There are a lot of adventures still left to be had on the Ingles Open Road, but one you haven’t seen yet is an actual road trip and not just any road trip. Chris Bainbridge takes you on his journey to the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most visited roadways in America. But there’s a twist. There’s more to this place than just a road with gorgeous views. Bainbridge shares some of the secrets this famous parkway holds.
The Blue Ridge Parkway got its start in 1987. The mission of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is to support this 469-mile stretch of mountain majesty. The parkway meanders its way from the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
Each year, millions of visitors come out to enjoy the area and all it has to offer. The parkway is more than a pleasant drive. It’s a place of significant resources and is world-renowned for its biodiversity. You’ll find a wide range of rare habitats, unsurpassed diversity of climate, vegetation, wildlife, and geological features.
The Parkway can get pretty crowded in the summer, especially since it features so many amazing sights, like the highest peak in the Eastern U.S., the oldest river in North America, the deepest gorge east of the Grand Canyon, and the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. But, if you know where to go, you can have the Parkway to yourself.
Park at the Craggy Gardens picnic area and head south along the Mountains to the Sea Trail. You’ll experience a lightly trafficked hike that’s an excellent workout with beautiful plant life and other interesting things to explore.
Graybeard Mountain Overlook
Not only is this view from the overlook worth the drive, but the hiking here is spectacular. This high elevation hike runs along the ridgeline and surprises with open meadows along the way.
Glassmine Falls Overlook
What makes this spot cool is that it connects to other overlooks, making it the perfect experience for family and friends. Hike your way from one overlook to the other. Then, catch the shuttle back to your starting point.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing public treasure. It’s everyone’s privilege to protect and preserve it. You can help support the parkway by visiting BRPFoundation.org.
To learn more about Ingles Market, visit their website at ingles-markets.com.