The 469 mile long Blue Ridge Parkway is often said to be the most scenic drive in America. Beginning near Cherokee, NC, the parkway winds through the gorgeous Smokey Mountains and passes through the Pisgah National Forest, as well as the Shenandoah National Forest, before ending just before Virginia’s Skyline Drive begins.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is milepost after milepost of beautiful mountain views, camping opportunities, and outdoor activities. Whether your planning a family day trip or a week long trekking adventure, you can pack your Coleman cooler and enjoy the perfect journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails along the parkway, many accessing larger trail networks including the Appalachian Trail, NC’s Mountain to Sea Trail, and the Shining Rock Wilderness Trail. This three part guide covers the hiking trails along the Virginia section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A guide to the NC hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway can be found here.
MP 5.9 Mountain Farm Trail is an easy, quarter mile self-guiding walk through a reconstructed 19th century Appalachian mountain farm. During summer months, there are living demonstrations in the farmstead, reenacting life on the farm long ago.
MP 6.0 The Appalachian Trail is a 2000 mile long hiking trail stretching through the eastern mountains, from Georgia to Maine. Several sections of the trail can be accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway. This 2 mile section is a strenuous hike to Humpback Mountain at 3650 feet above sea level.
MP 8.4 Catoctin Loop Trail is a moderate .3 mile trail with beautiful vistas. This short loop is a great way to stretch your legs if you’re driving the parkway.
MP 8.8 Greenstone Trail is a short (.2 mile) self-guiding trail that loops through the shady hardwood forest and examines the amazing rock formations along the parkway. This trail is a moderate hike.
MP 17.6 The Priest is an easy tenth-mile stroll to an amazing view of the religiously named cluster of mountains looming in the distance.
MP 18.5 White Rock Falls Trail Connection is a moderate 2.9 mile hike to the White Rock Falls trail.
MP 20.0 White Rock Falls Trail is a moderate hike that follows .9 miles alongside a tranquil stream and ends at a small waterfall.
MP 26.3 Big Spy Mountain Trail is a short (.1 mile) but moderate walk to the War Fields, a large meadow known for the numerous arrowheads found in the soil. At 3200 feet above sea level, this trail offers a terrific view of the sky, as well as the beautiful Shenandoah Valley below.
MP 34.4 Yankee Horse Trail is a moderate .2 mile trail that passes a reconstructed railroad exhibit once used for logging in the Virginia mountains and leads to a small waterfall known as Wigwam Falls.
MP 38.8 Boston Knob Trail is an easy tenth of a mile loop around the hill near the overlook. This is an ideal walk to stretch your legs after a picnic lunch at the available table.