The fall season is here, and there’s no better time to take a cruise than along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Already glorious views further flourish as leaves are expected to reach their peak fall color in mid to late October. The iconic road known as the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Whether cruising along in turbocharged Jetta or taking in the scenery in a classic Microbus, nothing beats a Volkswagen for cruising this slice of Americana. To help you truly relish the sights of the season, we offer five North Carolina spots along the route.
Make VW memories for miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Milepost 294 — Moses Cone Park: This historic mountain estate boasts a grand mansion in the middle of thousands of acres to explore. The spectacular Flat Top Mansion was built in 1901 and features a breathtaking view of the mountains from its front porch. The house is surrounded by 25 miles of trails for everything from hiking to horseback riding.
Milepost 316.4 — Linville Falls: See the Linville River fall 2,000 feet into the nation’s first officially designated wilderness area, Linville Gorge. A beautiful array of hemlocks, rhododendron, and wildflowers greet guests to the Visitor Center, home to a unique diorama showcasing a number of classic Volkswagen vehicles.
Milepost 355.4 — Mt. Mitchell: This 6,684 foot tall mountain is the tallest one you’ll find east of the Mississippi River. It’s a 4.6 mile drive to the top, with an 85 mile view from the observation deck on a clear day. Despite being in North Carolina, due to its elevation, many of the plants and animal life in Mt. Mitchell National Park are similar to those found in the alpine environment of Canada, due to its elevation.
Milepost 407.6 — Mt. Pisgah: It’s a strenuous mile and a half hike to the top of the 5,721 foot summit of Mt. Pisgah, but the view is well worth it. Located just 26 miles from downtown Asheville, this is a popular picnic area for locals and tourists alike. If you’d rather have your meal prepared and served by others, visit the Mt. Pisgah Inn, the only lodging and restaurant on this stretch of the Parkway.
Milepost 418.8 — Graveyard Fields: Named for the trees toppled by high winds centuries ago that now look like gravestones, Graveyard Fields is one of the most popular hiking spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Starting from an overlook, the trail descends down a paved path through patches of wild flowers, across a bridge, and down to the Lower Falls, home to Sliding Rock, where for just a $2 fee, you can slide down a 60 foot flat, sloping boulder into an 8 foot deep natural pool.
These are but a small number of the wonders that can be seen along this iconic stretch of highway. Volkswagen of Asheville welcomes stories of your favorite places to go in your VW. Post your stories and pictures to our Facebook page, we would love to hear from you!