7 Ways to Enjoy the Parkway’s Wide Open Spaces (Even when the road is closed)

  1. Hiking. Some Parkway trails are accessible (and much less popular!) even in winter, like the Mountains to Sea Trail which crisscrosses the Parkway for many miles in North Carolina and trails at Moses Cone and Julian Price Memorial Parks. But when Parkway access is uncertain, there are many trails in nearby areas that can be easily accessed. Virginia’s Crabtree Falls (not to be confused with the Crabtree Falls located at Parkway Milepost 339 just north of Asheville, North Carolina) is located in the George Washington National Forest off of VA Route 56. Transylvania County, North Carolina offers many trails in the Pisgah District of the Pisgah National Forest. Grandfather Mountain and Chimney Rock may also be open if weather conditions allow. Remember as you navigate that mapping systems- including Google Maps- sometimes rely on faulty data (especially when it comes to navigating to Parkway sites), so it’s best to confirm the trail’s location and difficulty with another reputable source such as alltrails.com.
  2. Visiting Waterfalls. Remember to exercise caution in winter as some trails may be slippery. But the trails are less crowded in cold weather and it is a special treat, when the weather is just right, to view frozen waterfalls. Swain County, North Carolina provides a variety of hiking options, from sections of the Appalachian Trail to hikes on public lands surrounding Fontana Lake to the waterfalls in the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Their website describes several hikes in the region as well as great tips on how to social distance while enjoying the out of doors. East of Asheville in McDowell County, you’ll find easy hikes to both Tom’s Creek Falls and Catawba Falls. Even popular Linville Falls is accessible from a US Forest Service access point when the Parkway is closed. Many waterfalls can be found throughout the regions surrounding the Parkway. Some can be accessed with little or no hiking like Looking Glass Falls in Transylvania County.
  3. Winter sports. A few ski resorts in Western North Carolina are only minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. On the off chance that you are searching for variety, drops and landscape parks, North Carolina’s High Country is an ideal objective. There’s skiing, snowboarding, and surprisingly a free metropolitan sledding slope in Beech Mountain (where they can make their own snow) for kids to appreciate. Different degrees of skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing and even ice skating on a 10,000 square foot open air arena are accessible in Sugar Mountain, NC. But at the same time there’s Cataloochee, settled up to Maggie Valley and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Full-administration ski resorts like Wintergreen are accessible in Virginia, as well. What’s more, if the snow conditions are right, there’s extraordinary free sledding at Moses Cone Memorial Park close to Boone, NC and Explore Park in Roanoke, VA. Look at all these extraordinary areas for winter sports! Clue: If you can design your visit midweek, there are less individuals and lower rates for lift tickets at ski resorts.
  4. Trekking. Bicycling shut segments of the Parkway is an ideal action on a pleasant winter day when there’s no vehicular traffic except for keep an eye out for obscure patches where you may experience snow or ice. State kept up with streets might be more clear and furthermore offer street trekking openings. A few towns have scenic routes ideal for a walk or ride. Also, woodland trails and streets offer more specialized cycling for those more acclimated with rocks and roots in the path. These locales offer a scope of bicycling openings situated across the Parkway and its encompassing regions.
  5. Fishing. Indeed, fishing in the colder time of year! Put on your layers of non-cotton clothing like fleece and wool and plan to land a trout or musky. A couple of additional security safety measures are all together like having additional dry dressing, fishing with an amigo, and telling somebody where you’ll be and when to expect you back. In any case, you’ll will encounter fresh winter air, isolation and most likely your pick of the best pools in the waterway. Make a point to have a legitimate fishing permit and look at one of these extraordinary regions for fishing this year.
  6. Stargazing. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Is there a superior season to see the sparkling night sky than when it gets dim early and is adequately cold to cuddle under a cover with an extraordinary somebody? Relax in case you’re a fledgling; there are a few stargazing applications accessible to help. Night skies are more clear in the colder time of year since cold air holds less dampness. Public spots are less occupied, so it’s simpler to discover an area. Also, a few groups of stars, similar to Orion, Cassiopeia, and Taurus are clear and simple to recognize in the colder time of year sky. So snatch a cover, some cocoa and optics, in the event that you have them, and look at one of these spots for stargazing this colder time of year.
  7. Picturesque driving. Warm cold weather days in the southeast are ideally suited for a cruiser or sportscar visit through a tourist detour. With less vehicles out and about and less foliage to impede those long-range mountain sees, a beautiful drive is the ideal method to social distance. There are various named courses like the Claw of the Dragon, Back of the Dragon, Tail of the Dragon and The Jagged Edge yet numerous anonymous Appalachian Backroads are similarly as amusing to travel. Possibly a picturesque spot or a café with takeout assistance is your location, or perhaps it’s simply to escape the house and partake in a lovely winter see. Whatever your motivation, make certain to check the street conditions before you head out to partake in a beautiful drive in one of these spaces this colder time of year.

    Even when the Parkway is closed this winter, we hope you can enjoy some outdoor activities in the neighboring regions!

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