Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline DriveA drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway is slow paced and relaxing. Almost any overlook or trail will reveal much of the natural and cultural history here. Explore the many communities along the route that make our region so special. Enjoy the view, but watch the road! These pictures were all taken in Virginia. See North Carolina pictures here. Our objective for 2010 was to ride the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway as well as Skyline Drive. We took a couple of weeks to ride the BRP then took another week or so to do Skyline Drive.
There is an admission fee to get on Skyline Drive but thankfully Jerry has the Federal Access Pass which allowed us to get on for free. The pass is available to seniors and those who are 100% disabled. You can read more about the pass in the link I just provided. The fee in 2010 was $15 per car or $10 per motorcycle. These rates are subject to change and we have no idea what year you will be viewing this page so be sure to check with the NPS if you want to know the current rates.
We camped on Loft Mountain and used this as our base. It was a 30-40 minute drive to anywhere from the top of this mountain. But that's OK, it was well worth it. From Loft Mountain we were able to get on the Appalachian Trail, see all sorts of wildlife and some of the best views in the country. Here is a shot of us on the Appalachian Trail. We can now say we hiked the Trail, just not all of it. Jerry is simply not able to do that.
It would have been nice to be able to see more of the trail, but Jerry is so limited in how much walking he can do. We did go on the Trail for a couple hundred yards maybe, with Jerry resting on rocks and fallen trees as needed. There were many deer to see and we almost saw a bear. We say almost because the bear was off in the dense brush about 40 yards from us. The vegetation was so tall that we could not see the bear but we could see the small trees it was pulling down to get berries. Once the bear noticed us, it bolted off in the opposite direction. When we were leaving the park, we did see a bear cub run across the road in front of us but we couldn't get the camera ready in time to get a picture.
We took the scooters all along Skyline Drive so we could see the overlooks and other natural features. It was just amazing. We stopped at one roadside overlook and Cynthia wanted a picture of Jerry along with the valley in the background. She kept telling Jerry to step back a little, a little further, just a little more, then she got this picture...
As always, we took a lot of pictures during our stay in Virginia on the Skyline Drive and you can view them all below. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. We hope to head back this direction one day when we go visit all the eastern states. May God bless you! We visited here in 06/2010 and 07/2010.