Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2016

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 176.2 - Mabry Mill

One of the more popular and photographed stops along the Parkway's journey through Virginia is the Mabry Mill.  Edwin B. Mabry built the gristmill in 1905 and operated it until the mid-1930s.  In addition to the mill, the brief Mountain Industry Trail through the park's grounds includes a whiskey still, sawmill, and blacksmith's shop.  Other traveler amenities at Mabry Mill include - a restaurant and snack bar, gift shop and public restrooms.

Navigation: North - Mile 168.0 - Rock Castle Gorge OverlookSouth - Mile 190.0 - Puckett Cabin 

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 168.0 - Rock Castle Gorge Overlook

This overlook is a personal favorite of mine because of the butterfly patch that I stumbled upon when visiting the overlook in July of 2007.  The Rock Castle Gorge Overlook provides access to the strenuous 10.8 mile Rock Castle GorgeLoop Trail.

Navigation: North - In Development South - Mile 176.2 - Mabry Mill

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 372.1 - Lane Pinnacle

Lane Pinnacle sits on the east end of Bull Mountain.  It is named after Charles Lane, who was the first land owner of the pinnacle.  He established an iron forge along the north slope and nearby Reems Creek.

Navigation: North - Mile 364.6 - Craggy GardensSouth - In Development

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 364.6 - Craggy Gardens

Heading North on the Parkway from Asheville, you begin to climb to well over 5,000 feet.  Craggy Gardens serves as the gateway to the magnificent views and scenery along the Blue Ridge Parkway along the higher mountain ridges.

At these heights, a different climate awaits. Atop the pinnacle in May, one will still have the chill of early spring.  In fall, frost and snow will mix with the magnificent colors of autumn.  Known for their rhododendron the Craggies come alive in mid-June as the rhododendron reach their flowery peak.

The popular Craggy Pinnacle Trail is a short hike (about 0.7 miles one-way / 1.4 round trip) and offers breathtaking views in every direction.

Navigation: North - Mile 355.3 - Mount Mitchell State ParkSouth - Mile 372.1 - Lane Pinnacle
Sources & Links:
Craggy Gardens - BlueRidgeHeritage.orgCraggy Pinnacle Hike -
All photos taken by author - May 23, 2010.

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 350.4 - Green Knob Overlook

Green Knob Overlook is located just beyond Mt. Mitchell at Milepost 350.4.  Unbeknownst to my wife and I when we visited here in 2010, about 100 yards north of the overlook is a trail that leads to a lookout fire tower.  The trail is a little over one half mile length and is easily overlooked.  The tower was built in 1931, staffed into the 1970s, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Navigation: North - Mile 339.5 - Crabtree Meadows Recreation AreaSouth - Mile 355.3 - Mount Mitchell State Park

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 339.5 - Crabtree Meadows Recreation Area

Waterfalls and hiking are two popular pastimes along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the roughly two and a quarter mile trek to the 70' Crabtree Falls within the Crabtree Meadows Recreation Area is one of the more popular ones.  The hike is slightly strenuous - it's downhill to get there which means it's all uphill to get back - but the view, like my photo above, is worth it.

Navigation: North - Mile 305.25 - Beacon HeightsSouth - Mile 350.4 - Green Knob Overlook

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Mile 305.25 - Beacon Heights

At the point where the Blue Ridge Parkway meets US 221 just north of Linville is the Beacon Heights Overlook.  This pullover features outstanding views of the Blue Ridge and of Grandfather Mountain.  There is also a 1.1 mile out-and-back hiking trail.  At over 4200 feet, low clouds, fog, mist, and great sunshine can come into play for very interesting photo opportunities.

Navigation: North - Mile 303.9 - Yonahlossee OverlookSouth - Mile 339.5 - Crabtree Meadows Recreation Area