Blue Ridge Parkway
America’s favorite drive, The Blue Ridge Parkway is a must see with visitors. Easily accessed from Hwy 19 at Soco Gap, it winds its’ way both north and south. The southern ride is relatively short ending in Cherokee in about 20 miles, while the northern route meanders all the way to Virginia. The southern route is scenic but a trip north will feature some great places to hike and turn-out vistas at Waterrock Knob, Graveyard Fields, Devil’s Courthouse, Mt Pisgah, and the highest point on the Parkway (6050 feet). All those points of interest are within a few hours drive, but just remember, if you’re in a hurry, the parkway is not a way to go. The top speed on the parkway is 45 and it certainly is not the shortest route between two points.
The Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed from Highway 19 at Soco Gap. From Maggie Travel west on Highway 19 toward Cherokee. At the intersection of 19 and the Blue Ridge Parkway you can go west to the park entrance or east toward Asheville and beyond. Local highlights include Waterrock Knob, Graveyard Fields, Devil’s Courthouse and the highest point on the parkway (6050 feet) all within an hours drive of Maggie Valley.
Blue Ridge Parkway Map – PDF File
Trails close by on the Parkway
Mile Post 407.6 Mt. Pisgah Trail (summit view) 1.26 Moderate / Strenuous
Mile Post 407.6 Buck Springs Trail (Pisgah Lodge to view) 1.06 Easy / Moderate
Mile Post 408.5 Frying Pan Mountain Trail 1.65 Moderate / Strenuous
Mile Post 417 East Fork Trail (USFS, access to Shining Rock Trail System) 0.1 Easy / Moderate
Mile Post 418.8 Graveyard Fields Loop Trail (loop by a stream) 2.29 Moderate
Mile Post 419.4 John Rock Trail (leg stretcher to view) 0.1 Easy
Mile Post 422.4 Devil’s Courthouse Trail (panoramic summit view) 0.42 Moderate / Strenuous
Mile Post 427.6 Bear Pen Gap Trail (access to Mountains-to-Sea Trail) 0.22 Easy
Mile Post 431 Richland Balsam Trail (self-guiding loop through spruce-fir forest) 1.47 Moderate
Mile Post 433.8 Toy Taylor Overlook Trail (paved trail to overlook) 0.1 Easy
Mile Post 451.2 Waterrock Knob Trail (summit view) 1.18 Moderate / Strenuous
*Mileage indicated length of trail one-way unless otherwise noted.
If you are looking for Touring Routes visit Smokey Mountain Rides