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Blue Ridge Parkway

 

North To South:

 

South To North:

 

The Blue Ridge Parkway (map) is 469 miles of great riding with a lot of great things along the way. The Parkway is free and the speed limit is 45 mph.


Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Riders can access the Parkway from the north by riding Skyline Drive (map) 105 miles from Front Royal, VA to the entrance of the Parkway in Waynesboro. The entrance fee is $15 and is good for one week. The speed limit is only 35 mph.

The Blue Ridge Parkway picks up right where Skyline Drive left off. All distances on the Parkway are marked by Mileposts beginning at 0 in the north at Waynesboro and ascending to Milepost 469 at the southern terminus at Cherokee, NC.

The Virginia portion of the Parkway is very nice with good curves and scenery. Be sure to stop at some of the scenic overlooks.

If you are looking for a phenomenal alternative to Skyline Drive & the first 50 miles of the Parkway then try the VA & WV ladder.

One of the more scenic spots in Virginia is Mabry Mill at Milepost 176 in Meadows of Dan, VA. This is a working mill with a restaurant and gift shop.

Mabry Mill

 

Near the North Carolina border is the turn for Mount Airy, NC. Mount Airy was the inspiration for Mayberry and the Andy Griffith Show. See the museum dedicated to the long running show and even take a ride in the squad car. Make sure to get one of the great pies at Miss Angel's Heavenly Pies


Andy Griffith & Opie

 


Mayberry Squad Car

 

Continue on the Parkway into North Carolina. Be sure to stop in the great town of Blowing Rock. The Rock and scenic view are nice, but the real star is the town itself. It is a friendly town that is easy to tour on foot with great restaurants and things to see. Stroll Main Street and be sure to have a great meal at the Village Cafe. The Homestead Inn is a great place to stay that is right in the middle of everything.


Blowing Rock

 


Blowing Rock

 


View from Blowing Rock

 


Blowing Rock

 


Homestead Inn, Blowing Rock, NC

 


Village Cafe, Blowing Rock, NC

 

Get back on the Parkway and make sure to visit the Moses Cone Memorial Park in Blowing Rock.


Moses Cone Manor

 


Moses Cone Manor View

 

Proceed south on the Parkway and be sure to take in the magnificent Linn Cove Viaduct.


Linn Cove Viaduct

 

While in this area, try to get off the Parkway and ride fantastic U.S. Route 221 which is a premier motorcycle road between Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain.

The next great stop is little Switzerland and the Diamondback Loop Ride. Make sure to do this ride!

Next comes Mount Mitchell which at 6,684 feet is the highest point east of the Mississippi. If you ride up the the summit, make sure to try the peach cobbler & ice cream along with great views at the summit restaurant.

Before long you will pass Asheville and begin the best part of the parkway. The views become grander and the curves become more fun.


BRP Scenic Overlook

 

The fabulous Pisgah Inn is an absolute must stop. The food is good, the views are fantastic, and the rooms are nice & clean. Staying and eating here will be a highlight of your trip.


Pisgah Inn Restaurant View

 


Pisgah Inn Hotel Deck View

 

Make sure to ride the great Sliding Rock & Alligator Rock Loop and NC Route 151 (Devil's Drop) while you are at the Inn.

Just south of the Pisgah Inn is the Devil's Courthouse Scenic Overlook.


Devil's Couthouse Scenic Overlook

 

Next is the spectacular final stretch of the Parkway.


BRP Scenic Overlook

 

Do the obligatory photo op at the Highest Point on the Parkway.


Highest Point

 

Stop at the Waterrock Knob Overlook.


Waterrock Knob Scenic Overlook

 

Finish this magnificent ride at the end of the Parkway in Cherokee, NC.

I suggest staying at the Fontana Village Resort if you continue to the Tail of the Dragon region. Make sure to ride the Cherohala Loop, the Foothills Loop, and the Moonshiner28 Ride while at the Dragon.

On your way back north, consider the great Blue Ridge Parkway to West Virginia Ride. It might just be the very best riding that you do on your trip.