Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blue Ridge Parkway is OPEN

Cold Mountain, NC, from the Blue Ridge Parkway
UPDATE:  All areas along the parkway have reopened to visitors.

The famed Blue Ridge Parkway is OPEN for those who would like to take the scenic drive to see the fall leaf change.  All facilities along the parkway, however, are closed due to the government shutdown.

According to the National Park Service, all visitor centers, historic sites, hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, picnic areas and restrooms along the Parkway are CLOSED. There are numerous towns along the Blue Ridge Parkway, however, to make up for the loss of some of these facilities.

Tunnel along the Parkway
October is normally a time of tremendous use of the Blue Ridge Parkway as drivers take the winding road for spectacular views of the fall leaf change in North Carolina and Virginia. According to the park service, around 70,000 visitors per day normally visit the parkway in October.

Graveyard Fields Waterfalls are Closed to Visitors
The closure of so many facilities is likely to reduce that total considerably and have a negative impact on towns, cities and communities all along its route. In addition to the 195 park service employees furloughed along the Blue Ridge Parkway, 200 employees of private businesses that contract for services also have been laid off.

Security officers, however, remain on duty to keep people from trying to visit any of the historic sites or other facilities along the road.

The National Park Service website for the Blue Ridge Parkway also is shut down, but you can read more about the beautiful road at

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