NC - Blue Ridge Parkway
In July a group will be bicycling from Mt Mitchell to Asheville & back on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We are looking for a nice lunch stop before Asheville around Craven Gap.
Also, does anyone know how far it is from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Grove Park Lodge using hwy 694 (aka Town Mountain Road). Do you know anything about the condition of the road? Is it hilly? Good surface?
Picnic on the Parkway
I love the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have traveled the section from Mabry Mill (VA Mile 176.2) to the Linn Cove Viaduct (NC Mile 304.0) many times. Very beautiful in the fall.
According to this website ( http://ncnatural.com/Parkway/MilebyM....html#340to380 ), the nearest picnic area to Craven Gap (Mile 377.4) is at Bee Tree Gap – Craggy Gardens Picnic Area (Mile 367.7). The website says that Asheville is 7 miles from Craven Gap on NC694. Is the Lodge in Asheville? Sorry I cannot tell you about the condition of the roadways because I have not traveled that part of the parkway or been to Asheville in several years.
“The picnic area, down a short road, is actually situated in Bear Pen Gap, so named because bear traps were once set in the vicinity. The bears often fed on the livestock that fed in the gap, and the farmers trapped the bears to stop the predation. The picnic area has 86 sites, 2 handicapped-accessible sites, 3 water fountains and 2 comfort stations.” (from A Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway by Logue, Logue and Bloiun)
If you will be traveling the Parkway often, I recommend this little book. It gives information on the parkway in a mile-by-mile fashion, history of the various areas, bloom calendar.
Thanks - I'll pass on your info about the book. It may even be at our library.
The group doesn't want to carry picnic lunches on their bicycles. They were hoping for a nice little restaurant stop somewhere for a break. They'll be riding 100 miles (50 each way). Their trip from Canada the past few years has been a 100-mile bike ride of different sections of the BRParkway.
Sounds like a fun way to spend a vacation! Bob
I just added a full day of driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway to our upcoming trip. We wee going to take I-81, but I found an extra day in our trip. We'll pick up the BRP near Winchester, VA and take it all the way to I-77 near Fancy Gap, VA. This is about half the length of the BRP and just about all of the VA portion. We're looking forward to it!
Wrangler - you'll definitely enjoy it. Be on the lookout for hummingbirds buzzing around.