be worth it just to see peak color in the Shenandoah Valley from the top of the Parkway. Really mind-blowing. I might personally just brave the tourists and crowds and traffic just to experience the beauty of the fall season here.
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:33 PM   #7
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thank you for all your replies
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