There’s something special about a drive through the countryside. You can enjoy the ever-changing views from the comfort of your vehicle and share a moment with your loved ones.
One drive that we think everyone should take is along the Blue Ridge Parkway, where you can get out and enjoy the many viewpoints. At these stops along the Parkway, you can stop and enjoy the view or have a picnic.
With more than 15.7 million visitors in 2022, it’s hard to deny that this is one of the most beautiful scenic roads in the country. Knowing where to stop to enjoy the view can be frustrating, however, as there are so many people and viewpoints to consider.
Today, we’ll introduce you to some of the best Blue Ridge Parkway viewpoints where you can stop to take in the unforgettable views.
Let’s get started!
What is the Blue Ridge Parkway?
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile scenic highway in the eastern United States.
The purpose of the highway was to highlight the tremendous natural beauty of the region. Construction of the Parkway began in 1935 and was completed in 1987.
The National Park Service manages the parkway. With 15.7 million visitors in 2022, it surpasses the 12.9 million visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This makes the Parkway the most visited national park in the entire National Park System.
The Parkway is home to an unforgettable scenic drive with hiking trails, campgrounds, and overlooks. Pack a picnic and explore the winding roads in this area.
Be sure to stop and visit some of the museums, historic homes and craft centers along the way. You’ll gain a whole new appreciation for the history and culture of this region.
Where does the Blue Ridge Parkway begin and end?
The Blue Ridge Parkway begins in Rockfish Gap, Virginia. It then runs 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains and along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range.
It ends in Cherokee, North Carolina. Traveling the entire parkway allows riders to visit and explore Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Shenandoah National Park.
How many overlooks does the Blue Ridge Parkway have?
There’s no excuse not to stop and enjoy the views along the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are more than 200 viewpoints along the way.
So stop to take in the panoramic mountain views, get a breath of fresh air, and snap a photo or two. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you hurry on this ride.
What is the highest overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway?
If you want to stop at the highest overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you must stop at milepost 431.4 in North Carolina at the Richland Balsam Overlook.
This area is 6,053 feet above sea level and is the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
From this point, visitors can enjoy the incredible panoramic views and stretch their legs on a short hiking trail. The trail ends at an observation deck with some benches and signs with information about the area.
Please note: Bring your RV and stay at one of the best rated campgrounds in North Carolina!
5 of the best Blue Ridge Parkway lookout points
Almost all of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s viewpoints are worth driving to, but a handful clearly stand out from the rest. Let’s take a look at the five best viewpoints you won’t want to miss.
Rockfish Valley Parking Lot Overlook
The Rockfish Valley Parking Overlook is located at milepost 76.5 in Virginia. It is located near the southern end of the Parkway near Shenandoah National Park.
This is a popular stopping point for hikers, as there are several trails nearby that provide an excellent opportunity to explore the natural beauty and enjoy views of waterfalls, rock formations, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
While some overlooks have limited parking, there is ample parking at the Rockfish Valley Parking Overlook.
Rock Point Lookout
The Rock Point Overlook is located at milepost 10.4 at an elevation of 3,115 feet. This overlook takes its name from its main feature, a colorful rock formation known as Catoctin Greenstone.
From this overlook, there are sweeping views of Back Creek Valley and Torrey Ridge. However, the parking area here is relatively small. There is only room for a handful of vehicles, so consider yourself lucky if you can snag one.