Blue Ridge Country May/June 2021 - BRPG4

469.1 Miles,
Marked and Ready
The Blue Ridge
Parkway's northern end
is at Milepost 0, on the
crest of Virginia's Afton
Mountain, accessible
from I-81. The roadway's
southern end, at Milepost
469.1 is at Cherokee,
North Carolina, from U.S.
441. Stone posts mark
each mile (MP).

GUIDE

GUIDE

Map for all
469 Miles

SERVICES DIRECTORY

8 Classic

PARKWAY
STOPS
The Stories Behind
the Attractions

On the Cover
Image is at Bearwallow
Gap, near Milepost 91.
View is looking east,
toward the Peaks of
Otter, visible just above
the cover blurb.
Photography by
Star City Skycams.

Blue Ridge Parkway: a '30s serendipity

The combined forces of the Great Depression and a great vision for public spaces
came together in the 1930s to allow the building of a unique American treasure.

T

wo new national parks
- Shenan-doah National
Park in Virginia and Great
Smoky Mountains National
Park in North Carolina and
Tennessee - needed a road
to link them. The Great
Depression provided large
numbers of unemployed
workers as well as a pool of
highly trained but temporarily
idled engineers and
landscape architects.
When young Stanley
Abbott was appointed resident
landscape architect for the
new park-to-park road, he
converted 469 miles of
hodge-podge mountain land

into the nation's most famous
rural national parkway, He
designed not only a parkway
but also a total recreation
program, incorporating visitor
centers, hiking trails, lodges,
campgrounds, milepost
markers and interpretive
programs.
Construction of the Blue
Ridge Parkway began on
September 11, 1935, and was
built in sections that were then
connected.
In the wake of the
Depression, the Blue Ridge
region was economically
depressed, and the idea of a
paved road passing through

The 469-mile roadway, begun in the 1930s as part of a Depression-era
work project, exists today as America's Favorite Scenic Highway,
featuring not just a roadway, but also visitor centers, hiking trails,
lodging, interpretive programs and much more.

LEISURE MEDIA 360
FOUNDER & CEO
Richard Wells

For Parkway closures (weather/maintenance):

this relatively undeveloped
region appealed to many
mountain residents.
One by one the road
sections and parks were
completed until only one unit -
the route around Grandfather
Mountain in North Carolina -
remained unfinished.
After years of
stalemate, the park service
masterminded a compromised
route using state-of-the-art
engineering between the park
service's " high route " and the
landowner's " low route. "
In 1987, when the Linn
Cove Viaduct was dedicated,
the 469 miles were at last
rendered into one long,
beautiful park through the
Southern Appalachians.
Today the parkway
welcomes about 15 million
people each year.

nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
Cynthia Blankenship Bruggeman
VP OF CLIENT SERVICES
Denise Koff
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Kurt Rheinheimer
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
Janette Spencer
PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
Patty Jackson
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES
Jo Diedrich
ADVERTISING
COORDINATOR
Tomara Nixon

36

LEISURE

MEDIA

Published in the United States by Leisure Media
360, 3424 Brambleton Avenue, PO Box 21535,
Roanoke, VA 24018. Copyright 2021. All rights
reserved. Every fact has been checked in order to
ensure that this book is as up to date as p- ossible
at press time. Details are subject to change, so
please check ahead. The publisher accepts no
-responsibility for any consequences arising from
the use of this book. We w- elcome suggestions
from readers. Please write to: B- RPTG Editor, Leisure Media 360, 3424 -Brambleton Ave., P.O. Box
21535, Roanoke, VA 24018.
SALLIE WOODRING

4 BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

  MP 312 | Pineola NC


http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

Blue Ridge Country May/June 2021

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