Parkway Travel Tips
Along the Parkway, you will see numbered mileposts. The zero milepost marker is at Rockfish Gap immediately south of Shenandoah National Park. Each mile is numbered progressively southward on the Parkway to its southernmost entrance at Cherokee.
Roadside Parking and Picnicking
Parking is allowed on road shoulders unless otherwise posted, and if all four wheels are off the pavement.
In most places, picnicking is allowed on the roadside. This is a long-standing Parkway tradition, but you must be pulled completely off the road and please avoid soggy areas or ditches if we’ve had an abundance of rain.
North of Asheville, NC, the Parkway goes through the city watershed and off-road parking is not permitted where indicated by signs.
Large RVs are popular means of travel on the Parkway, but be advised that going up or down steep grades can be slow. Pull over often to let faster moving traffic get by. You may want to check the heights of the Parkway’s twenty-six tunnels (mostly south of Asheville) to ensure that your rig will negotiate all of them. The tunnel heights are available online at this page.
Regulations and Additional Tips
- Personal vehicles, large recreational vehicles, motorcycles, tour buses and bicycles are allowed on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but commercial vehicles are prohibited.
- Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted on Parkway trails.
- Deposit all litter in the trash cans provided at trail heads, parking overlooks, and picnic areas.
- Metal detectors are prohibited in all National Park areas.
- Lost and found articles should be reported to a Park Ranger.
- Helmets are required for motorcycle operators and passengers. In North Carolina, the headlight must be on anytime a motorcycle is in motion.
- Do not drink the water in streams or springs. Bacterial diseases can be contracted by drinking untreated “wild” waters.
- Do not swim in Parkway lakes and ponds. They are for fishing and scenic beauty only. Swimming facilities are available in nearby U.S. forest Services recreation areas, state parks, and mountain resorts.
- Natural resources are protected by Federal law. Do not disturb animal and plant life in any way. Hunting, trapping and possession of any contraband substances are prohibited. Do not interfere with animals by feeding, touching, or frightening them. Do not cut, deface, or damage trees. Leave wildflowers and other vegetation in their natural condition for others to enjoy.
- Historic resources are protected by Federal law. Do not damage, deface, or remove any of these structures, furnishings, or exhibits.
- Alcoholic beverages are permitted in campgrounds by registered campers and in picnic areas until 9 pm. Possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles is prohibited.
- Fires, including charcoal grills, are permitted in campgrounds and picnic areas only.