In the Highlands from Milepost 216 at the NC/VA state line to Milepost 331 near Spruce Pine, the landforms of the region shift from the flat plateau to mountain ridge.
Experiences here are greatly varied so that visitors find themselves sometimes on flat agricultural land, and sometimes riding the ridge tops or exploring the rugged Linville Gorge or unique ecology of Grandfather Mountain.
Visitors learn how both isolation and assimilation play important roles in the culture with cabins such as the Brinegars and the Sheets or the magnificent country estate of Moses Cone in Blowing Rock. There is a high degree of original Parkway design here that influences visitor experiences through the district with original vistas, shrub bays, agricultural leases, stone walls, and miles of wooden fences. Unique stories are highlighted at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals and how men like Robert Doughton, Julian Price, and E.B. Jeffress supported the Parkway in its early years.