Blue Ridge ParkwayThe 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, connecting Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, was the nation's first rural scenic parkway and is the highest continuous highway in the eastern United States. Authorized in 1933 as a public works project, construction was not completed until 1987. In addition to providing motorists with extraordinary views, the parkway is characterized by cultural resources reflecting the heritage of the people of the Southern Highlands, and by its chain of recreational parks, each a destination in its own right. More than 22 million visitors travel the parkway each year, making it the most heavily visited unit of the National Park Service.
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