December Walking on the Blue Ridge Parkway – A Photo Essay

The Blue Ridge Parkway frequently closes for snow and ice in late Fall and Winter. While it’s disappointing you can’t traverse the roadway by vehicle, the fun news is that you can still access your favorite overlooks on foot, without any traffic. It is so peaceful.

Most access roads to the Parkway are maintained during snow season, so you can get to the Parkway, you just can’t drive on it. I chose Scenic Hwy 276 from Brevard for my trip to the Parkway on December 18, 2018, just a few days before the Winter Solstice. I parked at the Cold Mountain Overlook at milepost 412, and headed southwest via Meaderthals power.

With the leaves down, the long distance viewing is incredible. I was treated to an extremely clear day as I walked to Pounding Mill Overlook at milepost 413. I could see the Black Mountains to the east, 40 miles north of Asheville. Cold Mountain and the Great Balsams to the west seemed almost close enough to touch.

There was still about six inches of snow in the shady spots, leftover from a major dump the week before. Where the sunshine touched the pavement, the snow was all gone. The forest may not be as pretty during this season without its leaves, but it is still so much better to be outside enjoying the Blue Ridge scenery from 5,000 feet. See what you think.



This post was created by Jeff Clark. Please feel free to use the sharing icons below, or add your thoughts to the comments. Pack it in, pack it out. Preserve the past. Respect other hikers. Let nature prevail. Leave no trace.

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