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Blue Ridge Parkway Photo Inspiration

If you travel to Tennessee, North Carolina or Virginia, I encourage you to spend some time on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Not only is it an absolutely gorgeous drive, but there are lots of things to do. For this reason areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway are very popular vacation spots throughout most of the year. I have created this post to share some Blue Ridge Parkway Photo Inspiration to your next trip.

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In this post the trip we took takes you from Wilkesboro, NC south to Linville Falls trail in Linville Falls, NC. I will share photography highlights so that you have a visual view of the beauty you will encounter. Additionally I will share links for detailed maps of hiking trails, as well as links to the Blue Ridge Parkway National Parks Service.

Blue Ridge Parkway Photo Inspiration Tour

Wilkesboro, NC

We started in Wilkesboro because this is the area we have family in and visit on a regular basis. Wilkesboro is only a short 30 minute drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway, not to mention they have numerous Greenways to enjoy as well. In addition there are multiple hiking and mountain biking trails for the more adventurous.

Also you can access a great part of the Greenway Trail right behind the Wilkesboro Heritage Museum and Jail.

Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls is great, short hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC

Cascade Falls are not only one of the closest falls to Wilkesboro, but they served as a great first stop along our scenic adventure. Because the trail is just a little under a mile and not too steep, it’s a great hike for most people. Not to mention it’s well worth it for the view as well. For that reason it is one of our favorite hikes on the Blue ridge because of the majestic waterfall at the end.

Boone, NC

Sunset in Boone near the Blue Ridge Parkway

Not only is Boone, NC home to Appalachian State University, but it’s a picturesque town located right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, with something for everyone. Boone is the ultimate destinations for outdoor lovers. In addition to being cooler than the lowlands of North Carolina in the summer, Boone also gets a regular snowfall in the winter. As a result you can enjoy numerous winter outdoor sports also in Boone.

Grandfather Montain on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Boone offers many hiking options like their Greenway Trail, Elk Knob State Park Hike, and it is relatively close to Grandfather Mountain. There is also a new mountain biking trail that you can hike as well, Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park. In fact, families will love it because there is a cool rustic playground for the kids too.

Blowing Rock, NC

Blowing Rock, NC is great town to visit from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Blowing Rock, NC sits on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The town gets its name from an unusual rock formation which juts over 1,500 feet above the Johns River gorge. Not only does Blowing Rock feature fabulous hiking trails, but this small town has great shopping and restaurants as well. Additionally Blowing Rock is known for Skiing in the winter, Wineries, Art Galleries, and is home to numerous festivals.

In the town of Blowing Rock you can easily access the Glen Burney Trail which features three waterfalls along the journey. You can access an easy to follow map here. Another great trail for the hardy adventurers is the Tanawha Hiking Trail. This trail is 13.5 miles long and is moderately easy. However, there are a few sections above the Viaduct and along Rough Ridge that are strenuous. We’ll talk more about Rough Ridge a few sections later.

We were lucky enough to have a wonderful meal in Blowing Rock one evening before catching the sunset. Foggy Rock Eatery & Pub is worth a visit because not only do they have wonderful food, but they have excellent service. Another added bonus is that they are children and pet friendly. In addition, they had great protocols in place to keep us safe during COVID-19. If you visit, you should check them out.

Moses H Cone Memorial Park

Sunset at Moses H Cone Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Moses H Cone Memorial Park is one of my favorite places in this area of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The park is located just outside of Blowing Rock. This fabulous homestead of the Cone family features their home, a craft center and numerous well preserved out building for all you history buffs. Additionally, and the best part, are the 25 miles of carriage roads established by the Cone Family. You can spend hours meandering along the trails and taking in the spectacular beauty of this place. I truly hope you like the Fall foliage pictures I have included.

Julian Price Memorial Park & Lake

Julian Price Memorial Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Julian Price Memorial Park Lake

Also part of the Blowing Rock community is Julian Price Memorial Park. Julian Price was the founder of one of America’s largest insurance companies. In fact, he purchased the land on the Blue Ridge as a recreation area for his employees to enjoy. His family donated the 4,200 acres to the Blue Ridge Parkway after his death.

This area is just stunning and these pictures are meant to inspire you to want to visit. The park includes multiple hiking trails, a breathtakingly beautiful lake, a Dam, Campgrounds, and a Picnic Area.

Rough Ridge Overlook Trail

Wow, what a view! Rough Ridge is part of the Tanawha Trail mentioned above. This trail is a bit more difficult and strenuous than others in this post, so it is not for everyone. The difficulty is due the fact that most of the trail is made of stone steps. The trail is also straight up and narrow to navigate, not to mention the fact that it can be slippery when there has been rain. That being said, the first stop for a great view is a little less than half a mile from the parking area.

If you are able to make the hike, at least to the first overlook, the view you encounter is absolutely worth it! This trip we took in the summer, but this is a spectacular place to view the fall foliage as well.

Linville Falls

View of the Upper Linville Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Last but in no ways least is Linville Falls. In addition to being one of the best falls to view in this area, there are many options for trails to see the falls. These trails range from easy to difficult, due to the fact that some have quite an incline uphill. Depending on the trail you take you will also enjoy different view vantage points. The Erwins View trail allows you to view the falls from above. In contrast, the Linville Gorge trail allows a beautiful view from below the falls. Either way, I think you will be happy you visited the Linville Falls.

Linville Falls also offers camping for those who would like to stay longer and take their time hiking the trails.

Handy Map for Your Adventure

Click Here for a Complete List of All North Carolina Trails on the Blue Ridge.

Finally, I do hope you found this Blue Ridge Parkway Photo Inspiration post inspiring. Additionally, if you’re ready to plan that road trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway, check out thesegreat deals here.

If you have any cool trails in this area that we did not mention, please leave a comment and share. We’d love to hear from you.

Furthermore, if you liked this post you might also like a few other posts on North Carolina. Such as Beautiful Waterfalls Near Wilkesboro, NC and Outdoor Fun & ActivitIes near North Wilkesboro, NC.

Also, we are always working to make the blog better. We want to make sure the content we provide is informative and fun! For that reason please leave a comment or reach out to us on ourLet’s Connectpage.

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