Discover the journey. Then help protect it.

September 2018 - In this issue of The Scenic
You're invited to an art  gala!

Celebrate the beauty of the Parkway at the Of Valley & Ridge event

Zealandia Mansion | Southern Living
Zealandia Mansion | Southern Living 
For history about the venue click play above.

Swannanoa Autumn Scene
Swannanoa Autumn Scene

A crisp fall evening. An intriguing historic Tudor mansion decked out with works by fine artists. Live jazz music and delicious eats. We're thrilled to invite you to a spectacular kickoff gala and exclusive preview of the benefit art show, Of Valley and Ridge: A Journey Through the Blue Ridge Parkway at 5 p.m., Friday, October 26, at Zealandia in Asheville, N.C.

It's a night to celebrate the inspirational beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway. During the gala, we hope you'll enjoy music by the HotPoint Trio, heavy hors d'ouevres, wine, and beer. You can even purchase your favorite en plein air paintings and etchings by more than 20 Western North Carolina artists.

Proceeds from the gala and art sales will support the Foundation's work to protect, preserve, and enhance the Blue Ridge Parkway. The event is hosted in in partnership with The Saints of Paint, a group of artists who are committed to helping raise funds for nonprofits dedicated to preserving the environment, caring for animals, and working for positive social changes.

Tickets for the gala are $100 and include all refreshments and heavy hors d'oeuvres. The art will remain on exhibit and available for purchase from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, October 27, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, October 28. We hope to see you there!

Thanks to our sponsors!

Autumn Parkway Outings

Rough Ridge Tunnel with Sign in Autumn along the Blue Ridge Parkway

While you're enjoying the golds, reds, and oranges of autumn on the Blue Ridge Parkway, stop at these spots to immerse yourself in the season.

The Old Days: For early homesteaders, the fall harvest was a busy time of year. You can experience a bit of this history at Humpback Rocks Farm (milepost 5.8 near Shenandoah National Park) where rangers and volunteers offer demonstrations and talks that illustrate what life was like for early mountaineers.

Sleep Under the Stars: The campgrounds in the park close for the season on October 28, but you can still enjoy a crisp evening under the stars at Explore Park (milepost 115 at Roanoke). The park recently added primitive sites, yurts, tepees, canvas tents, and pod cabins for overnight stays. To make reservations, visit

Apple Picking Time: Don't miss a visit to The Orchard at Altapass (milepost 328 near Sparta, N.C.), where you can roam the hillside to pick your own heirloom varieties of fruit or purchase them at the store. Visit for details.

Nature Note
Autumn Leaves at Price Lake
Photo by Monty Combs
As you hunt for the most vibrant fall colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway, keep in mind these tips.
  • Typically, throughout October you can expect to find good fall color along the Parkway. Leaves will begin changing first on the highest peaks and conclude in the lower elevations.
  • Fall colors are often more vivid in cloudy weather than on sunny days.  
  • Leaves on smaller saplings and shaded trees stay green until the leaves of the taller, more exposed trees have changed color and fallen.

We love our volunteers!

Craig Lancaster, Charlie Sullivan (National Park Service), Hanes Boren, Jim McDowell, and Tracy Brown

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation volunteers have been hard at work at Julian Price Campground near Blowing Rock, N.C., sprucing up several buildings with fresh coats of paint. Thanks so much, guys!

It's not too late to join them! E-mail Clary Pickering at to get started.
Addressing the Parkway's needs

Bluffs Lodge at Doughton Park
Bluffs Lodge at Doughton Park closed in 2010.
One of the greatest challenges facing the Blue Ridge Parkway is a lack of government funding. It has resulted in shuttered buildings and a long list of needed repairs totaling more than $450 million in North Carolina and Virginia.

Congress is currently considering two proposal to address the maintenance backlog at our national parks. Your voice can make a difference on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Please take a moment to read this recent editorial in The Charlotte Observer to learn how. 

Where has your Parkway Plate been?

Erik and Brittany Hansen sent in this fun photo of their Blue Ridge Parkway plate taken during a summer adventure at Silver Lake State Park on the coast of Lake Michigan.

Show us where your plate has been! E-mail a photo of your license tag in a scenic spot to Rita Larkin at

To get your own N.C. Blue Ridge Parkway plate, visit

Mark your calendar!

Our Kids in Parks program is celebrating a milestone, and you're invited. Join us for a ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the 100th TRACK Trail in North Carolina at 11 a.m., Thursday, November 1, at Indian Lake Park in Tarboro, N.C.

Kids in Parks got its start with the first TRACK Trail at the Asheville Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Now the growing network of trails connects children and families across the state (and the country) to the outdoors through activity guides at each location. Learn more
Fall Concerts at the Blue Ridge Music Center

As the weather cools, the performances move indoors at the Blue Ridge Music Center, at milepost 213 near Galax, Virginia. The final concerts of the season are:

The Barefoot Movement
Riley Baugus
5 p.m., Saturday, October 6
$20 adults, $10 children ages 3-12

Hailed as one of the bearers of traditional Southern mountain music, Riley Baugus joined Willie Nelson for his Country Music album and tour, and played on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's Grammy-winning album, Raising Sand. Learn more

The Barefoot Movement
5 p.m., Saturday, October 20
$20 adults, $10 children 3-12
This young bluegrass quartet on the rise is known for its heartfelt, energetic, and down-home performances. Learn more


The Roots of American Music Museum and free, daily Midday Mountain Music sessions continue at the Music Center through Sunday, October 28. The Foundation proudly supports programming at this National Park Service facility to preserve the cultural and musical heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Your Support Matters
Join our Community of Stewards

As the primary fundraiser and trusted steward of the  Blue Ridge Parkway, the Foundation is forever committed to preserving the past, enhancing the present, and safeguarding the future of America's Favorite Journey™. Learn more about joining our Community of Stewards at