The Blue Ridge Parkway was built back in the 40’s and 50’s as a government project to create jobs for people in the area. It connects two great National parks – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It covers over 400 miles of scenic mountains and valleys through some of America’s most historic areas.
We entered the Parkway at its southernmost point at Cherokee, North Carolina, and rode all the way up to Linville, North Carolina. We would have gone further but the weather socked in and got worse the further north we headed. We took a small detour off the Parkway at Hwy 215 and went north into Bethel. What a treat! Hwy 215 twists its way down the mountain along a beautiful creek with many waterfalls and swimming holes. We found a small Mexican restaurant in Bethel. It must have been a favourite spot for the Sunday churchgoers, as it was very busy for such a small town.
We hit quite a bit of fog at one point – the highest point on the Parkway. We climbed to over 6000 ft. I did not realize the “hills” in the area were actually that high. Once back down below 5000 ft, we were below the clouds and fog. We got back onto the Parkway after lunch and rode through Asheville. After fuelling up there, we headed north on the Parkway and hit heavy rain! It rained on and off the rest of the afternoon and we were getting quite cold and damp. We called it a day at Linville and headed to Johnson City where we had reservations at the Best Western.
I will definitely be coming back to this area to ride the ENTIRE length of this beautiful hiway!