The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most visited units of the National Park Service. Traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway inspires relaxation while enjoying neverending views. In the Boone Area, the Parkway is one of the best routes to work for many locals and it is important to remember some basic tips for traveling along the Parkway to ensure a smooth, leisurely ride.
- The Parkway speed limit is 45 mph, with some areas of 35 mph, and 25 mph in busy pedestrian areas.
- There are few passing zones on the Parkway, but many overlooks make it easy to pull off the road if necessary.
- Be cautious around dusk and dawn when wildlife is more active.
- Parking is available at trailheads and overlooks.
- Parking on the grassy shoulder of the road is permitted as long as all vehicles are well off the road on firm ground.
- Taking all valuables with you or locking them in your vehicle is advised.
- Expect cool temperatures any time of year with mountaintop temps being 10 or more degrees cooler even during the peak of summer.
- A rain jacket and layers of clothing are a good idea to have on hand as Summer days can bring cooling thunderstorms.
- Spring and fall can turn cold with little warning and October and April are most likely to see the first or last flakes.
- Winter snows on the Parkway can be deep snowy weather can last for weeks.
- Parkway signs warn motorists to "Avoid Parkway in Fog, Snow, and Ice."
- The Parkway often closes gates to deny access in snow and ice.
- If sudden snow or icing occurs, safely exit the Parkway to public highways
For details on road closures and weather, camping, activities, bloom and foliage updates, referral to office numbers, request brochures, and more, call the Parkway information line, 828-298-0398, or visit the website of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
For the best coverage of Boone trails on and off the Parkway, pick up FalconGuides' "Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway" or "Best Easy Day Hikes Blue Ridge Parkway," by Randy Johnson, both just published in brand new 2010 editions in time for the Parkway's 75th anniversary.
Click any map symbol and information-packed balloons pop up to describe locations all along the route. In the map balloons, click "Directions" to add your address and get step-by-step directions to Parkway locations from wherever you are. Start in the north, follow the road south, for a local's introduction to your own Boone-area Parkway adventure.