Visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway and COVID-19

Photo by Vicki Dameron

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Remember to stay at least six feet apart on the trail and at overlooks. Remember to stay at least six feet apart on the trail and at overlooks.
April 8, 2020

The Parkway rangers are striving to keep the Blue Ridge Parkway safe while seeing an enormous influx of visitors. If you plan to enjoy the Parkway during this time, please make their job a lot less stressful by following these tips.

Avoid the Crowds

Now is a good time to find a lesser-traveled trail or section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some of the more popular destinations, such as Craggy Gardens near Asheville, N.C., and Rough Ridge Trail near Boone, N.C., are seeing high visitation, which can make social distancing challenging. There are 369 miles of hiking trails along the Parkway, so if you see a crowd of cars at a trailhead, please select another trek to enjoy. Trail information

Another great option is to just experience the motorway, overlooks, and fresh air from your car. 

Be Safe

Remember to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including practicing social distancing; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Most importantly, please stay home if you feel sick. 

Keep your eyes on the road. The views are best enjoyed while stopped at an overlook. If you have two drivers in your vehicle, try taking turns behind the wheel to allow everyone time to catch the vistas.

Don’t take unnecessary risks. Putting yourself in a situation where you need emergency assistance is putting rangers, first responders, and other visitors at risk too. Play it safe.

Take Care of Your Park

Play a role in keeping outdoor spaces on the Parkway safe and healthy. As in-person services are limited during this time, the National Park Service urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including packing in and packing out all garbage, staying on designated trails, and being considerate of other visitors. Be advised, the bathrooms and visitor centers on the Parkway are closed, so plan accordingly.

Make a Virtual Visit Instead

You can enjoy historical scenes from the Parkway by visiting the National Park Gallery. Your donations to the Foundation recently funded the project to add more than 7,000 images to the online database. Thank you!

Stay Connected

We invite you to follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and YouTube for updates on the Parkway and the good work you have made possible. You can also find updates on our blog.