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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Blue Ridge: Winter Activities

From November through early spring, winter weather can come to the Blue Ridge. Sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway with accumulations of ice and snow will be closed to motor vehicles. The most up-to-date road closure information can be found by calling (828) 298-0398, the Parkway information telephone number.

Experiencing the Parkway on foot or on cross-country skis in a blanket of snow is a grand experience during those times when the road is closed to vehicle traffic. However, with the trees bare, many of the Parkway vistas open up to extraordinary views that can only be seen this time of the year.

What's open on the Blue Ridge Parkway in winter?

North Carolina
In North Carolina the Folk Art Center in Asheville will remain open throughout the winter. The Museum of North Carolina Minerals near Spruce Pine will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to noon and from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. throughout the winter. Linville Falls Campground will have one loop open throughout the winter. Price Park Picnic Area will remain open throughout the winter, weather permitting.

In Virginia Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant are open throughout the winter. Otter Creek Campground will remain open throughout the winter and the Peaks of Otter Picnic Area will be open weather permitting.

During the winter months on the Blue Ridge Parkway there are activities you can pursue. The Parkway road remains open during the winter for travel except when it snows or there is ice on the roads. Then sections of the Parkway are gated off to where no vehicle traffic can travel on the Parkway. In these gated sections of the parkway visitors are welcome to walk, hike, snowshoe, or cross country ski.

There are several skiing/snowboarding resorts close to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Ski Resorts in NC:

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort PO Box 369Banner Elk, NC 28604(800) 784-2768

Appalachian Ski Mountain PO Box 106Blowing Rock, NC 28605(800) 322-2373

Hawksnest Ski Resort Town of Seven DevilsBanner Elk, NC 28604(800) 822-4295

Beech Mountain Ski Resort 1007 Beech Mtn. ParkwayBeech Mtn., NC 28604(800) 438-2093

Wolf Laurel Ski Resort 578 Valley View CircleMars Hill, NC 28754(800) 817-4111

Sapphire Valley Ski Resort 4000 Hwy 64 WestSapphire, NC 28774(800) 533-8268

Cataloochee Ski Area 1080 Ski Lodge RdMaggie Valley, NC 28751(800) 768-0285

Ski Resorts in Va & WV:

Wintergreen Ski Resort Route 664Wintergreen, VA 22958(800) 266-2444

Winterplace Ski Resort 100 Old Flat Mountain RdGhent, WV 25841(800) 607-7669

Snowshoe Ski Resort 10 Snowshoe DriveSnowshoe, WV 26209(877) 441-4386

Ski Resorts in Tn.:

Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort 1001 ParkwayGatlinburg, TN 37738(865) 436-5423

Ski Resorts in Ga:

Sky Valley Resort 696 Sky Valley WaySky Valley, GA 30537(800) 437-2416

As with any outdoor activity, take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe visit. Have a few emergency supplies in the trunk of your car in case you encounter bad weather and always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.


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