The Blue Ridge Parkway is many things. It is the longest road planned as a single unit in the United States. It is an elongated park, protecting significant mountain landscapes far beyond the shoulders of the road itself. It is a series of parks providing the visitor access to high mountain passes, splendid natural “gardens” of flowering mountain plants, waterfalls and water gaps, deep forests and upland meadows. It is a continuous series of panoramic views, the boundaries of its limited right-of-way rarely apparent and miles of the adjacent countryside seemingly a part of the protected scene. It is a “museum of the managed American countryside,” preserving the rough-hewn log cabin of the mountain pioneer, the summer home of a textile magnate, and traces of early industries, such as logging railways and an old canal. It is miles of split-rail fence, moss on a wood shingle roof, broomcorn and flax in a pioneer garden. It is the fleeting glimpse of a deer, a wild turkey or a red fox, or for those who prefer their animal life less wild, herds of cows grazing in pastures or horses trotting in fields. It is a chain of recreational areas, offering motorists a spot to picnic in the woods, a place to sleep overnight in a campground or a charming lodge, as well as opportunities to refuel their vehicle, enjoy a meal, or purchase a piece of fine regional handiwork. It is the product of a series of major public works projects that helped the Appalachian region climb out the depths of the Great Depression. The Blue Ridge Parkway is all these things and much more, therefore it should come as no surprise that this is the most heavily visited unit of the National Park Service. Click here to download a map of parkway >>>
Folk Art Center, Milepost 382
The Folk Art Center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians. It houses the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s century-old Allanstand Craft Shop, exhibitions in three galleries, a library and an auditorium. The Guild’s Permanent Collection is featured in an exhibition of craft from Appalachia.
The Folk Art Center was opened in 1980 as a cooperative effort between the Guild, the National Park Service and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
What to Do
- Enjoy a series of educational events held year-round
- Observe daily craft demonstrations from March through December
- Peruse the Eastern National Bookstore with Parkway souvenirs
- Shop for unique hand-crafted treasures from southern Appalachian crafters
Explore the listing of hours and opening and closing dates for visitor centers, campgrounds, and concessions and facilities – many of which are at or near the Highlights featured.
"Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead."