We will start talking a little bit about the coolest places in the USA. And the perfect place to start with is the Blue Ridge Parkway, the "America’s Favorite Drive". If you didn’ found yourself a location for the summer you might start with this: great ride, wonderful landscapes, nature and beauty, all in only one place.
Blue Ridge Parkway is a continuation of the 105-mile-long Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park, running another 469 miles southwest through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Magnificent vistas and the natural beauty of the forests, wildlife, and wildflowers combine with pioneer history to make this a scenic and fascinating route.
Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular units of the National Park System because of its outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the. It’s 469 miles long and you could drive through mountain meadows and past seemingly endless vistas. Split-rail fences, old farmsteads and historic structures complement spectacular views of distant mountains and neighboring valleys.
The Parkway follows the Appalachian Mountain chain and provides seemingly endless views of many parallel ranges connected by cross ranges and scattered hills. From Shenandoah National Park the Parkway follows the Blue Ridge, eastern rampart of the Appalachians, for 355 miles. Then, for the remaining 114 miles, it skirts the southern end of the massive Black Mountains, named for the dark green spruce and fir that cover them, weaves through the Craggies, the Pisgahs, the Balsams, and ends in the Great Smokies.
The Parkway incorporates several recreation areas, some exceeding 6,000 acres. These parks within the Parkway have visitor centers, camp grounds, picnic areas, trails and, in many instances, concessionaire-operated lodges, restaurants, gas stations and other facilities.
You need to be careful in here the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or a little less in some places. The Parkway was designed for leisurely motoring. While drive to low speed you can take your time and discover the subtlety as well as the grandeur of this special place.
A very important thing to know is that yuo have been caught by fog and rain you need to be extra careful. Slow down and turn on your headlights. A little caution will help assure that inclement weather only dampens picnics and temporarily impairs the scenic views.
Motorcyclists should be especially alert. Approved helmets are required for operators and passengers. In North Carolina, the headlight must be on anytime a motorcycle is in motion.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, called "America’s Favorite Drive", is the most visited unit of America’s National Park System. A trip down the Parkway provides stunning, long range vistas and close-up looks at the natural and cultural history of the southern Appalachian mountains.
Spring is a wonderful time to visit and May is probably the best overall month for seeing the variety of wildflowers that dominate the roadsides and trails.