Monthly Archives: September 2015

Biking the Blue Ridge Parkway – Planning

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a national park that starts near Waynesboro, VA, and follows the Appalachian Highlands south for 469 miles, ending near Cherokee, NC. It is famous for its stunning mountain top views, and wooded/farmland natural surroundings. I have never traveled on the parkway, so I needed to find a resource that would give me the information I needed to plan a week long, self-contained bike tour. I purchased the book “Bicycling the Blue Ridge: A Guide to the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway”, by Elizabeth and Charlie Skinner. It was the perfect resource! Based on the book’s information, and my personal preferences, I have planned a seven day, 272 mile route. I will start in Roanoke, VA (mile post 120) on Sunday, October 4, and finish in Asheville, NC (mile post 382)  the following Saturday, October 10. Special thanks to my wife, Michiko, who will drive me to Roanoke, and pick me up in Asheville! Below is the planned itinerary. The “feet elevation climb” measures the total uphill portions of the route, not just the elevation change. Looks like I saved the best for last. On the last day, I will be climbing Mount Mitchell (an extra 10 miles up and back), the highest point east of the Mississippi at an elevation of 6684 feet.

Start – Roanoke, VA (MP120)

Sunday – Rocky Knob Campground (MP167), 47 miles, 5730 feet elevation climb

Monday – Fancy Gap/Blue Ridge KOA (MP 200), 33 miles, 3800 feet elevation climb

Tuesday – Doughton Park Campground (MP239), 39 miles, 2530 feet elevation climb

Wednesday – Hichin’ Post RV Park (MP279), 38 miles, 4260 feet elevation climb

Thursday – Price Campground (MP297), 20 miles, 3790 feet elevation climb

Friday – Crab Tree Campground (MP339), 42 miles, 2705 feet elevation climb

Saturday – Asheville, NC (MP382), 53 miles, 6130 feet elevation climb