Doughton Park: Repair & Reopen Bluffs Buildings

Photo by David Huff

Julie Hettiger at Bluffs.jpg

Julie Hettiger, pictured on left, with her friend, Anna Kerly, in 1966 at Bluffs Coffee Shop Julie Hettiger, pictured on left, with her friend, Anna Kerly, at Bluffs Coffee Shop in 1966

Update! Thanks to your support for this project, The Bluffs Restaurant will reopen in the spring of 2021!

We can't thank you enough for your donations which made this revitalization possible.

“The Bluffs was not just a place for a wonderful meal, it was a place where memories were made on the Blue Ridge Parkway,” said Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward. “Recreating that experience for those who fondly remember The Bluffs and those who never had a chance to visit is a perfect example of the Foundation’s mission to enhance the Parkway for everyone.”

Revitalization of The Bluffs has been a long-term effort. During the decade was closed, the facility fell into a severe state of disrepair. After many requests to reopen the restaurant, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation stepped in and began raising funds in 2016 for the rehab. A combination of donations from individuals and organizations and support from the State of North Carolina and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) made the rehabilitation of the building possible. More than 500 donors contributed to the nearly $1 million total for the project.

You can follow the The Bluffs on Facebook and Instagram. Visit the website at

The Foundation holds a historic lease for the National Park Service facility and will be responsible for ongoing maintenance and improvements.  

Learn more about The Bluffs project with this webinar:

See the Live Webcam at Doughton Park


Read about server Ellen Woodruff Smith, who worked at The Bluffs from the day it opened on May 31, 1949, to the day it closed on November 1, 2010. 

Learn more about the Cultural Landscape of Doughton Park 

Do you have wonderful memories of Bluffs Coffee Shop at Doughton Park? Share your story

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Help bring the Bluffs back to life


Photo by Rita Larkin