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Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

london
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Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

We would like to explore the Blue Ridge Mountain parkway in late may . My husband and I will be visiting friends in lititz and returning to Washington dc to catch our flight at Dulles Airport to return to the UK. Could you advise us as to the best route to take and things we must see. We are from the England and have absolutely no knowledge of this area .Are there things we need to beware of ? I have read that bears are in the woods, are they likely to cause problems for us as we have no prior experience of these either?sorry to sound so niiave (unfortunately we sort of are ) but consequently we would be grateful for any advice .thank you

nell50

P.S we will only have about 4 days

Virginia Beach...
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1. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

The Blue Ridge Parkway is over 400 beautiful miles and begins in Waynesboro Va and ends Cherokee NC at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Check out www.nps.gov/blri for Parkway details. You may also consider Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, it is 105 miles long and runs from Front Royal Va (just 1 hour 15 minutes from DC) to Waynesboro Va. It's very scenic, a nice drive at 35mph (sometimes less) and closer to DC. Check out www.nps.gov/shen for details.

While there are bears in the National Parks and BRP areas, as a general rule you need not be concerned, you probably won't see one. Follow bear guidelines on the above websites when storing food in your car and especially if you plan to camp. If you plan to hike, most trails have enough people traffic to deter bears. It doesn't sound like you will be doing backcountry hiking so bears in remote spots won't be an issue.

Post again with any additional questions, let us know if you will be driving BRP and/or Skyline Dr, and if you are interested in hiking trail information.

Hope this helps.

Edited: 18 February 2010, 02:41
La Plata, Maryland
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2. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

Lititz, for those who don't know, is a town next to Lancaster, PA.

Along the route from Lititz PA, to the Blue Ridge VA, area, some tourist sights you should consider are : the very large Gettysburg Battlefield (the foremost Civil War sight in USA and which has a new Park Service museum), the unusual very scenic and historic village of Harpers Ferry WV located in a gorge beside 2 rivers (site of abolitionist John Brown's slave uprising), the artsy, bohemian college town of Shepherdstown very close to it, the historic city of Frederick MD, and the outstanding city of Charlottesville VA which is a UNESCO world heritage site, and rated among the best cities in USA to live in or retire to - the site of Thomas Jefferson's mountaintop home "Monticello". If you fancy cavern tours, there are several in the Blue Ridge area -- the largest and best of them is Luray Caverns near the town of Luray VA. The famous Appalachian Trail hiking path traverses the length of Shenandoah Nat. Park along the crest of the Blue Ridge mountains on its very long route from Maine to Georgia. Parts of the path go past waterfalls. The Museum of American Frontier Culture is a collection of 3 separate pioneer farm houses, each different, at Staunton VA beside motorway 81.

There is an absolute wealth of sights to see in Washington DC, however, be warned that the traffic is horrendous throughout the greater Washington area and should be avoided during rush-hours Mondays through Fridays. You may prefer more relaxing roads such as highways #30, 340, and #15 through countryside.

Edited: 18 February 2010, 04:33
La Plata, Maryland
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3. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

I should explain something important about road signage on US secondary highways (this does NOT apply to so-called "Interstate" motorways signed by numbers in a blue and red shield):

When approaching towns or cities, you may see signs (hoardings) announcing a cluster of various numbered highways. The word "BUS" next to the highway number, means that the indicated highway will go through the "business" center of the town (high street or "main street"). Conversely, the word "BYPASS" means the indicated highway will divert around the upcoming town and is much faster for motorists not wishing to tarry in the town.

Edited: 18 February 2010, 04:55
Lyndhurst, Virginia
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4. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

There are so many things to see and do in the area you're talking about that your biggest job will be to choose what to do with just four days. The Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway are great choices, and in May, the wildflowers should be very prolific.

I live just two miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and rarely do we see a bear. They are around, and sometimes get into trash, so you'll want to make sure you don't leave anything that smells of food outside. But beyond that, consider it a privilege if you do see one.

One thing you may consider is staying in a cabin during your visit. Cabins give you more privacy than hotels, and are a great way to experience the outdoors without roughing it.

La Plata, Maryland
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5. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

I forgot to mention the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Factory Tour, in the city of YORK in Pennsylvania (near Lititz), if that appeals to you.

No doubt, your host in Lititz will mention the interesting AMISH and Mennonite "old-fashioned" people, whose many farms and workshops are heavily concentrated about 20 miles from Lititz and are a major tourist attraction. Some Amish families, for a fee, even host groups of tourists each night at dinners in their farm homes, and discuss their interesting lifestyle with you. You can inquire at a tourist agency there in Lancaster County about this.

Edited: 18 February 2010, 19:22
london
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6. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

Thank you so much for all your advice this is so useful ,we really appreciate your help.

nell50

london
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7. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

Thank you for the advise about the bears ,I know we sound silly asking but we don't have them in England so we were a little nervous .You have really reassured us .Yes i would regard it as a tremendous thing to actually see one ......they are magnificent creatures . I hope i do

Thanks again

nell50

Cumbria
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8. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

We are also from England and thinking of doing the same trip in ?September. We are looking at making our own arrangements and would appreciated any recommendations in the area. Anything from cabins/B&B/motels/hotels would be appreciated. Thank you

9. Re: Blue Ridge mountains Parkway route

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