Motorcycle Route Author
Written DirectionsTo start on the north or upper half, go Staunton VA on interstate 81 and then head east on interstate 64 towards Waynesboro or Afton VA. Look for and follow the Blue Ridge Parkway signs. To start in the middle you should go to Wytheville VA on I-81 and then get on I-77 heading southeast toward the town of Fancy Gap VA (its exit #8 off of I-77). Look for the Blue Ridge parkway signs. Or to start at the lower/southern end (and then heading north) go to the town of Cherokee (just southeast of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park) or you can get on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville NC as well.
SceneryThe upper half (the longer of the two halves) of this road runs from Afton VA, (near Waynesboro and Staunton, VA) south till it intersects I-77. This part of the road ambles through the Virginia country side with several sites to stop such as an old mill pond with a working millwheel and some Civil War battle sites.
The lower half runs from I-77 (near a VA town called Fancy Gap) to Cherokee NC. This part of the road is mostly in the great Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. There are numerous overlooks to view the beautiful Smokey Mts. as well as several outstanding places to see such as blowing rock and an old plantation house turned into a craft house. The part below Ashville NC is perhaps the most awesome Mt views anywhere in the eastern part of the country and terminates at the Cherokee Indian reservation where a museum and an outdoor drama are well worth seeing. The federal government hosts a very nice informational website covering the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Drive EnjoymentOne of the best parts of this road is the limited access. The only trucks ever encountered are the few service truck that service the two service station/restaurant areas along the parkway. Another plus is the 45 mph limit that allows you to see the surrounding scenery with out so much risk of having an accident. The road itself is very well maintained and the many curves are gentle.
Tourism OpportunitiesThere is one service station/restaurant area on each half of the parkway. The upper one also has a Mt motel that is very reasonably priced but doesn't offer TV. There are several pull off areas where numerous sites can be viewed. There are no signs along the parkway so it is a good idea to try to have a map so that you can tell where the small towns are along the way and where food and lodging are available.
Motorcycle Road Additional infoThe Blue Ridge Parkway, follows a very meticulous winding path from Afton, Virginia down to Cherokee, North Carolina. It is such a winding path that it exceeds the number of way-points allowed by our mapping system and so I refer you to the official US government Blue Ridge Parkway Map. - You can read an interesting FAQ about the Blue Ridge Parkway. - View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . - Virginia Historical Society - Virginia Civil War Battlefields
I found that I enjoyed riding for one day, then to stop at a B&B for a couple of days and explore side roads at leisure.
Worked for me!
I went into the trip with anticipation of riding the entire BRP from end to end as well as Skyline Drive. I started near Cherokee NC and did it backwards. The first 1/3 was AWESOME! You hit the 3600ft elevation and it's the most scenic portion of the trip. A bit after Asheville it starts to flatten out and is mostly farms. So you go from being on the top of mt's to seeing horses and peoples homes. After Roanoke the last 1/3 gets scenic again.
If your heart isn't set on riding all 460 miles of the Blue Ridge there are some nicer roads nearby during that middle third of it.
All in all it was a fantastic trip and doing it in 3 or 4 days didn't leave me enough time to see half of the sites around. You have to come down off the ridge if you want to see things like Looking Glass Falls, so plan accordingly, take your time and enjoy yourself.
Photo Gallery of Blue Ridge Parkway (24 Photos)
Interactive Views Along This Route