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Parkway begins reopening

The Blue Ridge Parkway has reopened its southernmost 14 miles and plans to reopen additional gates this weekend once seasonal mowing and road preparations are complete. 

Reopened areas in North Carolina include: 

  • Mileposts 292-296.5 near Blowing Rock, including Moses Cone Parking Area and Bass Lake Parking Lot.
  • Mileposts 298.6-308 through Grandfather Mountain area, including Rough Ridge and Linn Cove Viaduct.
  • Milepost 316.4 Linville Falls Spur Road, including parking at Linville Falls trailheads.
  • Mileposts 334-342 including Crabtree Falls Area near Little Switzerland.
  • Mileposts 355-375.6 from Mt. Mitchell to Ox Creek, including Craggy Gardens.
  • Milepost 377.4, parking areas at Craven Gap (Town Mountain Rd) for Mountains-to-Sea Trail access.
  • Milepost 384.7, roadside parking at MST Trailheads at U.S. 74A Parkway access ramps.
  • Mileposts 393 to 469 from French Broad River Overlook and south to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Road maintenance projects are underway in some of these areas. Visitors may experience delays or one-lane closures and should check the Parkway’s Road Closure page at https://go.nps.gov/roadinfo for more information.

Seasonal visitor service facilities including campgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms and visitor centers remain closed at this time. In Virginia, closures are still in effect for miles 0 to 13 adjacent to Shenandoah National Park, milepost 85.9 at Peaks of Otter and milepost 92.5 at Sharp Top. 

“Our phased approach to the 2020 visitor season is focused on balancing the enjoyment and protection of this park with the enjoyment and protection of our visitors,” said Parkway Superintendent J.D. Lee. “I encourage everyone who visits the Parkway in the coming days to recreate responsibly while here, whether that’s social distancing on park trails or driving safely on this beautiful, scenic drive.”

In the coming weeks, the Blue Ridge Parkway will examine each facility function and service to ensure operations comply with current public health guidance. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

Updates on park operations are available at www.nps.gov/blri and the Parkway’s social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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