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Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip

September 2, 2021

Written by Maria Campanella, Assistant Director of Hydaway

Here in Lynchburg, the Blue Ridge Mountains are right in our backyard. For those of you who love to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, this is an extended weekend trip along the Ridge region with ideas of things to do along the way, places to camp, and overlooks that are worth the stop.At this point, everyone knows about the Blue Ridge Parkway and the beauty of it at every time of year. It really is one of the gems of living

Camping Spots

The Peaks of Otter Campground is located at Mile Marker 85.6 along the parkway. They allow tent camping here from the months of May to September, so right around the corner! It is only $20 a night and the campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, and on-site bathrooms. When coming from Bedford, you can follow route 43 to the parkway and the campground is on the left — right before you reach the parkway. You can reserve your spot here.

Sherando Lake Group Camp is another great place in the Blue Ridge Mountains to camp when on the Parkway. It is a bit pricier at $50 a night, but the campsites are bigger, there are on-site bathrooms, and there is a lake at this site for boating, fishing, and swimming! You can book your reservation for this campsite here. These campsites are available April through October!

Stops Along the Way

For those of you that enjoy hiking, there are many hikes to pick from along the Ridge region of the parkway. Here is the extensive list, but a few of them look especially great!

  • Flat Top Trail at Mile Post 83.5 is a 4.4-mile moderate hike with beautiful views. I personally have done this hike, and I can confirm that it is a beautiful view!
  • Harkening Hill Trail is another one on this list that would be great. It starts at the Peaks of Otter Welcome Center and is a 3.3-mile moderate hike.
  • The last one on the list that looks especially great is the Fallingwater Cascades Trail which is a 1.6-mile loop with a great view of the cascades.

Along with hikes, there are many attractions to visit in Virginia that are located along the parkway such as the Virginia Safari Park, the National D-Day Memorial, and Wintergreen Resort. Depending on when you take this trip along the parkway, you can enjoy the safari park, take a guided tour at the memorial, or even go skiing at Wintergreen.

Overlooks

Not everyone likes hiking, so I wanted to make sure I included a list of spots right off the road that is great to stop at for a scenic moment! Ravens Roost Overlook is a beautiful place to park with no hiking necessary. Pine Tree Overlook is in Bedford County, located in the Ridge region of the parkway that is another great place to stop. Lastly, Rock Point Overlook, which is only 15 minutes from Wintergreen if you decide for that to be one of your destinations along the parkway. The great thing about the Blue Ridge Mountains is that there really is no bad place to stop, and there are overlooks around every turn along the parkway.

Perfect Day or Weekend Trip

The great thing about this is you don’t have to have a full weekend. The Blue Ridge Parkway can be a short couple-hour trip, or it can even be a week-long trip with stops in all the different towns it runs through. Either way, I highly recommend taking advantage of all that the parkway has to offer!