Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia Attractions
The Blue Ridge Parkway winds its way through the states of Virginia and North Carolina along the Blue Ridge Mountains, the southern outliers of the Appalachians, for a distance of 469 mi. This tourist route (maximum speed 45 mph) begins at Rockfish Gap (milepost 0), on the south side of Shenandoah National Park, and ends on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, in Cherokee territory. All along the route there are overwhelming views of the dense forests with their variety of wild life and of the valley below; some signs of human settlement can also be seen, such as Mabry Mill (milepost 176). For those with time at their disposal there is magnificent walking on waymarked trails along the way.
Mabry Mill is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 176.1. Mabry Mill is a fully functioning gristmill where visitors can experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a mill from the 19th Century. Also on site are a blacksmith and a wheelwright. On Sunday's in the summer, bluegrass music is performed in the afternoons.
Humpback Rocks Visitor Center
The Humpback Rocks Visitor Center is located at mile marker 5.8 south of Afton on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here travelers will find a visitors center and reconstructed farm devoted to the history of the settlers who once inhabited this area. Picnic facilities are available as are hiking and walking trails.
Cumberland Knob Visitors Center
The Cumberland Knob Visitors Center is somewhat of an historic site. It was the first area of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be built and opened. The area features walking trails and scenic views.
James River Visitor Center
Peaks of Otter Visitor Center
Rocky Knob Visitor Contact Station
At the Rocky Knob Visitor Contact Station on the Blue Ridge Parkway visitors will find a restaurant, gift shop, camping, and picnic facilities.