The southern end of the Parkway from Milepost 331 near Spruce Pine to Milepost 469 at Cherokee has a natural resource emphasis that features the high mountains as a refuge for relic populations of plants.
Remote natural areas and dramatic views here are less affected by human presence and a feel of wilderness dominates in many areas. Biological diversity is best understood here as a product of varied geology and topography. Stories illustrate how the mountains provide refuge for relict populations, many descended from tropical and boreal plant species, and how the Parkway provides a representative transect of Blue Ridge habitats at places like Craggy Gardens and Devil?s Courthouse. Here visitors can see sites and facilities that highlight the story of biological diversity as a product of the area’s varied geology and topography.
Visitors will have many opportunities to understand the significant role of Blue Ridge Parkway in protecting the abundant unusual plant and animal species of the region. In the Asheville corridor, the Folk Art Center and Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center emphasize the craft heritage and the natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Blue Ridge region.