• The long vistas are part of a Blue Ridge Parkway experience

    Blue Ridge

    Parkway NC,VA

Native American Culture and Influence

Native American Culture and Influence

The Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, and the Monacan, Saponi, and Tutelo Indians of western Virginia, were among the earliest inhabitants of the Blue Ridge, leaving artifacts and changes in the landscape as evidence of their existence. Many of the fields still visible at the base of the mountains date back centuries to ancient American Indian agricultural methods of burning and deadening the trees and underbrush to provide needed grazing and crop land. Mountain and river names along the Parkway also reflect the American Indian influence. The best place to learn about the pre-history of the Appalachian chain in Virginia is at the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center museum (milepost 85.9). Arrowheads and early tools found in the Peaks area are exhibited. In North Carolina, the Parkway enters the Cherokee Indian Reservation at milepost 457.7 and features an informational display on the reservation at the Lickstone Parking Overlook (milepost 458.9).

Did You Know?

Black bears

The Parkway is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the world with about 100 varieties of trees, 1,600 plant species, 54 mammals, and 159 species of birds.