Basic Information

Milepost 384
Asheville, NC 28803

The Parkway is a 469 mile long scenic road connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. There are numerous places to get on and off near interstate crossings and other federal and state highways. There are markers every mile along the Parkway, counting from 0-469 through Virginia and North Carolina. We suggest using a map and identifying the area you want to go, as GPS directions often do not understand our milepost system.

All Park Hours

The Parkway is open 24 hours a day, but visitor services may be limited during the evening and off-season. The gates only close due to inclement weather, which occurs most frequently during the winter months, from November through April. The road may also close due to road maintenance. Check our road closure map to verify that the Parkway is open before traveling.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: Open 24 hours
  • Monday: Open 24 hours
  • Tuesday: Open 24 hours
  • Wednesday: Open 24 hours
  • Thursday: Open 24 hours
  • Friday: Open 24 hours
  • Saturday: Open 24 hours

November - April Facility Closures

From the beginning of November through April, most facilities, like picnic areas and visitor centers are closed. This means that no restrooms or visitor services will be available. The only year-round facilities are at the main Parkway Visitor Center (MP 384), Folk Art Center (MP 382) or the Museum of North Carolina Minerals (MP 331).

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: Closed
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: Closed
  • Friday: Closed
  • Saturday: Closed

The weather on the Parkway can vary wildly due to different elevations and locations along the 469 mile stretch. Precipitation is possible any time of the year. Winter can be cold and snowy, especially at the higher elevations. Spring and fall can have large temperature swings, from near freezing to over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers can be hot in the lower elevations, but the highest elevations will remain cool. The mountains can also create summertime thunderstorms, so be prepared for weather changes.

Entrance Fees:

No entrance fee - $0.00

Driving the Parkway is free.

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

The Parkway's newest visitor center (MP 384) is an essential stop for anyone in the Asheville area. Interactive exhibits emphasize the natural & cultural history, & recreational opportunities in North Carolina's Blue Ridge region. The visitor center offers a free, 22 minute long, award-winning high definition movie. This jointly staffed visitor center is open year-round and features Parkway information, an Eastern National bookstore and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Folk Art Center

The Southern Highland Craft Guild hosts a large craft shop, craft demonstrators and upstairs galleries showcasing regional craftspeople. Within the Folk Art Center is also an Eastern National bookstore and Parkway information desk.

Museum of North Carolina Minerals

The Museum of North Carolina Minerals highlights the rich mineral resources & the mining heritage of this portion of the Blue Ridge. The museum is open year-round with interactive & experiential exhibits for children & adults. This area, called Gillespie Gap, was also significant in the American Revolution, where frontiersmen from the mountains known as the "Overmountain Men" crossed the Blue Ridge on their way battle at Kings Mountain. The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce also has an information desk.

Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

The small, historic visitor center and Eastern National bookstore is nestled in the gap between the rocky, Craggy Mountains. At over 5,000 feet elevation, harsh weather often invades these exposed ridges, resulting in the gnarled forests of beech, birch, and buckeye. These summits have been home to some of the most spectacular rhododendron displays along the Parkway corridor. For generations, visitors have headed up to the Craggies in mid to late June to view the pink and purple blooms.

Waterrock Knob

Waterrock Knob is our highest elevation visitor center on the Parkway. Known for its beautiful long-range views of several major mountain chains in the Appalachians, Waterrock Knob is uniquely suited for viewing sunrises and sunsets. The small visitor center introduces visitors to the area's rugged terrain and tremendous scenic resources, including the Great Smoky Mountains that are visible from here.

Linville Falls Visitor Center

The Linville River flows from its headwaters high on the steep slopes of Grandfather Mountain and cascades through two falls as it beings a nearly 2,000 foot descent through this rugged and spectacularly beautiful gorge, carved out by the tall Linville Falls. Towering hemlocks, dense stands of rhododendron, and native wildflowers grow along the trails that begin at the visitor center and encircle the falls.

Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor Center

The rugged slopes of Grandfather Mountain proved a challenging task to engineers as they completed the last section of the Parkway here in 1987, 52 years after construction began. To protect the fragile and ecologically sensitive slopes of the mountain, Parkway planners designed the award-winning Linn Cove Viaduct, and the visitor center at MP 304 celebrates this achievement. The beautiful Tanawah Trail runs nearby.

Moses Cone Manor House

This visitor center information desk and Eastern National bookstore share a grand, historic estate with a craft shop of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. While the visitor information desk and Eastern National bookstore is open from May through October, the craft shop is open from mid-March through November. The estate grounds have miles and miles of carriage roads, small lakes and other historic structures.

Blue Ridge Music Center

The Blue Ridge Music Center celebrates the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge.Established by the U.S. Congress in 1997, with support from The National Council for the Traditional Arts, The Music Center includes an outdoor amphitheater, an indoor interpretive center/theater, and The Roots of American Music, a free interactive, and entertaining, exhibition highlighting the historical significance of the region’s music.

Mabry Mill Cultural Site

The sights and sounds of rural life in Appalachia resonate throughout the Rocky Knob area during the summer and fall. Everything here seems to speak of a settled and ancient landscape. Ed Mabry built this mill and he and his wife ground corn, sawed lumber, and did blacksmithing for their neighbors for three decades, creating a community gathering place for the folks who called Meadows of Dan their home in the early twentieth century. Grinding at the mill, cultural demonstrations, and a decades-long traditio

Rocky Knob

The sights and sounds of rural life in Appalachia resonate throughout the Rocky Knob area during the summer and fall. Everything here seems to speak of a settled and ancient landscape. Ed Mabry built this mill and he and his wife ground corn, sawed lumber, and did blacksmithing for their neighbors for three decades, creating a community gathering place for the folks who called Meadows of Dan their home in the early twentieth century. Grinding at the mill, cultural demonstrations, and a decades-long traditio

Peaks of Otter

Visitors of the Peaks of Otter gain a sense of both the history of community and tourism in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The long history of visiting the mountains for health and relaxation is told in the visitor center. An extensive trail system is available with the hike to Sharp Top being a long-standing tradition. Dining and lodging is available, along with fishing in Abbot Lake, camping, and picnicking.

James River

The James River visitor center offers visitors the opportunity to learn about transportation history in central and southern Appalachia.

Humpback Rocks Visitor Center

Travelers heading south from the northern end of the Parkway experience a scenic drive through an Appalachian hardwood forest with ridge top views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west and Rockfish Valley to the east. The rock outcroppings on the mountain and the relocated collection of 1890s farm buildings where settlers scratched out a living in the rocky soil makes Humpback Rocks perhaps the best representation of the varied combination of natural and cultural features anywhere along the Parkway corridor.

 
dark-eyed junco
Dark-Eyed Junco

NPS Photo; Angelina Stancampiano

 
Welcome to the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Planning ahead is always a good idea when traveling, but along the Parkway you can count on the unexpected things that draw your attention or take a little more of your time. Be flexible, slow down, and enjoy what comes your way as you travel. Most Parkway facilities will be open by May 1st with the complete opening schedule offering more details. Our newspaper, The Parkway Milepost and other brochures are also available to help in planning your trip.
 

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803

Phone:

(828) 348-3400
This number is the main park headquarters line. A recorded park information line at (828)298-0398 has the most updated information on facilities schedules, bloom and leaf information.

Contact Us