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Top 10 Things to Know Before You Go

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway is an exciting experience. As a dynamic roadway and one of the most visited National Park Service sites in the country, a little planning for your visit can go a long way. Here are the Top Ten things to know before taking a ride on America's Favorite Drive...

Milepost Marker 0 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Orient yourself to the parkway’s primary wayfinding tool—Parkway Mileposts. The parkway is marked every mile by concrete mileposts beginning at Milepost 0 near Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and ending at Milepost 469 at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

NPS photo/P. Hamel

  1. Always check the latest road status information before heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  2. Understand where any road projects or detours are in place in the areas of the parkway where you will be traveling. Pay particular attention to park alerts at the top of the park’s web site.

  3. Learn how driving on the Parkway differs from driving on other roads. The Blue Ridge Parkway, often called "America's Favorite Drive," is beautiful, but requires extra care while driving. 

  1. Observe posted speed limits. The parkway was designed as a slow, leisurely motor route. No need to rush.

  1. Pack your patience and expect heavy traffic or delays. The Blue Ridge Parkway features over 200 formal scenic overlooks. If one overlook is full of visitors and cars, just keep going, another one is not too far away.

  1. Orient yourself to the parkway’s primary wayfinding tool—Parkway Mileposts. Milepost markers line the route and mark each mile of the Blue Ridge Parkway. If the marker is on your left, you are traveling north on the parkway. If the marker is on your right, you are traveling south on the parkway.

  1. Plan to visit a nearby community. Communities adjacent to the parkway offer visitors charming experiences and events, and a wide variety of food, lodging and shopping options.

  1. Make reservations in advance for in-park lodging and camping. Campsites at one of the parkway’s eight campgrounds are available for reservations at www.recreation.gov or (877) 444-6777. 

  1. Come prepared to recreate responsibly and follow Leave No Trace principles. We all share in the stewardship of the parkway and its resources so be prepared, leave it like you found it, carry out trash and stay on trails!

  1. Enjoy the view, watch the road!

Last updated: May 26, 2021