Not long after public historian Mike Ryan became an interpretative ranger for the Blue Ridge Parkway in its Plateau District headquartered near Rocky Knob, he was asked if he might develop a program about Rock Castle Gorge a few miles south of the knob. Ryan had hiked the gorge a number of times, had seen the ruins of long-collapsed cabins there and knew that once upon a time, the gorge must have been a growing community of families who somehow coaxed a living from the steep hillside and rocky soil.
Cold but dreamy snowfalls punctuated by balmy, hurry-up-and-hike days made for an unpredictable winter on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but according to the calendar (we had to check twice), it’s officially spring. Soon campgrounds, visitor centers, picnic areas, and historical sites will be ready for the influx of travelers. In 2017, more than 16 million came to experience the mountains and the communities along the way.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting the life and work of Bertha Cone. Moses H. Cone Memorial Park in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, may bear the name of its philanthropist and conservationist founder, but after his untimely death a mere 10 years after the estate’s completion, his widow, Bertha, took up managing its 3,500 acres for nearly 40 years afterward.
Each spring, Flat Top Manor at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is one of the first sites on the Blue Ridge Parkway to open, thanks to the fine folks who run the Parkway Craft Center. Right now, there is plenty of behind-the-scenes activity at the home in preparation for opening day on March 30.
The National Park Service has announced it will close the Linn Cove Viaduct for repairs this spring. Here is the official release from the Blue Ridge Parkway:
Iconic Linn Cove Viaduct to Receive Facelift during Upcoming Closure
The Blue Ridge Parkway leaves each of us with special memories. We invite you to share your experiences, remembrances, and the favorite places from your journeys. Tell us your story.
Carrying forward a family tradition and legacy
National Park Service maintenance personnel are conducting boom axe operations in multiple locations along the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors should anticipate intermittent and temporary closures in active work zones. Both lanes of the Parkway will be closed to all activity (cars, bicycles, and hikers) in active work zones to ensure the safety of the maintenance workers as well as Parkway visitors.
Closure areas are as follows:
Last week, we were so happy to welcome guests to celebrate 20 years of protecting the Blue Ridge Parkway and honor just a few of the extraordinary people who make up our Community of Stewards during a lovely evening at Lioncrest at Biltmore.
We have big news! Through the Centennial Challenge grant program, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and National Park Service are teaming up to meet the rehab needs at key historical sites on the scenic route: Humpback Rocks Farm, Sharp Top Shelter, and Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.
You did it! Thanks to you, we exceeded the “I Love Craggy” Matching Challenge! You donated $6,195 to match $5,497 from RomanticAsheville.com. That’s a total of $11,692 to repair the Craggy Bald Trail and create new exhibits at the Visitor Center.
The second annual Denim Ball was a huge success, raising more than $120,000 for the Foundation's rehabilitation efforts at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had a blast at Chetola Resort with dancing to the music of The Lucky Strikes Orchestra, a silent and live auction, and a denim attire contest.
Find Your Pint is back and even bigger! This year, 30 breweries and one cidery are teaming up to raise funds for the Blue Ridge Parkway with special beer releases and events in August and September. For its second year, the series is sweeping up the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville to breweries in the High Country of North Carolina, Virginia, and even Winston-Salem.
Spring weekends and summer vacation are the perfect time to introduce kids to the outdoors, and we have a great way to do it: TRACK Trails. Our Kids in Parks program is nationwide, but there are nine trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway waiting to be explored. The adventures are easy and fun. Just pick up an activity guide at the trailhead kiosk, and start a trek. After the outing, be sure to register your visit at kidsinparks.com and start collecting free prizes!
TRACK Trails along the Parkway
The camping experience at Julian Price Park Campground is going to get even better this year with the addition of a new shower facility. Thanks to your support for the project, the new building will open later this summer at the popular campground at milepost 297 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Textile magnate Moses H. Cone would never have allowed a leaky roof to go unattended at his beloved Flat Top Manor. Now it won’t. Work will begin on Monday, April 10, to replace the flat roof on the home thanks to your support!
There are places you visit just once, and then there is the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a destination that keeps you coming back time and time again to relive remarkable experiences and discover new adventures. You can help ensure the Parkway remains the place we all love with these easy and meaningful ways to give back.