Upon completion of the Little Switzerland visits decided to hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway . The development of the Blue Ridge Parkway began during the Great Depression as the creation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s, Civilian Conservation Corps. While road construction began in the 1930’s it was not completed until September 11, 1987, and sources say it remains uncompleted as land continues to be purchased by the government to protect mountain views.
The initial reason for the road was to connect the Shenandoah National Park of Virginia, to the Great Smoky Mountain Park of North Carolina, providing a scenic motor way for tourism. To date 600 million visitors have taken the road.
Construction was challenging due to the mountainous topography, snakes, and other concerns for the work crews. The Parkway has 26 tunnels which were blasted through mountains. The interiors of these tunnels are rock and gives insight to the challenges in creating this Parkway.
The Parkway is managed by the National Park Service and there are many parks along the 569 mile route. Traveling is challenging with narrow, curvy lanes. I noted many Road Closed Gates as I began the drive. Once dusk came I understood the reason for the gates as during much of the 20 mile trek in darkness visibility was 3 foot and the fog dense.
Recommend those interested in this ride, travel in day time hours with a full tank of gas or electric as this was the most frightening ride of my life.
However, for those thrill seekers…..