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North Carolina Hiking Trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway

 

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers bicyclists 469 miles of picturesque travel across Virginia and North Carolia. Ranging in elevation from 600 to 6,000 feet, the road encompasses a variety of ever-changing weather conditions, regardless of season. The Parkway was designed as a scenic leisure road for motor vehicles. Bicyclists should excercise extreme caution and be prepared for significant distances between developed areas and services that vary by season.

To ensure safe and enjoyable bicycling on day or overnight trips, planning is important. We suggest you carry

 

 

  1. Plenty of water and high energy foods.
  2. Clothing for safety and protection from adverse weather conditions.
  3. Some form of identification.

 

We encourage you to become familiar with Parkway resources and services before beginning your cycling trip. Parkway maps and additional information are available from the superintendent.

Blue Ridge Parkway
199 Hemphill Knob Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Telephone: (828) 298.0398 or visit www.nps.gov/biri



Bicycling Regulations



  • Bicycle riders must comply with all applicable state and federal motor vehicle regulations.
  • Bicycles may be ridden only on paved road surfaces and parking areas. Bicycles, including mountain bikes, may not be ridden on trails or walkways.
  • The bicycle operator must exhibit a while light or reflector visible at least 500 feet to the front and a red light or reflector visible at least 200 feet to the rear during periods of low visibility, between the hours of sunset and sunrise, or while traveling through a tunnel.
  • Bicycles must be ridden single file except when passing or turning left and well to the right-hand side of the road.
  • Bicycle speed must be reasonable for control with regard to traffic, weather, road and light conditions


Bicycling Tips for Safety



  • To ensure safe and enjoyable bicycling on day or overnight trips, planning is important. We suggest you carry: (1) plenty of water and high energy foods; (2) clothing for safety and protection from adverse weather conditions; and (3) some form of identification.
  • Be sure your bicycle is equipped with reflectors. Helmets and high-visibility clothing are recommended.
  • Be sure to ride single file, well to the right-hand side of the road and obey the same traffic rules that apply to motor vehicles.
  • Bicycles are not permitted on trails or walkways.
  • Plan ahead, and be sure to take into consideration elevation changes that will require more time and, of course, more exertion.
  • Wear a bicycle helmet.
  • Be sure your bicycle is in good operating condition. Carry a spare tube and tools for minor repairs.
  • Wear high visibility clothing. It sets you apart from the scenery and makes you more visible to motorists.
  • Avoid the Parkway during periods of low visibility. Fog and rain may occur unpredictably. Reschedule your trip for better weather or follow lower elevation routes until weather conditions improve.
  • Exercise caution when riding through tunnels. Please be sure your bicycle is equipped with the proper lights or reflectors. There are 26 tunnels in North Carolina and one tunnel in Virginia.
  • Temperatures vary greatly along the Parkway due to different elevations. Wear your clothing in layers, if possible.
  • Safe drinking water is available at all picnic areas, campgrounds, concession operations, and visitor centers. Water from streams and springs is unsafe for drinking unless you purify it.
  • Make an honest evaluation of your abilities before beginning a bicycle trip on the Parkway. In some sections, you will climb as much as 1,100 feet in 3.4 miles.
  • When cycling in a group, adjust your spacing to allow motor vehicles to pass safely.


Extended Trips



  • Some Parkway campgrounds and services are located too far apart for convenient cycling.
  • Camping is permitted only at established campground. In some areas, U.S. Forest Service, State Park, and private campgrounds are within easy distance of the Parkway. However, many operate on a seasonal basis.
  • Food and lodging services are also available along and adjacent to the Parkway. Most operate seasonally.
  • To assist in planning your trip, consult the Parkway Directory.
  • Carry a simple first aid kit when possible.
  • Please contact a Ranger before leaving a motor vehicle parked overnight on the Parkway.


Major Uphills and Elevation Climbed



These figures do not include climbs on spur roads, in campgrounds, or picnic areas execpt where noted. (Statistics courtesy of Tom DeVaughn, Troutsville, Virginia)



Northbound
Southbound
Mileposts
Total Elevation
Climbed
Major Uphills
Mileposts
Total Elevation
Climbed
Major Uphills
Mileposts
El. Change
Mileposts
El. Change
 
0-24
1,450 Ft.
13.7 - 10.7
563 Ft.
0-24
2,810 Ft.
0-3
391 Ft.
   
