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Blue Ridge Parkway Transitions to Summer Operations

Park visitors reminded to plan ahead, recreate responsibly, and be flexible across a dynamic season

With many campgrounds, picnic areas, and visitor centers opening on the Blue Ridge Parkway this weekend, the National Park Service reminds park visitors and neighbors to plan ahead and be flexible to ensure a great Parkway experience.

The Parkway has several large road projects in progress along its 469-mile route this season, and motorists must exercise caution around road projects and refrain from entering areas marked as closed. The largest road project underway this season includes a major paving project in North Carolina between milepost 221.8 and 305, just south of the Virginia state line, near the Blue Ridge Music Center to the Linn Cove Viaduct. Visitors will experience both detours and one- lane closures in this area. The Parkway website provides milepost by milepost status information with links to additional project information or detour maps where applicable.

“We want to thank Parkway visitors in advance for their courtesy and patience during this period of significant project work,” said Parkway Superintendent Tracy Swartout. “The construction season typically coincides with high visitation, and the Parkway team is focused on providing high quality service for our visitors, while also managing generational investments for the future of travel along this nationally significant roadway.”

To manage campgrounds, visitor centers, and other amenities park visitors enjoy during the summer and fall season, the Parkway relies on a large group of seasonal employees. Due to ongoing recruitment challenges in 2024, the park is starting the season with a reduced seasonal staff, which will result in delayed openings and modified hours in some locations. Park visitors are encouraged to confirm service availability and operating hours on the park website in advance of their visit.

Complete campground information and reservations are available at recreation.gov.

Many popular opportunities for exploration and recreation on the Blue Ridge Parkway, coupled with high visitation, means that park visitors play an important role in preserving this place for future generations. Simple actions like packing out trash, driving the speed limit, and parking in authorized areas only, create a safer and better experience for everyone. The Parkway’s unique design, including steep grades, limited sight distances, and beautiful built-in distractions also means drivers must pay extra attention while navigating the route. Helpful driving, motorcycle, and hiking safety information is available on the Parkway’s website.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the largest designed landscapes in the country, providing visitors with a wide variety of opportunities to experience southern Appalachian nature, history, and culture. The park’s drive-a-while, stop-a-while design enhances the experience; and whether driving the scenic route, hiking a trail or taking in a concert or ranger program, Parkway staff remind visitors to have a plan, recreate responsibly, and take time and explore the Parkway’s many gateway communities during their visit.

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