A PARKWAY MOTORING PRIMER

 

Fees

None. The parkway is free, unlike the entrance fee charged at Shenandoah National Park for Skyline Drive.

 

Speed

The speed limit is 45, with some areas of 35 mph, and 25 mph in congested pedestrian areas.

 

Challenges

Not everyone feels confident driving curvy mountain roads -- and the parkway is one of the curviest! Keep your eyes on the road -- and pull into an overlook to gaze at the view.

 

Courtesy

Relax and enjoy the view. However, there are few passing zones on the parkway, and the road is the best route to work for many locals. Frequent overlooks make it easy to just pull off and let everyone get by.

 

Wildlife

Forest lines the parkway and animals frequently cross the road. Be extremely cautious near dawn and dusk when wildlife is active.

 

Tunnels

Turn on headlights in parkway tunnels and watch for bicycles. If you're driving an RV, consult the minimum height chart on the parkway's tunnel page (http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/tunnel-heights.htm) to be sure your vehicle has sufficient clearance.

 

Inclement Weather

The parkway has dense fog. At high elevations, you could be driving in a cloud. Our best advice is to slow down or call it a day.

 

Dry pavement can suddenly be wet and slick in a shady curve -- and that can mean glare ice in colder months.

 

Cell Phone Service

Many parts of the parkway are devoid of cell service

 

Parkway Information

 

For details on road closures and weather, camping, activities, bloom and foliage updates, referral to office numbers, to request brochures, and more, call (828) 298-0398 or visit www.nps.gov/blri/index.htm. In case of emergency, a call to (800) PARKWATCH ([800] 727-5928) will quickly summon help.

 

During your parkway trip, attend events keyed to the parkway's 75th-anniversary celebration. For details visit www.blueridgeparkway75.org.

 

For information about resort areas adjacent to the parkway area, try these sites:

 

Charlottesville, Virginia -- www.charlottesville.org

 

Roanoke, Virginia, area -- www.visitroanokeva.com

 

Southwestern Virginia -- For more on the area's music heritage, visit www.thecrookedroad.org. Explore the atmosphere and live music at the Floyd Country Store at www.floydcountrystore.com.

 

North Carolina High Country -- For more on the Boone and Blowing Rock area, including an extensive parkway guide, visit www.exploreboonearea.com.

 

Asheville, North Carolina -- Check out the Asheville area at www.romanticasheville.com and www.exploreasheville.com.

 

Cherokee, North Carolina -- Learn more about Cherokee at www.cherokee-nc.com.

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