Fork Ridge Overlook

A Fork Ridge Overlook sign with miles of layered mountains in the background
View from Fork Ridge Overlook

NPS Photo / Alexa Saxton Bush

Quick Facts
Milepost 449
High Elevation Scenic Overlook

Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead

Perhaps you’ve wondered how the Parkway manages its scenic vistas and overlooks—or, perhaps you’ve never wondered at all, and have simply assumed that the land has always been under protection. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. While much of the southern end of the Parkway is adjacent to Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, the National Park Service also relies on a patchwork of partnerships, private citizens, and nonprofit groups to make the views possible.

With its long-range views towards the distant mountain ranges and valley below, Fork Ridge Overlook is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together. This area is close to a housing subdivision and was at risk of development. Thankfully, the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, with the help of private landowners and philanthropists, was able to purchase and protect 81 acres adjacent to the Parkway that can be seen from this overlook. 

Without the purchase, “the land might have become a blight of development amid the forested views from the Parkway,” according to Executive Director Reid Wilson. Now it is part of a growing stretch of protected land that extends across the Plott Balsam Range toward Waterrock Knob.

So, the next time you’re traveling along the Parkway, take a moment to appreciate the views and the people who help protect them.

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail can be accessed across the Parkway from this overlook.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Last updated: April 5, 2024