Winter on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Image by D L Ennis, Otter creek in winter, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
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.
During the winter months on the Blue Ridge Parkway there are some wonderful activities you can engage in. 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.
Image by D L Ennis, Blue Ridge Mountains in winter
Experiencing the Parkway on foot or on cross-country skis in a blanket of snow is a magnificent experience during those times when the road is closed to vehicle traffic. Once the trees are bare you’ll find that many of the Parkway vistas open up to extraordinary views that can only be seen during this time of the year.
Don’t forget, 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.
Please remember that the winter months can be very cold, and climate changes can occur rapidly along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Temperatures can drop rapidly in the higher elevations and snow or ice showers can approach quickly. So, be prepared for cold temperatures, and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
Image by D L Ennis, Otter Lake in winter, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
There are some facilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway that stay open year-round:
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.
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.
Before you set out on the Parkway in winter, you should call the Parkway information line at (828) 298-0398 for updated weather and road closure information.
Tags: [Blue Ridge Parkway][hike][cross country ski][Mountains]