Blue Ridge Parkway closure. Photo credit – NPS
Blue Ridge Parkway Winter Closures. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the unofficial sister national park to the Great Smoky Mountains. Beginning in the beautiful Oconaluftee Valley just north of Cherokee, North Carolina and stretching hundreds of miles to Shenandoah National Park this national treasure is a must but always plan ahead when heading to the hills.
Ole Man Winter takes toll on Blue Ridge Parkway. The National Park Service reminds visitors that some areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway remain closed due to winter weather effects and debris along the scenic highway. Many factors impact the Parkway for extended periods during winter weather. Variables include the route’s north facing slopes, tunnels, higher elevations and sight limitations. While some snow and ice are removed, the Parkway’s priorities involving natural resources prohibit the use of ice melting chemicals.
Park Superintendent J.D. Lee thanked committed staff, partners and neighbors that supported the Parkway during the recent lapse in appropriations. He also mentioned several weather events that continue to impact Parkway travel during this frigid season. “We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation as we prioritize work to provide access to this special resource,” Lee said.
Ever changing road conditions and weather problems led the National Park Service to dedicate an online site that monitors openings and closing along the scenic 469-mile route via an interactive road map that allows visitors to zoom in on specific sections of the Parkway and provides a planning tool to ensure enjoyment and safety. To access this map visit Blue Ridge Parkway Closures.