Archive for May 2010

Guide To The Blue Ridge Parkway – Favorite Things To See And Do

Picture found at Stone Mountain State Park website.

By Nicole Munoz

Shortly after entering North Carolina on the Blue Ridge
Parkway, you will find the first public recreation area on the
parkway, Cumberland Knob.  At MP 217.5, Cumberland Knob is a
1000 acre park with a picnic area and a variety of plant and
animal life, including many species of birds.  There are also
two hiking trails, one short stroll to Cumberland Knob.  The
other trail is a strenuous 2 hour hike through Gully Creek

Stone Mountain State Park, in Roaring Gap, NC, is a fun
attraction a few miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 229.
Camping, fishing, and hiking are popular activities at Stone
Mountain.  There are also mountain cultural exhibits, including
an old moonshine still, the Garden Park Baptist Church,
established in 1897, and the restored Hutchinson homestead.
Rock climbing and rappelling are also popular at Stone Mountain
State Park, but a permit is required, and admission is free.

Doughton Park is a 7000 acre park on the Blue Ridge Parkway at
MP 238.5.  Here, visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking, camping,
picnicking, and even cross-country skiing during winter months.
The restored Brinegar Cabin, built in 1880, offers weaving and
basketmaking demonstrations during the summer.  These handmade
wares can be purchased in the gift shop.

MP 259 is home to a popular shopping destination on the Blue
Ridge Parkway, Northwest Trading Post.  Here you can find
locally crafted gifts and other handmade goodies, as well as a
unique selection of collectibles.  Minutes from the parkway is
the New River and a number of canoe and tubing rental outfitters
are available for fun family river trip.  You can also bring
your own boat, like the Coleman Navigator 3-person inflatable
boat, and access the river for your own family adventure.  The
New River State Park is located just off MP 261 with boat access
to the river, as well as canoe camping and primitive camping
sites.  Parkway visitors can also find cabin and chalet rentals
along the nearby river, many with hot tubs and fireplaces, for a
romantic mountain getaway.

Also off MP 259 are the world renowned Church of the Frescoes.
These Episcopal churches are always open and there is no
admission charge.  The famous fresco paintings are displayed at
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and the Holy Trinity Church
showcases a wall mural of The Last Supper.

For a fun, music filled night of dancing with the entire
family, visit the Mountain Music Jamboree, just off Blue Ridge
Parkway MP 261 in Glendale Springs.  Enjoy square dancing,
clogging, and other fun family dances every Saturday night and
on Fridays as well during the summer.    

Blowing Rock is a short drive from the parkway at MP 291.9 and
is famous for its mountain charm, extraordinary shopping, and
unique attractions.  Here you will find the legendary Blowing
Rock and can enjoy the 4090 feet view above John’s River Gorge
(small admission fee).  One of the most popular family
attractions near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Tweetsie Railroad, is
also located in Blowing Rock.  Shopping in the area includes an
outdoor recreation specialty store and Tanger Outlets, with 30
various outlet stores.

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