Signs of spring are finally breaking through winter’s cold grip, and the National Park Service has announced the Parkway’s 2016 opening schedule and hours of operation. Time to start planning your Parkway getaways.
Here’s a quick rundown.
After the gray and white landscape painted by winter, spring brings a great sense of renewal to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The diverse blooms, ranging from delicate to bold, that herald the season’s arrival are one of many reasons to hit the road and explore the trails for wildflower sightings amid the vibrant landscape.
We’d like to send out a big thanks to everyone who attended the Foundation’s reception at Hotel Roanoke on March 16. More than 60 people enjoyed drinks, bites and a fascinating presentation by landscape architect David Hill, principal author of A Neighbor’s Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hill shared insights behind the design of the Parkway, from its masonry to the vistas, and tips for blending neighboring homes, buildings and landscapes into the overall picture of the scenic route.
The Town of Blowing Rock is moving forward with a plan to connect its charming downtown with Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Upon completition, visitors will be able to reach Bass Lake via a new sidewalk. Recently, the N.C. Department of Transportation approved an agreement to provide $987,956 of the $1.22 million project cost.
We've got exciting news! Moses H. Cone Memorial Park has been named a 2016 Centennial Challenge project. That means the Foundation, with your help, is getting a running start on a multiyear fundraising effort to repair and rehab the historical estate in the High Country of North Carolina. The Centennial Challenge program, designed to address needs in all National Parks, will provide financial support to update the fire suppression system at Flat Top Manor. We're raising $411,000 for the project with a match of nearly $300,000 from Congress. But this important project is just the start.
As we hunker down for the thick of winter, it’s easy to think of the Blue Ridge Parkway and say “see you in the spring, old friend.” But the cooler months bring the opportunity to experience the ribbon of road anew.
Winter is a stark and lovely contrast to fall, when visitors flock to the route to witness the fiery displays of autumn color. This is the season to see the landscape without the regalia—a breathtaking glimpse of nature at rest, giving those who call the mountains home a chance for a soulenriching experience.
With the help of the National Park Service, donors, sponsors, and volunteers, the Blue Ridge Music Center experienced another fantastic season in 2015. More than 35,000 patrons visited the Blue Ridge Music Center to explore the Roots of American Music exhibit, listen to Midday Mountain Music, and plan their Parkway journey at the Visitor Center during the May through October season.
This year, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, but in 1972 crowds observed another centennial: the establishment of Yellowstone as the country's first national park. That's right. The first park preceded the National Park Service, which was established in 1916 to protect the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the Department of the Interior and those yet to be established.
Inspiring the next generation of stewards is vital to the future of the Blue Ridge Parkway and all parks. The Foundation helped provide opportunities for young people to make a difference on the Parkway and gain hands-on experience caring for natural resources.
Blue Ridge Parkway officials announce two tunnel repair projects occurring this winter to the north and south of the Asheville corridor. Both closures will be in effect from December 1, 2015 through spring of 2016.
Now even more visitors can enjoy the serene shoreline and peak views at Abbott Lake, milepost 86, thanks to a repaving project that created the first ADA trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The work completes one of five Centennial Challenge Projects funded by Congress and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation in honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary.
Just in time for a fall hike or backpacking trip, there's a new bridge on Grassy Gap Trail. In the past, the crossing over Basin Creek was often difficult, with only a long, precarious log spanning the waterway for hikers. Thanks to generous donations to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation by members of the Piedmont Hiking and Outing Club, a 30-foot bridge now makes the trek safer and more accessible for everyone.
(LINVILLE FALLS, Blue Ridge Parkway) – The new interpretive signs are installed, and it’s time to celebrate the completion of the expansion project at Upper Falls Overlook at Linville Falls with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m., Friday, October 16.
The Foundation hosted more than 100 guests, including Blue Ridge Parkway staff, during a reception at the Pisgah Inn to share updates on work underway and plans for the future. Foundation Chair Broaddus Fitzpatrick, CEO Carolyn Ward, and Superintendent Mark Woods welcomed the group.
Kids in Parks invites families and friends to celebrate the grand opening of a new biking TRACK Trail at the Rocky Knob Park Pump Track in Boone on Saturday, August 29, at 9:30 a.m. The day also marks the program’s sixth anniversary.