Blue Ridge Parkway
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If the Great Smoky Mountains are the "Crown Jewels" of the Blue Ridge Province, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the "Royal Scepter."

Spanning 470 miles and traveling northeast through two states, the Blue Ridge Parkway is by far the most unique American parkway ever created. Born out hard times during the Great Depression of the 1930's and the need for putting people to work to create American parklands, this engineering marvel of roadway traverses the very backbone and rooftops of the southeastern United States.

The Blue Ridge Parkway connects the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. At its farthest northern point is the town of Front Royal in Virginia, a true historic American settle with pristine homes dating back to the late 1700's. In contrast, at its furthest most southern point is the stronghold of a town called Cherokee, located within the Native American Boundary of the Cherokee people. This area was the hideaway for the Cherokee during the evacuation of the Cherokee tribes in the 1830's or more commonly known as the infamous "Trail of Tears," which took so many lives all for the sake of greed and an expanding nation.

The Blue Ridge Parkway travels through the very heart of the Blue Ridge Province, skirting along the mountain ridges, crossing numerous mountain gaps, steering through exciting tunnels bored out of sheer rock and descending into deep valley's occasionally brushing against picturesque mountain cities such as Asheville North Carolina and Roanoke Virginia.

There is so much to tell about the Blue Ridge Parkway, its many natural wonders, constant array of spectacular vistas and cultural mountain communities along its slopes, coves and valleys that this profile is a mere scratch of the surface. The Blue Ridge Highlander has been gathering photos and information that will be presented in numerous stories and tales along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with each new tale as fascinating as the last.

Brief History of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began on September 11, 1935 and completed in 1983 and 470 miles latter after several routing delays and World War II. The "New Deal" created during President Franklin Roosevelt of the 1930's was to provide much need work for both skilled and unskilled labor including engineers and landscape architects, thus the "Civilian Conservation Corps" was called into order. The idea was to create a link between the newly created Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the very edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. The appointed landscape architect who had the job of laying out the parkway was Stanley Abbot. His vision cut through a wilderness that must have seemed uncertain if not impossible at times.

The parkway and its shoulders are as clean and pristine as any golf course and the views never end. At high altitudes the mysteries of nature and wildlife are captivating. You think you came for the views but its the wonders that drag you from your vehicle as you cut out along a roadside trial on a personal quest and union with nature at an altitude that makes what seems natural becomes unnatural in its mysteries.

The monumental task that created the Blue Ridge Parkway is a treasure to both America and the world and must be experience at least once in a lifetime, yet there is so much to do and see and do along and around the vicinity of the parkway and its many mountain ranges it would take numerous trips to truly appreciate the wonders of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Scenic Drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway...

Blue Ridge Parkway from Cherokee NC to Asheville NC

Blue Ridge Parkway Fall Season

Blue Ridge Parkway Poem and Scenic Drive

75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains
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