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Blue Ridge Parkway

Adelaide, Australia
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Blue Ridge Parkway

Hi All,

My husband and I will be driving from Roanoke, VA to Gatlinburg, TN and would like to know how long it would take us via the Blue Ridge Parkway? We don't mind a long drive 6-8 hours but I'm having trouble getting an accurate time frame. If this isn't ideal, can anyone suggest an alternate route that would let us drive the Parkway for some of the time?

Thanks!

Norwich, United...
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1. Re: Blue Ridge Parkway

Roanoke is very roughly at milepost 110 on the Parkway, and the southern terminus of the Parkway is at milepost 469, so that's 359 miles. The Parkway speed limit is generally 45 mph so with no stops that gives a highly theoretical time of 8 hours. However, there are places where the speed limit is lower, and there are a vast number of overlooks and other places of interest along the way where you might want to stop.

http://www.blueridgeonline.com/MilePost

http://www.nps.gov/blri/index.htm

Then the Newfound Gap road through Great Smoky Mountains National Park is about another 35 miles, again a relatively slow road with numerous potential stopping points. The Parkway runs straight into that road, and Gatlinburg is located right on the very boundary of the park at the other end.

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm

There are quite a few possible ways to only use part of the Parkway and divert onto other roads (see a detailed road map of the area for details), but the only way to by-pass the Newfound Gap road would be to take a totally different route such as I-40 and US321 and miss out the Grand Smoky National Park.

Hope this gives you some information to help make a decision.

Ohio
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2. Re: Blue Ridge Parkway

I personally find the entire parkway too much for my liking. Very slow-- limited overlooks-- Are you staying in Gatlinburg for a vacation? If so.... you can easily go over Cumberland Gap from there and up the parkway to enjoy some of the scenery from there. It's just one of those drive (for me) that I can do in bits and pieces.

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: Blue Ridge Parkway

To me the southern part of the parkway is the best!! The other parts are just too slow and not as scenic imo.

Norwich, United...
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4. Re: Blue Ridge Parkway

FWIW I'm a big fan of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I've driven the whole route about half a dozen times. On the first occasion I drove, over several days, from Gatlinburg to Front Royal with the intention of returning back south down the coast, but was so impressed by the Parkway that I decided to go back down all the way on it again. On a separate trip I made a point of stopping at every overlook and every historic exhibit, so the trip took more than a week. The combination of the Parkway and the two national parks it connects is - for me - by far the most spectacularly excellent feature in the eastern USA.

But if anyone just wants to sample some of it, no problem, I can see that doing all of it wouldn't appeal to everyone.

Chapel Hill, North...
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5. Re: Blue Ridge Parkway

I like the North Carolina part of the parkway the best and the part south of Blowing Rock to Asheville is my fave. I like to be right in the mountains. The Linn Cove Viaduct is the most photographed view of the parkway itself and that is just south of Blowing Rock as the parkway goes around Grandfather Mountain. I think spending a night in Blowing Rock and driving down most of one day, stopping along the way, to spend another night in Asheville is my favorite way to go.

…blogspot.com/2008/10/hugh-morton-and-linn-c…

6. Re: Blue Ridge Parkway

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