2010 kicks off with celebration of our nations most popular national parks 75th anniversary. Construction on the 469 mile long Blue Ridge Parkway scenic road was started in September, 1935 at Cumberland Knob near the border between North Carolina and Virginia (milepost 217.5), though it would take 52 years until the last section was completed in September, 1987 not far from where it all began.
The mission of the Blue Ridge Parkway is to provide a scenic link between two of the easts grandest parks, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Inspired by great rides built in the parks of the American west and patterned after earlier scenic roads in the east, the Blue Ridge Parkway was constructed utilizing native materials to emphasize and highlight extraordinary views worthy of national recognition and preservation. In making that link, the Blue Ridge Parkway in some ways eclipsed these other national parks and opened up the isolated and remote areas of the Smoky Mountains for all to enjoy.
Nowadays, more than 18 million people each year come to enjoy the relaxing and inspiring views found along this two lane ribbon of asphalt, more than 1/4 of them on motorcycles. The Blue Ridge Parkway has become our nations most classic ride. What better year to celebrate and enjoy it?
I’ll be highlighting some of those celebrations and relating the often controversial history of one of the best rides anywhere in future posts. Here’s a video to get you started.
For more info about the Blue Ridge Parkway go to http://blueridgeparkway.org
For info about celebrations and events go to http://www.blueridgeparkway75.org/