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Bryan Fitzmartin's Review of Blue Ridge Parkway -- America's Favorite Drive

December 13, 2020

Review by Bryan Fitzmartin

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an area run by the National Park Service, but it’s unique insofar as it’s not your typical national park.
It’s a 469-stretch of highway that runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains and connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The road is so scenic and has become such an excellent tourist attraction that over the years it has come to be known by a second name: “America’s Favorite Drive.” Along the way you can find any number of attractions and outstanding things to do – in fact the whole area is an outdoorsman’s dream.

If it’s hiking you’re after, the area has an amazing 369 miles of trails, some of which boast waterfalls, such as Linville Falls, Log Hollow Falls, and Graveyard Fields. Cold Mountain Overlook and Mills River Valley Overlook are also popular hiking favorites, plus many more. For camping, the parkway hosts a total of eight designated campsites, many of which are conveniently located along well-known hiking routes and six of which have fishing available. Fishing in general is allowed in many places on the parkway besides just the campgrounds, in fact the National Park Service is charged with protecting over a hundred miles of streams in the area, and most of which for just that purpose. Biking is also allowed (except for on hiking trails), although bikers must stay on the main road of the parkway and on other paved roads, and are asked to follow safety rules.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a unique area. It is set apart from other locations we have reviewed thus far in that it is not one single outdoor attraction – in fact, it is a group of many outdoor attractions connected by a highway over a long distance. This certainly makes it the ideal vacation spot and worthy to be on our list of best places for outdoor adventures in the USA.


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