The weather is getting cooler in the flatlands, and even more so on the parkway. Now is the perfect time to pack a picnic basket and/or put on your hiking shoes and get to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The parkway is full of trails. There are many wonderful spots to hike, so numerous it is beyond the scope of this article to list them. But the truth is, you can pick just about any spot on the parkway at random and the odds are you will find a nice trail nearby.
In addition to areas and trails groomed by the National Park service, in North Carolina you have the added benefit of the MTS (Mountain to Sea) trails.
As mentioned, total coverage of resources is not possible here, but here are a few well-known highlights and tips.
A few of the better-known spots with many trails leading in just about any direction you wish to go would be Rocky Knob in Virginia, Doughton Park in North Carolina, and Graveyard Fields also in NC. However, the later is better reserved for fall. There is no way to describe the colors there. Wear shades, you could get blinded! LOL.
The one biggest hint I would relay is to slow down! There are many trail markers on either side of the parkway that may be slightly obscured by a bush or tree, or recessed a little so that it cannot easily be seen if you drive the posted parkway speed of 45. On the other hand, if you do drive slowly be kind! Pull over at the very next overlook and let people pass!
This image of a popular hiking spot is from the Moses Cone Manor area of the parkway. The image was digitally hand-brushed to create an oil painting style of appearance. This trail is directly across the parkway from Moses Cone Manor and is easily accessible from the Cone Manor House through a tunnel under the parkway. How can you resist a hike in such a beautiful spot as this?!
Here are a few resources to help:
Picture North Carolina fine art photography and digital photoart are available for sale as prints.
Enjoy your hike! Get ready for those even more spectacular fall hikes! And don’t forget to bring a camera!