Enjoy beautiful views around every turn along these amazing scenic drives in Virginia's Blue Ridge!
Virginia's Blue Ridge is now open in the Phase Three stage of the Commonwealth's Forward Virginia plan. Learn more about the program and what it means for various types of businesses & experiences in the region with our Phase Three Guidelines page. Phase Three >
The Blue Ridge Parkway is "America's Favorite Drive" and one of the most scenic roads in the world. It's owned and operated by the National Park Service, and as such, there are some guidelines and rules that make the Parkway different from others roads in the United States.
The following are helpful reminders and tips for anyone traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
NOTE: As a result of heavy rains and landslides, the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia's Blue Ridge is currently closed from Milepost 115.5 to Milepost 135.9. There are multiple road hazards (Milepost 119.7 and Milepost 127.9). Repairs at the smaller of these hazards (milepost 119.7) will take place first, in an effort to reopen the section from the Explore Park Access Rd (milepost 115.5) to U.S. 220 (milepost 121.4) by fall of 2020. Learn more in the National Park Service News Release >
The Blue Ridge Parkway was designed to be a road that is enjoyed. It's also constructed through the heart of the mountains, meaning there are many sharp curves and changes in elevation. The speed limit on the Parkway is 45 mph. and less in certain spots.
Although the Parkway offers many scenic overlooks, travelers can stop at any point along the road to enjoy the view. You are simply advised to make sure you stop at a location where you can pull your vehicle completely off the road and safely leave your vehicle.
Interpretive signs designate the many historic markers and scenic overlooks on the Parkway.
Due to some of the areas being in remote locations where cell phone service can be spotty, it is best to have printed maps on hand for navigation purposes. GPS systems are also known to have issues when navigating on the Parkway.
Stop by the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at Explore Park or the Virginia's Blue Ridge Visitor Information Center in Downtown Roanoke to get maps and other helpful resources. You can also check out our Blue Ridge Parkway Map to help plan your trip.
Distance on the Blue Ridge Parkway is measured by numbered mileposts on the side of the road. Milepost marker 0 is located at Rockfish Gap in Virginia, which is just south of Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park. The markers move progressively higher as you travel south.
One of the things that makes the Parkway so unique is the opportunity to see wildlife. However, travelers must be careful to watch for wildlife, particularly deer, who could be crossing the road.
The National Park Service will close portions of the Parkway during inclement weather. If you're planning to travel the Parkway during bad weather, especially during winter months, check the Blue Ridge Parkway website for an updated list of road closures.
Helmets are required for all motorcycle operators and passengers on the Parkway. Pay special attention to leaves and other debris on the roadway, such as branches and rocks, and be aware of early icing on bridges during cold weather.
Keep as far right as possible when riding on the Parkway. Multiple riders should stay in a single file line and avoid groups larger than four riders. The Blue Ridge Parkway is not recommended for inexperienced cyclists, especially during high-traffic times. Learn more by checking out our dedicated page with information about Cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
If you are involved in an accident on the Parkway, please set out flares or place someone in a safe position to warn oncoming traffic. Notify a Park Ranger if a Visitor Center or campground is nearby or call (800) 727-5928.Header photo via Virginia Tourism Corporation