Blue Ridge Parkway

Capt. Mike

Following was transferred from Archives dated 1/4/99 by Troy:

Spent about 2 weeks in the mountains of North Carolina. Mainly on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A very wonderful drive . . . don't worry you'll make it up the mountain . . . may go only 25mph but you'll make it, to many places along the way to mention . . . but be sure to stop at Devils Look out . . . a nice 360 degree view!

-- Troy
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Capt. Mike

Following Transferred from Archives dated 2/21/99 by John B.

Yes, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great destination.

We always seem to be drawn to the ocean when we are on vacation. However one year we were out in the Outer Banks in North Carolina and were evacuated because hurricaine Felix was approaching. As we headed north all the coastal areas were being evacuated. We decided to head inland and ended up at the Shenandoah National Park that's located on the Parkway near Luray, Virginia.It's a beautiful National Park and we saw a lot of wildlife.

Here are a few links:

The Blue Ridge Parkway Virtual Visitor Center:

National Parks Service, Blue Ridge Parkway Site:

National Parks Service, Shenandoah National Park Site:

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Capt. Mike

:D OK, technically it wasn't a Westy trip, but we just finished a lovely long weekend. The Admiral & I just celebrated our 25th anniversary. Coincidentally, the AACA held a National Show in Winchester VA that weekend. We took the restored 1969 Porsche to the show, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

After the show, we went down to Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke, VA. We honeymooned there 25 years ago . . . IN THE PORSCHE!

Getting up to the Blue Ridge with 50' of Redneck Pickemup truck and a car carrier 3" wider than a semi on those twisty switchback roads is a challange.

Peaks of Otter is a Park concession lodge right on the Blue Ridge near Roanoke. Every room looks out over the beautiful mountain lake with the Peaks in the background. There are numerous trails and attractions nearby, several within walking distance. The restaurant is fist class. There are NO TVs, phones or radios in the room!

We enjoyed a bottle of wine, dinner and the tranquility that night. Then the next day we took the Porsche out of the trailer and tooled up & down the Blue Ridge, just like 25 years ago. Porsches and the Blue Ridge go together. No slowing down for the curves and no downshifting just to make the next hill!

We visited Mabry Mill, about 90 miles further south. Best damn grits in the country! And a delightful winery, Chateau Morrissett, where they name wines after their dogs -- Black Labs. I recommend Blushing Dog! All in all, a delightful 2nd honeymoon.

There is a campground near the lodge for making it a Westy trip! Lots of sites within a couple hours each direction. Restored homesteads, hiking trails and waterfalls within walking distance of the lodge. Numerous historic sites to the North such as Steele's Tavern -- site of the McCormack Reaper museum. Close to Roanoke, Lynchburg and Appomatox.
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Capt. Mike

For many years Neil Pickett & his Appalachian Split Screens (NEATO) chapter hosted a Westy gathering on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Pisgah campground site right after Memorial Day each spring.

The campground is located SW of Ashville and operated by the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a lodge, service station and small camp store nearby.

Each year, we would gather for an informal camp-in. VW's of all ages and inclinations. Besides campfire gatherings and lots of looking at each other's buses, there would be loosely organized caravans to nearby sites.

One is the attractions is the original Cradle of Foresty school started by Vanderbilt in conjunction with the Biltmore estates. The US's first managed forests and scientific approach.

Below that is Looking Glass Falls and the nearest town of Brevard has some neat shops & attractions. This area is on one of NC's designated scenic highway loops as well.

I enjoyed some Forestry roads that led from a NC Wildlife fish hatchery back to the Blue Ridge on scenic switchback mountain roads.

Regretfully, the gathering became too big -- well over 100 buses -- and the Rangers began to be a pain-in-the-A because we would pretty well fill a couple of loops in the campground and occasionally the nearby overlooks during a rest or photo-op stop. Although there was never any rowdiness, damage or trouble in all the years I attended, the Rangers seem to have a problem with taxpaying citizens -- all them ex-hippies are now Drs, lawyers and professors -- actually using the facilities and filling them up. Only a Government mind . . .! Or is that an oxymoron?

So it's been dropped as an official NEATO outing. But it would still make a great smaller Westy event or personal camping trip.
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Capt. Mike

Our June 19th "2nd honeymoon" trip to Peaks of Otter drew so much attention at our next AACA car club meeting, several members thought it would make a great group outing. The last weekend in July, 3 couples loaded up their antiques and headed up there.

We had a delightful time and really enjoyed motoring down the Blue Ridge in our oldies. We hiked the trails, visited Mabry Mill and the Winery again, and feasted on the scrumptious food at the lodge. We all brought some pre-dinner goodies to go with sampling the wines we bought.

Our groups stories and photos were so compelling, the club is now considering it as a formal club event for next year.

This would make a nice Westy gathering as there is a campground next to the lodge. You could caravan the Westies much like we did with the antiques. Suggest it to your Westy friends or club.


New member
I spent two years at brevard College about a mile from the Pisga forest in NC. No car, but feet and a bike got me back in there a lot. Beautiful country.

You can pretty much camp where ever you like in there - pull compeltely off the road and get a good nights rest. My favorite camping spot actually was on the parkway itself in the spring -- cold as SIN (in my girlfriends Subaru) but whata beautiful sunrise!!


New member

Just was reading this any suggestions as to campgrounds in/on the Blue Ridge Parkway. And where to go while on it..We plan to go through here en route from Atlanta back to NH Should we travel the whole thing? And how long would it take. Im still trying to figure out the timing back home.

Thank you...