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Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

star-5
466 Reviews
Blue Ridge Parkway, USA

The Basics

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a peaceful escape from hectic urban life. Head out on an independent road trip, or take a day trip from Asheville, North Carolina, during which you can hike through the Appalachian wilderness and visit scenic waterfalls.

Artistically inclined visitors can hone their photography skills on a small-group photo tour of the parkway and capture wild landscapes under the guidance of a local. At the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, stop off at Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a guided nature and history tour, rafting trip, or scenic helicopter flight.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Asheville

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Keith is the man!!!
Dylan_S, Sep 2021
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville
Keith was an absolutely incredible tour guide. He is so knowledgeable and passionate about what he does that it really shows. The ride was insanely comfortable and looking out at the blue ridge parkway while learning about the history of Asheville is blissful. Keith was also very accommodating with a variety of snacks and cold drinks. The waterfalls were beautiful and so worth the mini hike. We are so grateful that this was our first Asheville experience. Highly highly recommend
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Best day in Asheville
Irene_H, Aug 2021
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville
Best day in the Asheville area. Keith was the best guide with his love and knowledge of nature coupled with his long time living in the area. He even worked at the Biltmore Estate when it was being restored and was able to give us a lot of insight into that process. Tour spots were great
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Fun experience
Sujin_H, Aug 2021
Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour with Expert Naturalist
Mary Kait was wonderful. Small group of six people made the hike easier to navigate because there were many hikers passing by. The hiking stick really helped on a steep climb.
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Majestic mountains and waterfalls
Diane_G, Aug 2021
Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour with Expert Naturalist
Beautiful mountain views and up close waterfalls visits. Our excellent guide, Paul, took us to the very best spots, avoided crowds and was knowledgeable and interesting.
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Awesome!!!
Luis_R, Jun 2021
Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour with Expert Naturalist
Blue Ridge Parkway View and the trail in the mountain was spectacular and our guides were knowledgeable.
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A hike to remember
Sharyn_K, Aug 2021
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville
Our guide, Keith, was knowledgeable and awesome. Not only did he entertain us with stories but also pointed out native species on our hike. Being close to the falls and experiencing the amazing splendor of nature was awe-inspiring. Would definitely revisit falls in future.
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Highly recommended
Stacy_H, Apr 2021
Scenic Driving Tour of the Blue Ridge Mountains
David was a great host. Very accommodating to what we wanted to see and do. Tour took off as scheduled. Highly recommended
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Learning as we hiked
Ralph_M, Aug 2021
Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour with Expert Naturalist
Our guide, Paul, was fabulous! We loved the waterfalls and the beautiful scenery. But the best part was Paul's knowledge of the plants, geography, animals, etc. He was literally a walking encyclopedia of the natural world. I highly recommend this experience!
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Awesome
Peggy_H, Aug 2021
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville
Awesome experience Thanks Keith for making our trip memorable Highly recommend this excursion Beautiful sights
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Beautiful drive up and beautiful waterfalls
KSP, May 2021
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville
Driving on Blue Ridge Parkway with a guide/driver who was friendly and well informed. He was kind enough to come pick me up outside the city perimeters.
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I would do it again!
sheryl_s, May 2021
Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville
This is the only way to see the Blue Ridge Parkway and some of the most beautiful waterfalls. It's virtually impossible to drive yourself and see all the magnificent scenery. Keith was so knowledgeable, friendly and a blast to hang with. I think we all wished we took the full day tour instead of the half day. The hike is very very doable, so don't worry if you're not a hiker.
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Incredible tour
Tom_T, Aug 2021
Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour with Expert Naturalist
This was an amazing tour. MaryKay did an incredible job. I thought it was impressive that she remembered everyone’s name.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The parkway’s speed limit never exceeds 45 mph (72 kph). Due to steep roads and occasional wildlife crossings, careful driving is essential.

  • There are plenty of stops along the way to sightsee, hike, or picnic—many travelers take four or five days to complete the whole route.

  • The weather along the parkway can vary greatly due to changes in elevation, so dress in layers.

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How to Get There

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles (755 kilometers) through the Appalachian Highlands between North Carolina and Virginia. You’ll find markers along every mile of the parkway, and it’s best to carry a map to determine where you want to go, as GPS directions often do not understand the milepost system.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

While the parkway is open 24 hours a day, visitor services (picnic areas, visitor centers, and restrooms) may be limited after dark and close entirely from November–April. The best time to visit is in fall, when the leaves turn seasonal shades of red, yellow, and orange. The road closes only due to inclement weather, which occurs most often in winter.

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Exploring Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled away in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the city of Asheville is known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, including the 19th-century Biltmore Estate, a massive historical mansion built by George Vanderbilt. Don’t miss the downtown Art District, which is filled with galleries and museums, and the nearby River Arts District, where former factory buildings house artists’ studios. There are also numerous hiking trails in the area, along with several craft breweries.

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