Unlike the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge access is free. However, most campgrounds do charge for campsites, taking cash or check only. On average, the Parkway's nine campgrounds offer a chance every 43 miles to set up a tent or park your RV. You'll find 712 tent sites and 337 RV sites, all available on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping is permitted only in formal sites at designated campgrounds-and each campground has a handicapped-accessible site.
You can reserve campsites ahead of time at Boone area campgrounds Julian Price Park (the largest campground on the Parkway and the only with lakeside camping) and Linville falls. Each site has a fireplace and picnic table. The campgrounds have no showers (except at Mount Pisgah) or electrical hook-ups-but they're otherwise comfortable and provide water, restrooms, firewood for sale, and trailer dumping stations.
Use of gas stoves and grills are permitted and encouraged. Fires are permitted in designated fireplaces, at campgrounds and at picnic areas. Major Parkway campgrounds can have camp stores with firewood and basic supplies for sale. While camping, remember basic camping etiquette. Remember to store all food items in a locked vehicle to avoid attracting animals to your campsite and properly dipose of all litter and food waste.
Doughton Park Campground (Milepost 239.2)
There are 110 campsites west of the Parkway, 25 trailer sites to the east, restrooms, a 250-person campfire circle, and camp store.
Julian Price Park Campground (Milepost 296.9)
Julian Price Park Campground is the closest campground for the areas of both Boone and Blowing Rock.
The Parkway's largest campground has 129 tent sites, some directly on the shore of Price Lake. If you can snag a lakeshore site, it's a perfect "golden pond" camping experience. There are also 68 RV sites, an amphitheater, and boat rentals. Great hiking options include the memorable lakeshore loop of the Price Lake Trail. Contact the ranger offices for Price Park at (828) 295-7591.
Linville Falls Campground (Milepost 316.4)
The only Parkway campground with group camping. There are 55 tent and small R/V sites; 15 large R/V sites, a 150-person campfire circle, and many trails to the falls.
Mount Mitchell Tent Campground (Milepost 355)
And just an hours drive from Boone, atop Mount Mitchell, the state park's small tent campground offers the East's highest tent camping. You can actually see the summit tower from some sites.
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.