If you need to report an emergency, please dial 911.
Do not rely on technology, as cell phones do not work in many locations along the Parkway and GPS is sometimes unreliable. Your safety depends on your own good judgement, adequate preparation, and constant attention.
“What do I do if…?”
...I need to report a missing person or overdue hiker?
…I see a bear?
See our bear safety page. Report aggressive bears to the Comm Center (828-298-2491).
Where, exactly, is the Blue Ridge?
Where, exactly, is the Blue Ridge?
Visiting the Parkway
When are visitor centers, campgrounds and other facilities open?
Driving the Parkway
I'm not accustomed to driving in the mountains. How can I be safe?
Things to Do
Where can I picnic?
Protecting the Parkway
Why can't we pick flowers along the Parkway?
RegulationsAre concealed weapons allowed on the Parkway?
Yes. Discharging a firearm on Parkway land is prohibited. Read more about concealed weapons on the Parkway.
Can a visitor open carry a firearm on the Parkway?
Yes. In accordance with applicable state law (VA and NC are open-carry states), a visitor may open carry a firearm on the Parkway, but they may not carry into any federal building or other federal area displaying signage that prohibits firearms.
Is hunting allowed on the Parkway?
No. Hunting is prohibited on all Parkway land. Hunters may access legal public and private game lands from the Parkway, but must do so by parking in designated parking areas/pullouts and walking in. Hunters are allowed to retrieve hunting dogs. Roadside parking is prohibited. A hunter wishing to transport game legally taken on land adjacent to the Parkway must call the Comm Center (828-298-2491) to request permission prior to transport.
Is camping or sleeping overnight in a vehicle in an overlook allowed?
No. Camping is only allowed in one of the Parkway’s eight designated camping areas. Sleeping in a vehicle overnight is not allowed for visitor safety.
Are backcountry campers and Appalachian Trail hikers allowed to leave unattended vehicles in overlooks overnight?
Yes. Anyone wishing to leave a vehicle in an overlook for approved camping/hiking purposes must contact the Comm Center (828-298-2491) either the day before or the morning of their excursion to advise detailed information regarding their excursion and vehicle.
Are there any natural resources that may be legally taken from Parkway land?
Yes. Visitors are allowed to take for personal use no more than one gallon per day of mushrooms, berries, and/or nuts found near the Parkway. Fallen branches found within 100 yards of a campground may be gathered and used for firewood in appropriate campground fire rings. The taking of any other natural resource at any time is strictly prohibited.
Are visitors allowed to take/cut fallen trees for firewood?
No. However, if a tree has been cut and neatly stacked by Parkway personnel, it may be taken first come, first serve. Wood gathering for use in park campgrounds is limited to dead material on the ground lying no more than 100 yards from the camp or picnic site.
Are visitors allowed to memorialize a deceased loved one on the Parkway?
Yes, with limitations. Signage, cairns, and other visible memorial markers are not allowed on Parkway property. A gathering of fewer than 25 people to spread cremated ashes is allowed without a permit with the following restrictions:
Are dogs allowed on hiking trails?
Yes. However, all dogs must be on a leash and under direct control of the handler at all times.
Are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) allowed on the Parkway?
No. Launching, landing, operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of the Blue Ridge Parkway is prohibited.
Are buses allowed on the Parkway?
Yes. Tour and school buses are allowed on the Parkway without a permit.
Last updated: October 17, 2022