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

    Blue Ridge

    Parkway NC,VA

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Phone System Down at Julian Price Campground

    The phone system at JP Campground, MP 296.9, is currently out of order. Please refer to recreation.gov to make or change any reservations. For additional questions please refer to the camping opportunities section of our website. More »

  • ONE LANE TRAFFIC CONTROL, MP 241 - 242.4

    REMINDER: Roadwork continues in a one-mile section of Parkway, commonly known as Ice Rock, from MP242.4 at Alligator Back Parking Area to MP241. The project involves twenty-four-hour, one-lane traffic control until November 1, 2014.

Nature & Science

craggy gardens rhododendron june 1998 1

Catawba Rhododendrons at Craggy Gardens

NPS Photo

BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

More than just a road, this varied habitat, ranging from 649 feet at James River in Virginia to 6,047 feet at Richland Balsam in North Carolina, offers protection to an enormous diversity of plants and animals.

The Parkway supports as many plant species as any other unit of America's National Park System, and provides a protected migration corridor for many forms of wildlife. The variety of species includes 43 kinds of amphibians, 99 fish, 60 mammals, 225 birds, and 31 reptiles.

The mountain ranges of the Parkway include the oldest mountain-building processes in the world. The road sits at the headwaters of many local and regional watersheds and crosses five major rivers that define the hydrological patterns of much of the southeastern United States.

Trees are everywhere, over 100 species! In spring, tulip trees and serviceberry produce showy blooms. In fall, leaves burst into color. Flowering shrubs such as rhododendron, flame azalea, and mountain laurel put on a springtime show that rivals the tree's fall display.

Mammal Species List

Fish Species List

Reptile Species List

Amphibian Species List

Bird Species List

 

Check out the latest Blue Ridge Parkway Resource Management newsletter. This newsletter is filled with information on the Parkway's natural wonders including how this wetter-than-normal year has affected what we see in the forests.

Did You Know?

Image of trail winding through the forest

Much of the forests surrounding the Parkway are made up of stunted oak and oak-hickory trees. More Flora includes various grasses, shrubs (including Rhododendrons and Dogwoods), hemlock, mixed-oak pine forests and spruce-fir forests.