Where Does the Blue Ridge Parkway Start in NC?
The Blue Ridge Parkway starts at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Cherokee, North Carolina. It runs northeast into Virginia, ending at the Shenandoah National Park at Waynesboro, Virginia.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile road that stretches between the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountain national parks. This scenic drives offers visitors access to 300 overlooks and countless picturesque views of the wilderness, as well as historical and cultural sites. There are over 200 historical places on the route, from the Moses Cone mansion to the modest Puckett cabin.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area has many cultural, musical, agricultural and natural heritage sites. The Eastern band of the Cherokee Indians calls part of the Parkway home and provides a place for tourists to visit and explore Native American traditions. Dozens of shops, galleries and crafting events line the Parkway, as well as farmers’ markets and local restaurants.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the mountains, gorges and rivers along the Parkway. There are hiking, biking and horseback riding trails and paths that lead through forests, mountains and along creeks and rivers. North Carolina alone contains dozens of hiking trails ranging from easy jaunts to overlooks to strenuous 5-mile hikes leading through meadows and streams. Two of the longest hikes are over 7 miles. The Bluff Mountain Trail runs parallel to the Parkway, while the Mountain-to-Sea Trail starts at the Folk Art Center and leads hikers to views and overlooks.