Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Blue Ridge Parkway turns 75

This month marks the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469.1 miles (755 km) through the famous Blue Ridge Mountains, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Land on either side of the road is maintained by the National Park Service and in some stretches, by the United States Forest Service.

Begun during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the project was originally called the "Appalachian Scenic Highway". Work began on September 11, 1935 and took over fifty-two years to complete, the last stretch (near the Linn Cove Viaduct) was completed in 1987 around Grandfather Mountain. The Parkway runs from the southern terminus of Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive in Virginia to U.S. 441 at Oconaluftee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, North Carolina.

Special events are planned throughout the weekend starting this Thursday. Below is a list of activities you can attend.

Thursday, November 12th at 6:00 PM
“Natural Resource Stewardship — An American Indian Legacy and Model for our Future,”
Located at Cherokee High School Auditorium.

Friday, November 13th at 12:00 PM
Passing of the torch from Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway
Located at Ravensford Overlook, milepost 467. Park at the Cherokee Transit Lot on U.S. 441 and take a shuttle to the overlook.

Starting at 12:00 PM
Guided tours of the southern end of the parkway from the Museum of the Cherokee Indian , 589 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee. Cost is $20 and includes a box lunch. Reservations required by calling 497-3481.

Saturday, Novermber 14th from 10:00 AM - 3:00 P
Parkway History Day
Located at the Folk Art Center, Milepost 382.

Starting at 7:00 PM
Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary Benefit Concert, featuring Nanci Griffith and The Blue Ridge Bluegrass All-Stars, Doyle Lawson, Sammy Shelor, Bryan Sutton, Tim Surrett, Jim Van Cleve and the Warriors of AniKituhwa. Hosted by David Holt.
Located at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville. Tickets start at $35 and are available at the Asheville Civic Center Box Office, online at Ticketmaster or by calling 800-745-3000.

If you are traveling to the Asheville area for the event please check out these great hotels.

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