Another Blue Ridge Parkway Vista Clearing

During the week of April 28, 2015, highly skilled sawyers from across the Blue Ridge Parkway met in Blowing Rock, NC and conducted intensive vista restoration work at Milepost 300 near Grandfather Mountain.

With decades of growth in some areas, large trees now obstruct some scenic views and potentially impact the visitor experience. “Research consistently finds that ‘scenic views’ is the number-one parkway attraction,” says Richard Wells, FRIENDS treasurer. “The overlooks that were once clear and afforded visitors with panoramic views have long since become overgrown.”

The Parkway was meticulously designed to showcase these grand views, and this project provides the opportunity to restore views back to the vision of the original Parkway landscape architects. “The Parkway’s overlooks and vistas are a signature design feature of this park and a key component in our visitors’ ability to enjoy the scenic beauty of the area,” says Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods. “We appreciate FRIENDS leadership role in helping to restore and maintain vistas and overlooks park wide.”

Based on the success of previous vista restoration projects, FRIENDS is making plans for similar projects in the coming years. “The North Carolina project near Grandfather Mountain demonstrates to other parkway communities what a dramatic impact overlook clearings can have,” Wells says. “FRIENDS envisions working in partnership with many of these communities to undertake future vista restoration projects.”

 

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