The Blue Ridge Parkway is anchored by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cherokee, N.C., and the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Mile markers start at zero where the parkway begins in Virginia.
Work on the Blue Ridge Parkway began in North Carolina in 1935 and in Virginia in 1936. It was authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a public works project. The 469-mile parkway project took 52 years to complete, with the last portion opening in 1987.
There are many recreational areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway that offer picnicking, swimming, hiking and camping. The parkway is open year round, but it does close in certain areas during snowy and icy road conditions.