Blue Ridge Parkway announces 2018 opening dates

Cold but dreamy snowfalls punctuated by balmy, hurry-up-and-hike days made for an unpredictable winter on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but according to the calendar, it’s officially spring. Soon campgrounds, visitor centers, picnic areas, and historical sites will be ready for the influx of travelers. In 2017, more than 16 million came to experience the mountains and the communities along the way.

You can lay out the welcome mat for those travelers during the Project Parkway Campground Cleanup event from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 21. The National Park Service is inviting Parkway fans to help with a variety of preparations, from leaf blowing and tree limb clearing to painting and trail work at all eight campgrounds.

The Linn Cove Viaduct at Grandfather Mountain is closed until May 24 for repaving and repairs. A traffic detour will be put in place from milepost 298.6 (Holloway Mountain Road) to Milepost 305.1 (U.S. 221). Gates will be located at milepost 303.6, Wilson Creek Overlook on the north and milepost 305.1, U.S. 221 on the south end of the work zone. Within the closed area, including the trail areas beneath the viaduct, the Parkway will be closed to motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Each spring, Flat Top Manor is one of the first visitor stops to open along the Blue Ridge Parkway thanks to the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Starting March 30, be sure to visit the group’s Parkway Craft Center at the manor, which features handmade crafts from hundreds of regional artists as well as live demonstrations of quilting, pottery, wood carving, glass blowing, and more on the front porch. You’ll see a new layout inside Flat Top Manor this year with the main foyer cleared for an experience that more closely resembles the days the Cones were in residence.

Get the full schedule here…

 

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