9.2 - 8.5
222 Ft.
   
4.7 - 8.5
1,100 Ft.
   
4.7 - 3.0
300 Ft.
   
9.2 - 10.7
322 Ft.
           
18.5 - 23.0
785 Ft.
 
24.0 - 48.0
2,670 Ft.
46.4 - 43.9
627 Ft.
24.0 - 48.0
1,742 Ft.
37.4 - 38.8
229 Ft.
   
40.0 - 38.8
331 Ft.
   
42.0 - 43.9
570 Ft.
   
37.4 - 34.0
951 Ft.
   
47.0 - 48.0
177 Ft.
 
48.0 - 63.0
1,870 Ft.
63.0 - 49.3
1,852 Ft.
48.0 - 63.0
250 Ft.
48.0 - 49.3
228 Ft.
 
63.0 - 76.7
0
   
63.0 - 76.7
3,303 Ft.
63.0 - 76.7
3,305 Ft.

 

 

*This figure represents the total amount of uphill climb within the given mileposts
Northbound
Southbound
Mileposts
Total Elevation
Climbed
Major Uphills
Mileposts
Total Elevation
Climbed
Major Uphills
Mileposts*
El. Change
Mileposts*
El. Change
 
76.7 - 96.0
2,865 Ft..
93.1 - 91.6
374 Ft..
76.7 - 96.0
1,360 Ft.
89.1 - 91.6
569 Ft.
   
89.1 - 87.3
634 Ft..
   
93.1 - 95.4
428 Ft.
   
85.6 - 84.7
230 Ft.
       
   
83.5 - 76.7
1,490 Ft.
       
 
96.0 - 120.4
2,680 Ft..
115.0 - 113.0
280 Ft..
96.0 - 120.4
1,657 Ft..
118.1 - 120.4
426 Ft..
   
106.0 - 103.6
500 Ft..
       
   
102.5 - 99.8
820 Ft..
       
 
120.4
Mill Mountain Spur - length to summit is 3.1 miles. Elevation climb from Parkway to summit 580 Ft. ; Elevation climb to Parkway 330 Ft.
 
120.4 - 144.0
2,006 Ft..
140.1 - 139.3
229 Ft..
120.4 - 144.0
3,200 Ft..
127.0 - 132.5
1,490 Ft..
   
136.0 - 134.9
285 Ft..
   
134.0 - 134.9
195 Ft..
   
124.6 - 123.1
320 Ft..
   
136.4 - 138.2
275 Ft..
   
121.4 - 120.4
265 Ft..
       
 
144.0 - 168.0
1,840 Ft..
159.4 - 157.6
389 Ft..
144.0 - 168.0
2530 Ft..
150.6 - 152.1
278 Ft..
   
150.6 - 149.8
226 Ft..
   
157.0 - 157.6
200 Ft..
           
164.7 - 168.0
830 Ft..
 
168.0 - 192.0
2,445 Ft..
189.4 - 188.7
220 Ft..
168.0 - 192.0
1,745 Ft..
169.5 - 170.1
260 Ft..
   
175.1 - 171.9
575 Ft..
   
176.2 - 177.0
212 Ft..
   
168.9 - 168.0
185 Ft..
   
186.6 - 188.8
360 Ft..
 
192.0 - 216.0
2,225 Ft..
215.6 - 214.0
260 Ft..
192.0 - 216.0
2,047 Ft..
195.0 - 196.2
235 Ft..
   
210.6 - 209.4
220 Ft..
   
197.6 - 198.7
210 Ft..
   
199.4 - 198.7
165 Ft..
   
200.5 - 201.5
335 Ft..
 
216.0 - 240.0
1,566 Ft..
240.0 - 239.3
160 Ft..
216.0 - 240.0
2,530 Ft..
216.6 - 217.7
240 Ft..
   
238.5 - 237.2
270 Ft..
   
231.3 - 233.1
550 Ft..
   
220.8 - 220.1
205 Ft..
   
233.7 - 235.2
280 Ft..
           
235.8 - 236.9
365 Ft..
 
240.0 - 264.6
2,625 Ft..
257.8 - 256.8
200 Ft..
240.0 - 264.6
2,680 Ft..
240.0 - 240.8
170 Ft..
   
248.0 - 244.5
495 Ft..
   
