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The Picnic Guide of Virginia
Blue Ridge Parkway National Park
Activities

 

Photography

This may be the most common activity along the Parkway. Heavy snow, fog clinging to the mountainside, or raindrops decorating a dogwood blossom are all beautiful, but you won't ever see them if you wait for warm, sunny weather.

Not only do the mountains look their best in the warm, golden light of dusk or dawn, but the long shadows add extra texture and contrast. Besides, the twilight hours are the best time to see wildlife. Keep your camera handy because photography is literally a picture drawn with light and light can change in an instant.

Table of Contents

Detail Maps and Information

 

Picnicking

Fourteen designated picnic areas along the Parkway have tables, fireplaces, drinking water and comfort stations. Unless otherwise posted, picnicking is permitted at other locations, so, if you prefer, bring a blanket and choose your spot. Fires - including charcoal grills - are allowed only in designated picnic areas.

Camping

Camping is allowed only at designated sites and generally, the nine Parkway campgrounds are open from May - October at a fee of $14 per night (rates are subject to change). All campgrounds offer sanitary dump stations, ranger programs and access to hiking trails. Each loop has a common comfort station with running water. Limited back-country camping is available at Basin Cove in Doughton Park (336) 372-8568 and Rock Castle Gorge in Rocky Knob (540) 745-9660. Permits must be requested in advance. Check with a Park Ranger to learn about access to neighboring US Forest Service back-country areas along the Parkway. Today, reservations can be made at Linville Falls and Price Park campgrounds on line at reserveUSA.com or by calling 1-877-444 6777.

Hiking

Meandering alongside or crossing the Parkway, trails provide a close-up look at some of the most beautiful landscape in the region. Many trails wind their way through unique biological and geological environments. Others lead to historic sites with stories of how people have shaped our heritage.

From short leg-stretchers to waterfalls or overlooks to extended treks along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, there is a hike for every interest. Pick up a list of trails or maps at any Parkway visitor center. When hiking, lock valuables in the trunk of your car, wear sturdy shoes or boots, be prepared for rapidly changing weather, and stay on established trails.

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