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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Nottingham,England
    Posts
    12

    Default Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip - October

    We are planning another of our US road trips from England and would appreciate any advice/recommendations. This forum has been a real help in planning our trips over previous years and is my first port of call again this year. I guess that referring to a port of call is a bit of a pun as this road trip is a replacement for a Baltic cruise which has just been cancelled due to the war in Ukraine.

    Our thoughts are to fly UK to Washington DC and then have around 18 days driving down The Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, North Carolina, Asheville and Great Smoky Mountains to Knoxville before returning directly for our flight home from Washington. The current plan is to fly to Washington at the beginning of October.

    I know that the Blue Ridge Parkway is a very good hiking area but , as my wife has some restriction in her mobility ,we won't be able to do any serious hikes but I do like to do short walks while we're on vacation whenever possible so am hoping to do a few short treks to waterfalls and scenic outlooks.

    I have read through some of the very useful information in the 'Scenic Fall Drives/Leaf Peeping' sections of this forum but any advice on best towns for accommodation en route as well as sights/food stops would be great to learn. There is so much excellent knowledge and experience on this forum so thanks in advance for any information anyone has to enable us to get the best from our trip.

    Best wishes from England

    Ross Middleton

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,172

    Default

    Welcome back!

    Will you be driving back from Knoxville to DC, or dropping the car and flying?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,183

    Default Love that Area!

    While I'm sorry about your plans being destroyed by the war, your 'alternative' is to one of my favorite areas of the US. It is both scenic and historic, although how interested you are in the history of us colonials is up to you. If scenery and history appeal to you, I might suggest that you add a bit of the area north of Washington (DC) as well in your itinerary. That's because October is a bit early for fall foliage in the mid-Appalachians so including Gettysburg, Chambersburg and/or Michaux State Forest in that area might be worth a look-see.

    In any event National Parks such as the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains have trails for every level of hiker, so be sure to check their websites and make your first stop in each of them at the visitor's center for timely and personal suggestions. Also, note that the Blue Ridge Parkway runs parallel to I-81 so some of the stops mentioned here might be of use. You could even use the Parkway in one direction and the Interstate in the other just for a bit of a change in scenery.

    Additionally, Virginia boasts a number of underground scenic hikes. And if you're looking to combine easy walks with historic cities, then Asheville is the place to do it with both the Biltmore Estate and the Botanical Gardens available. Lexington is a smaller town that is a joy to just explore on foot.

    So, those are some starting ideas. If some appeal to you and others don't, let us know which is which and we can iterate to your best itinerary.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-23-2022 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Typos

  4. #4

    Default

    I live in Virginia and was going to recommend a small booklet I found of short trails in the Shanandoah but the NPS link above has all that information. One hiking trail that would be very accessible for your wife is the Limberlost Trail. Easy, wide loop trail that gives much history of the area. Enjoy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Nottingham,England
    Posts
    12

    Default

    We plan to drive back to DC - probably on I-81

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Nottingham,England
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Many thanks for the replies so far. We're interested in both the scenery and history of the areas we visit so will have a look at the suggested links in order to refine our plans. Will then be back on the forum to see what further suggestions can be added to our detailed itinerary.

    It's good to see that there's an accessible trail too!

    Ross

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