249.0 - 249.8
235 Ft..
   
243.8 - 242.9
270 Ft..
   
251.3 - 252.8
300 Ft..
   
242.4 - 241.5
300 Ft..
   
263.6 - 264.6
360 Ft..
 
264.6 - 288.0
3,050 Ft..
285.2 - 283.8
400 Ft..
264.6 - 288.0
3,160 Ft..
265.2 - 266.8
270 Ft..
   
279.6 - 278.8
270 Ft..
   
269.8 - 271.1
330 Ft..
   
276.4 - 273.1
910 Ft..
   
271.4 - 273.1
575 Ft..
   
269.8 - 268.6
315 Ft..
   
276.4 - 277.4
375 Ft..
   
268.1 - 266.8
380 Ft..
   
281.7 - 282.4
280 Ft..
           
282.7 - 283.8
255 Ft..
           
286.0 - 287.8
500 Ft..
 
288.0 - 312.0
2,185 Ft..
309.9 - 306.5
460 Ft..
288.0 - 312.0
2,210 Ft..
288.7 - 289.9
250 Ft..
   
305.6 - 305.0
200 Ft..
   
291.8 - 293.8
400 Ft..
   
295.8 - 293.8
555 Ft..
   
286.6 - 302.1
1,005 Ft..
   
291.8 - 289.9
275 Ft..
       
 
312.0 - 336.3
3,120 Ft.
336.3 - 335.7
215 Ft.
312.0 - 336.3
2,705 Ft.
316.4 - 318.2
380 Ft.
   
327.4 - 325.8
290 Ft.
   
318.5 - 320.7
590 Ft.
   
325.0 - 320.7
1,210 Ft.
   
330.9 - 332.1
410 Ft.
   
316.4 - 312.4
520 Ft.
   
332.6 - 334.5
545 Ft.
 
336.3 - 358.5
1,705 Ft.
351.9 - 349.9
565 Ft.
336.3 - 358.5
4,060 Ft.
336.3 - 338.9
540 Ft.
   
334.1 - 341.8
530 Ft.
   
345.4 - 349.9
1,480 Ft.
   
339.8 - 338.9
260 Ft.
   
351.9 - 355.0
920 Ft.
           
355.4 - 358.5
520 Ft.
 
355.4
Spur Road to Mt. Mitchell is 4.8 miles in length. Total elevation climb from Parkway is 1,390 Ft.
 
 
358.5 - 384.0
4,265 Ft.
383.5 - 376.7
1,135 Ft.
358.5 - 384.0
680 Ft.
361.1 - 364.1
500 Ft.
   
375.3 - 364.1
2,535 Ft.
       
   
361.1 - 358.5
540 Ft.
       
 
384.0 - 408.0
850 Ft.
No Major Uphills
384.0 - 408.0
3,705 Ft.
393.8 - 396.4
920 Ft.
           
397.3 - 399.7
430 Ft.
           
400.3 - 405.5
965 Ft.
           
405.7 - 407.7
745 Ft.
 
408.0 - 431.4
1,835 Ft.
426.5 - 424.8
325 Ft.
408.0 - 431.4
2,775 Ft.
416.8 - 420.2
1,100 Ft.
(431.4 is the Parkway's Highest Elevation)
 
432.2 - 421.6
250 Ft.
   
423.2 - 424.8
230 Ft.
 
415.6 - 413.2
385 Ft.
   
426.5 - 428.2
405 Ft.
 
411.9 - 409.6
400 Ft.
   
429.0 - 431.4
600 Ft.
 
431.4 - 469.1
7,470 Ft.
469.1 - 462.2
2,240 Ft.
431.4 - 469.1
3,450 Ft.
443.1 - 451.2
2,450 Ft.
   
461.6 - 458.9
1,000 Ft.
   
455.7 - 458.9
810 Ft.
   
455.7 - 451.2
1,480 Ft.
       
   
443.1 - 435.5
2,020 Ft.
       
   
433.3 - 431.4
475 Ft.
       
 
458.2
Heintooga
From Balsam Mountain
To Balsam Mountain
 
Spur Road
3.6 - 1.0
860 Ft.
   
0.0 - 1.0
255 Ft.
           
3.6 - 8.6
845 Ft.
 
Total:
Uphill Climb North
Uphill Climb South
 
48,722 Ft.
48,601 Ft.

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