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Showing posts from August, 2016

Bradford Bypass - December 2011

The US 219 Bypass around Bradford, Pennsylvania was akin to taking a trip back into the 1970s. Vintage PennDOT highway design, faded pre-1980 guide signage (and the signs have exit tabs without exit numbers) and concrete are abundant on this stretch of US 219. Bradford also has its roots as being an industrial city, and seems to have shown the usual decline of industry in the Northern United States. However, Zippo (the lighter fuel company) is still headquartered in Bradford. Here are photos I have taken of the Bradford Bypass as it looked like on December 12, 2001. The signs have since been replaced.

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 290.4 - Thunder Hill Overlook

This simple overlook is one of the most popular stops for sunrises along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Unfortunately, it was a very overcast spring morning when these photos were taken.  Across the Parkway from the overlook is a trail that leads to a local pasture and small family cemetery.

Navigation: North - Mile 289.5 - Raven Rocks OverlookSouth - Mile 296.7 - Price Lake OverlookLinks:
Thunder Hill Overlook - Virtual Blue Ridge

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 289.5 - Raven Rocks Overlook

Raven Rocks overlook is one of the more popular sunset stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Unfortunately, I stopped here in the morning during April 2008.  The rock outcroppings here are also popular with rock climbers.

Navigation: North - Mile 285.1 - Boone's TraceSouth - Mile 290.4 - Thunder Hill Overlook
Raven Rocks Overlook - Virtual Blue Ridge

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 296.7 - Price Lake Overlook

One of the many parks and natural areas that the Blue Ridge Parkway meanders through is Julian Price Memorial Park near milepost 297.  The 4,300 plus acre park offers hiking, fishing, canoeing, and camping among other outdoor activities.

The park is a result of a donation from the heirs of former Jefferson Standard Life executive Julian Price.  Price had purchased this land as a recreation area for his employees.  Price passed away in 1946 and his heirs donated the land to the National Park Service shortly there after.  (1)

The Price Lake Trail:
One of the many trails within Julian Price Memorial Park is the 2.7 Price Lake Trail is a loop trail around Price Lake.  The hike is rather easy and offers many amazing views of Price Lake.  I hiked the trail in April 2008.

Navigation: North - Mile 290.4 - Thunder Hill OverlookSouth - Mile 301.8 - Pilot Ridge Overlook
(1) "Julian Price Memorial Park, Milepost 297.1"  Virtual Blue Ridge.…

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 285.1 - Boone's Trace

At Mile 285, the parkway meets pioneer legend, Daniel Boone.  Boone's legendary 'Trace' became a gateway to the west through the Appalachians, and he marked some of his route nearby.  The route, which was cleared during the 1770's, is more famous in Tennessee and Kentucky; there it is more commonly known as the 'Wilderness Road.' (1)  

Navigation: North - Mile 274.3 - Elk Mountain OverlookSouth - Mile 289.5 - Raven Rocks Overlook Sources:
(1) Cletheroe, Joel. "Wilderness Road, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia." Historic and Named Trails and Roads in the USA and Canada. (April 4, 2003)

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 274.3 - Elk Mountain Overlook

Just north of Deep Gap sits the Elk Mountain Overlook.  One of the most popular Parkway viewpoints, the Elk Mountain Overlook offers stunning vistas of the Yadkin Valley.

North - Mile 271.9 - E.B. Jeffress Park and the CascadesSouth - Mile 285.1 - Boone's Trace

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 271.9 - E.B. Jeffress Park and The Cascades

E. B. Jeffress Park is a small park along the parkway that offers great views, hiking trails, and a gorgeous waterfall.  The park, which was named after the former Chairman of the North Carolina State Highway Commission, was created in 1968.  Jeffress was a strong proponent of the Parkway and was a key factor in stopping the Parkway from being a toll road. 

One of the key attractions within the park is The Cascades.  The waterfall which carries Falls Creek is easily accessible via a short hiking trail from the overlook parking lot.  The trail is not difficult and is lined with numerous hardwoods and azaleas.  Throughout the trail, there are small sign posts describing the variety of plants and wildlife that habitat the area.

Cascade and Trail Photos:

Navigation: North - Mile 270.2 - Lewis Fork OverlookSouth - Mile 274.3 - Elk Mountain Overlook

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 270.2 - Lewis Fork Overlook

Another view of the Yadkin Valley awaits at the Lewis Fork Overlook.  In 2006, the Conservation Trust for North Carolina donated 124 acres of land below the Lewis Fork Overlook to the National Park Service for the Parkway.  The land may be used to extend hiking trails in E. B. Jeffress Park or new campsites. (1)

Navigation: North - Mile 267.8 - Betsey's Rock FallsSouth - Mile 271.9 - E.B. Jeffress Park and the CascadesSources:
(1) Sparks, Jim. "Blue Ridge Parkway given 134 Acres." Winston-Salem Journal. May 6, 2006

8mm videos from the 1960s of Virginia Interstate Ribbon Cuttings

On a very popular road hobby facebook group, a member shared links to some great historical videos of various Virginia Interstate Highway ribbon cuttings during the 1960s.  A few include North Carolina where both states opened Interstate's 85 and 95 at the same time.

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 267.8 - Betsey's Rock Falls

Hidden from view at this observation point is a 200 foot waterfall named Betsey's Rock Falls.  With the exception of after a heavy winter rainfall, it is very difficult to view the falls from this point; however, there are plenty of great views of the mountain landscape with peaks of over 3000 feet.

Navigation: North - Mile 266.9 - View of Mount JeffersonSouth - Mile 270.2 - Lewis Fork Overlook

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 266.9 - View of Mount Jefferson

One of the best views along the Parkway in Northwestern North Carolina is the Mount Jefferson viewpoint near milepost 267.  Looking northwards from the overlook, a panoramic view of Mt. Jefferson (Elev. 4550') and the surrounding area awaits.  Mt. Jefferson was originally called Negro Mountain because of runaway slaves that hid within the mountain's caves while fleeing north.  The mountain was renamed Mt. Jefferson after the nearby town (which is named after Thomas Jefferson) when Mt. Jefferson State Park was formed in 1952.

Navigation: North - Mile 264.4 - The LumpSouth - Mile 267.8 - Betsey's Rock Falls

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 264.4 - The Lump

A must stop when on the Parkway is "The Lump" at mile 264.4.  A small round hill that rises from the overlook parking lot, The Lump offers breathtaking views of the Yadkin Valley and of the rolling foothills.  

Also, a sign at the Lump makes mention of the tragic story of Tom Dula.  Dula (pronounced Dooley) was a Confederate veteran who in 1868 planned to elope with his fiancée, Laura Foster, in the Spring of 1866.  The night they were to elope, Laura left home to meet Tom but was never seen from again.  A few weeks later, Laura's body was found in a shallow grave.  Dula would soon be a suspect in her murder.  Tom fled to Watauga County and later to Tennessee.  It was near Trade, TN that he was captured and returned to Wilkes County.  At trial, he was convicted and sentenced to death.  On May 1, 1868, Dula would be executed by hanging.  His famous last words were, "Gentlemen, do you see this hand? I didn't harm a hair on the girl's head."  Years later, D…

Beesley's Point Bridge in Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey