Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah Nat park

    We are looking at driving the skyline drive and blue ridge parkway the first week of March 2013 down to the Great Smokey Mountain Nat. park. We are looking at taking 6 days from Front Royal for the drive and fly out from knoxville or Atlanta. Wondering about road conditions, accomodations along the way and anything else we need to know?

  2. Default

    Ah, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway are some of my favorite roads anywhere, despite the agonizingly low speed limits. Beautiful twisty roads in great condition and no trucks. Sports car heaven!

    I've not been quite as early as the first week of March. I have drove the whole length at the end of March a few years ago and found the roads to be quite wet and a bit slippery in the morning. There is a lot of wildlife, mostly squirrels to deer, to watch out for coming around the corners. For my taste, it's still a bit cold that time year but I'm from Florida and not used to the chill. You'll probably want a jacket until the sun gets well up.

    Can't help you much with lodging. My focus was driving and at the end of a day I would hop off the parkway and seek a convenient cheap chain motel. Good luck to you though, it's an awesome scenic drive.

    An iconic photo from one of my trips.

    http://techquarium.com/gallery2z/d/13232-2/P4293338.JPG

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default From one Aussie to Another.

    Hi, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    You don't say where downunder. Unless you are from Tassie or from up Kosciusko way, you may find it a bit chilly at that time of year. I have driven it in early April, and still found it chilly. As mentioned above, it is a great drive, and like skippy, I too did not book accommodation, just looked for it on the fly. Though I did not drive it all in one go. Took me three trips, over some eight years, to cover it all.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Chancing It

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is subject to closures during the winter. As a National Park, it is not up to the states or local governments to keep it clear of snow, and the park service does not have the funds to do so. It is simply not a major through highway, vital to either transportation or commerce. So you are at the mercy or the weather to clear the roads for you come spring.

    The one indication the NPS gives on their website for the park is the opening of various campgrounds and visitor centers. These open on a staggered basis moving generally from south to north, but none open earlier than early April, and some not until May. In past years the parkway has not been completely open until well into April, and you are apt to come across closed access gates at any of the junctions with crossroads. Your best bet is to email the parkway's headquarters shortly before you are ready to set out, and plan any necessary detours as needed.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    I checked my dates and found I misspoke in my earlier post. The earliest I've been on the parkway was late April, not March, and it was still chilly in the mornings.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heySkippy View Post
    I checked my dates and found I misspoke in my earlier post. The earliest I've been on the parkway was late April, not March, and it was still chilly in the mornings.
    Thanks for the advice. Early March is the only time we can do it (before footy season!!!). I wont worry about booking accomodation on the way so if theres any road closures we can wing it as we go. We're from Melbourne too so we'll rug up!

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by griswalds from downunder View Post
    Thanks for the advice. Early March is the only time we can do it (before footy season!!!). I wont worry about booking accomodation on the way so if theres any road closures we can wing it as we go. We're from Melbourne too so we'll rug up!
    Another quick question-- which way is the best drive- north to south or visa versa

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default In Your Case...

    Normally, there is not much to force a decision one way or the other on which way to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP. Unlike the pacific Coast Highway where all the pull-outs and scenic views are to the west, on the BRP you'll have the Great Valley to the west and the Appalachian Piedmont to the east with pull-outs on both sides. But in your case, where road closures are a distinct possibility and get progressively more probable as you head north, I think I'd start at the southern end and work my way north until continuing is simply no longer feasible, and at that point head off to find other adventures.

    AZBuck

  9. #9

    Default Winter in the high country

    Hello griswalds,

    Just confirming what's already been said about weather in early March along the BRP/SNP. It's still very much winter in early March, quite possibly so much that sections of the BRP will be closed. Whether closed or not, you'll be on a Fleetwood Mac "bare trees" trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains, as none of the deciduous trees will have leafed out in March. It's often well into early May before they green-up in the higher elevations generally between Blowing Rock and Asheville, NC and on down to Cherokee.

    And concerning those higher elevations, allow me to speculate on the optimal direction of travel. The SNP and SD and the northernmost 100 miles of the BRP are obviously at the northern end of the journey, but they're at substantially lower elevation than the far southern end of the BRP, with elevations of between 2,500 and 3,000' above sea level to a large degree. By contrast, the BRP runs between 3,500 and 4,500' for much of the distance between about the VA-NC state line and its southern terminus at Cherokee, NC. Just north of Asheville, near Mount Mitchell, the BRP runs between 5,000 and 6,000' for long segments, and it reaches +6,000' at Mount Pisgah south of Asheville. I would certainly do some inquiries with National Park Service personnel concerning closures and average March conditions along various segments of the BRP, but I rather suspect the northern end will be more hospitable, weather-wise, than the southern end. Simply put, elevation makes more of a difference than latitude in the Blue Ridge of VA and NC.

    Enjoy planning and taking your Blue Ridge Mountains RoadTrip!

    Foy

  10. Default

    thanks for all the advice,we will have to have a look at the options and start planning.... looking forward to it.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-09-2012 at 06:52 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-16-2012, 10:28 AM
  2. Blue Ridge Parkway
    By NJTraveler in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-02-2010, 05:59 AM
  3. Blue Ridge Parkway
    By oldhippieman in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-26-2007, 04:32 PM
  4. Blue Ridge Parkway
    By Smokie in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-03-2005, 03:32 PM
  5. NC - Blue Ridge Parkway
    By Syv in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-10-2005, 07:48 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES