A woman drinks from a log water fountain in 1940 at Cumberland Knob, the first recreation area along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo courtesy of National Park Service/Blue Ridge Parkway
September 10, 2020
September 11 marks the 85th birthday of the Blue Ridge Parkway! On that day in 1935, construction began at Cumberland Knob, on the border between Virginia and North Carolina, which became the first recreation area in the new national park unit. The monumental task of building the Parkway started as a New Deal-era project under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Travelers were finally able to drive the entire route in 1987 with the opening of the final section, the Linn Cove Viaduct. That’s right, for 52 years of its history, the Parkway was under construction!
We are grateful for those who worked to complete all 469 miles of the scenic route and those members of the National Park Service who protect it today.
We'd like to thank you for playing an important role in the story of this amazing national park unit. For more than 20 years, donors have made so much possible—renovations of historic landmarks, wildlife studies, overlook clearing, trail repairs, and so much more. Your commitment to the Parkway makes it a better place today, tomorrow, and for the decades to come!