Along the Plateau from Roanoke to the NC/VA state line, the number of farms increases as the land levels out and visitors have intensive exposure to Blue Ridge cultural themes through many historic sites, landscapes, and facilities.
A rural, countryside experience emphasizes people on the landscape. The main story to be told here is how humans have interacted with the land in these mountains. They may learn that isolation and assimilation played important roles in the culture and that the Parkway has influenced change in the area. The rural, countryside experience helps visitors explore land use through time and the current issues of scenic protection and land use management. The rich heritage of the mountain culture is explored in depth at Mabry Mill and at the Blue Ridge Music Center.