16 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular destinations in North Carolina. Located at milepost 384 in Asheville (and with several entrance ways throughout the state) the Blue Ridge Parkway allows North Carolinians and travelers to explore uncharted mountain wilderness, hiking trails, waterfalls, and sometimes just breathtaking scenery right from the comfort of your car. But the Blue Ridge Parkway also has its ‘secrets,’ or better yet, surprising facts. Some you might have never known, like these 16.
1. In 1935, construction began on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
2. Those in the Civilian Conservation Corps did much of the nearby landscaping. Working on roadside planting and fixing up fields and forests not far off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Flickr / Frank Kehren
3. The entire project took more than 52 years to complete.
4. Today, the park has over 20 million visitors a year.
5. As the most visited National Park in the U.S, the Blue Ridge Parkway has twice the amount of visitors per year as Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone combined!
6. There are 26 total tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with 25 of those being in North Carolina.
7. The Blue Ridge Parkway is home to the highest peak east of the Mississippi, Mt. Mitchell.
8. Aside from Mt. Mitchell, the Blue Ridge Parkway is also home to the deepest gorge in eastern America - Linville Gorge.
9. And if natural beauty isn't enough for you - the Blue Ridge Parkway also boasts the largest house in America, the Biltmore Estate.
10. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest and highest continuous route in the Appalachia region. Elevation varies from a mere 649 ft. to a daring 6,047 feet at Richland Balsam.
11. While the Blue Ridge Parkway is home to abundant views, Linn Cove Viaduct is THE ultimate Blue Ridge Parkway experience.
12. Speed racers be warned, for the entire 469-miles of the Parkway, the speed limit never exceeds 45mph and is usually lower.
13. The Blue Ridge Parkway is home to 9 federally threatened or endangered species. One of those is the Southern Flying Squirrel...yes, they do exist!
14. Beavers have also played a crucial role; their dams have increased wetland areas and thus increased the biodiversity of the region.
15. On the Parkway, it is illegal to gather the leaves of the Galax Plant. These leaves have been used for medicinal purposes in the Southern Appalachia region for years and years.
16. You can stop over 250 times on the Blue Ridge Parkway - perfect for pictures, picnics, or just soaking in some incredible scenery.
Wow, who knew the Blue Ridge Parkway held so many interesting facts? Did you know any of these, or did you know most of them? When is your favorite time for a drive on the Parkway?
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Explore North Carolina