“America’s Favorite Drive” is more than just a 469-mile stretch of land that lures in tourists. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a place where dreams are made, where ideas are forged, where love blossoms. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful destinations in Virginia, let alone all of America. If you’re planning a fall road trip through this Virginia Parkway, here are the must-see sites and must-stop locations to seek out. Anything less and you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
Peaks of Otter – Photo: blueridgeparkwaydaily.com ©HartLight Photography
- Peaks of Otter (Milepost 86) – Surrounded by Jefferson National Forest, this Blue Ridge Parkway campground is a fine place to rest your weary head. Featuring a lodge, restaurant, visitor center, picnic area, and farm, Peaks of Otter is as modern as it is beautiful—and that’s saying a lot considering it has some truly gorgeous views. Bring along a pair of bird-watching binoculars to potentially catch a glimpse of the rare Magnolia Warbler. What a sight!
- Rocky Knob (Milepost 169) – Travel south from Blacksburg and you’ll land along the stunning slopes of Rock Castle Gorge, which is the backyard of Rocky Knob Recreational Area. Spanning over 4,000 acres, this campground features rentable cabins, over 200 species of wildflowers, natural wildlife, and numerous hiking trails split off like branches of a tree. Stop for a night or weekend—just be sure to stop!
- Arnold Overlook (Milepost 76) – West of Lynchburg is Arnold Overlook, Blue Ridge Valley’s tallest peak (in Virginia). Although there aren’t any campground in the vicinity, it’s worth a shot to venture there when the stars are out. Just open your moonroof or lay in the back of your F-150 and take in the universe.
Photo: blueridgeparkwaydaily.com ©Glennboi Photography
- Spec Mine Trail (Milepost 96) – Beginning near Montvale Overlook, just north of Roanoke, this 5.7-mile hiking trail is worth a look if you’re an avid trekker. Leash your dog and bring him along as a hiking pal!
- Chestnut Ridge Trail (Milepost 120) – For a more moderate hike, test out the 2.8-mile trail near the Roanoke Mountain campground. It loops around all of Chestnut Ridge and showcases the gorgeous landscape, wildflowers, and foliage. Fall is the perfect season to take a brisk walk through Chestnut Ridge Trail, so plan for a November hike.
- Stewarts Knob Trail (Milepost 110) – Need to stretch your legs? Break out of your road trip funk by stopping at this short out-and-back trail outside of Roanoke. Views are plentiful, as is the wildlife, which makes this trail a worthwhile rest stop to get back into the groove of things.
Photo: blueridgeparkwaydaily.com ©Leiane Gibson
- Ravens Roost Overlook (Milepost 11) – If you’d rather sport a welt than snap a photo, you’re probably someone who likes to rock climb. The northern tip of the Blue Ridge Parkway is your home away from home! With splendid overviews of Torrey Ridge, Ravens Roost Overlook has groupings of cliffs and large boulders to keep you occupied.
- Roanoke Valley Horse Trail (Milepost 121) – No one said you had to drive “America’s Favorite Drive” to enjoy the sights and sites. The Roanoke horse trail loops around Roanoke Campground and Stewarts Knob Overlook, offering you and your neighing friend approximately 16 miles of spectacular views. The only requirement is to BYOH (Bring Your Own Horse).
- Wilson Creek (Milepost 300) – Venture way down south to Caldwell County, VA, and you’ll have some class IV rapids to hurdle. Ideal for advanced rafting enthusiasts, the white water rapids of Wilson Creek should raise your pulse and leave you exhausted.
Even if you don’t have a destination set in stone, Blue Ridge Parkway will lead you there. With mesmerizing views of mountain ranges and thousands of miles of canopied forests, there’s always a sight to see and activity to partake in.
Need a car to tour Virginia’s best sites? Find your traveling BFF at Berglund Ford in Salem. With hundreds of new Ford models for sale and lease, as well as quality used cars in stock, our Ford dealership near Roanoke has the selection you need to make the best of your fall road trip through Blue Ridge. View our inventory online, browse our Ford lease offers, and let’s get you on the road!
Contact Berglund Ford or stop by our Salem car dealership at 834 East Main Street to take a test drive.
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