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(Virginia-North Carolina)

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an elongated park with a scenic motorway being built expressly for the tourist, threading the picturesque mountains between Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee. The Parkway, first of its type and scale planned as a single unit, will be approximately 500 miles in length and have an average elevation of 2.500 feet above sea level. More than 320 miles of motorway, free from sharp curves and steep grades, will have been completed or be in various stages of construction during 1940, while development of complementing recreational facilities will go forward in numerous wayside parks.


Approximately 140 miles of the Parkway, as shown on the accompanying map, will be available for use during 1940. This stretch between Adney Gap, Va., and Deep Gap, N. C., opens on or before June 1, 1940. This portion of the Parkway is conveniently connected at temporary terminal points with primary State highways; thus a continuous passage over first-class pavements is possible. The map shows the nearness of the completed sections to major north-south travel routes in the eastern United States. The famous Skyline Drive, 105-mile scenic highway in the Shenandoah National Park, is open to use its entire distance from Front Royal to Rock Fish Gap, Va.


Motoring, Hiking, and Picnicking. The Blue Ridge Parkway affords an unusual opportunity to view the natural beauty of a country heretofore virtually inaccessible—a country of bold panoramas, wild forest and exceptionally beautiful flora. Numerous parking overlooks provide safe points from which to view at leisure the country below. For the continuous length of the Parkway these varying roadside pictures are protected by a park-owned right-of-way averaging 1.000 feet in width, free from billboards and other increments of the usual commercial road. Use of the Parkway is restricted to passenger vehicles.

The flowering season in the Blue Ridge extends continuously from early May well into July, breaking first with the shadblow, followed by the dogwood, redbud, and flame azaleas, which are especially fine in this area. During June the mountain laurel and rhododendron are at their best. In October the forests become aflame with color.

Areas of outstanding scenic interest along the Parkway, varying from 2,000 to 10,000 acres in extent, have been reserved, where the motorist may take foot trails to the more remote and unspoiled beauty spots. Four of these recreation areas, including trails and picnic areas, will be available during 1940—Smart View and Rocky Knob in Virginia and Cumberland Knob and The Bluffs in North Carolina. At The Bluffs and Rocky Knob trailer and tent camping areas are available.

Fishing. There is mountain trout fishing in Rock Castle Creek and in Basin Creek in The Bluffs. State licenses are required.


Accommodations in cities and some of the smaller communities along the Parkway vary from the finest resort and tourist hotels to modest cabin facilities. Lodges and overnight cabins within the recreation areas are not expected to be completed during 1940.


Because Parkway concession facilities will not be completed during 1940. it is suggested that each day's travel be planned from each stopover point and that picnic lunches taken along for noon-day meals.


Until Parkway motor service stations are completed, it is suggested that the tourist fully watch his gasoline and oil gauges. Motor service is available nearby on most of major highways crossing the Parkway.


The National Park Service office in charge is that of the Acting Superintendent, Shenandoah Life Insurance Building. Roanoke. Virginia, to which inquiries may be addressed.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is being developed under the supervision of the Public Roads Administration, in cooperation with the National Park Service. The States of Virginia and North Carolina are acquiring the necessary Parkway lands through their respective Highway Commissions.

Please Observe the Following Regulations While on the Blue Ridge Parkway:

It is unlawful to disturb flowers, shrubs, or trees, to mar or deface signs or buildings.

Commercial vehicles are prohibited on the Parkway drive.

Speed zone signs are posted. Drive carefully.

Hunting within the Parkway boundaries is prohibited. Streams closed to fishing are posted. State fishing licenses are required. State laws are in force.

Picnicking and camping are limited to designated areas where fireplaces are provided

Be careful with campfires. cigarettes, and pipes. Do not leave a fire unattended.

March 1940

View from Rocky Knob Park, Virginia.

(click on image for a PDF version)

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Last Updated: 20-Jun-2010