May 2016 - In this Issue of The Scenic:

Ray Russell of  Ray's Weather  and  just started an epic run from Milepost 0 to 469. He's exploring every twist and turn of the Blue Ridge Parkway, inviting folks along the way to join in, and raising awareness about the needs of the scenic route. You can follow the  Relay with Ray  with his blog, sign up to run a stretch of the road, and make a donation. If you see Ray along the way, be sure to wave and send him some encouragement on social media with #relaywithray.
Way to go, Ray!  
Read more

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers so much to visitors: history, recreation, architecture, and heritage. The 3,500-acre estate and Flat Top Manor are in great need of repairs and rehabilitation. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is giving back to this marvelous country estate by hosting The Denim Ball on Saturday, August 6, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock. Guests are invited to enjoy dinner, drinks, dancing to music from The Lucky Strikes, and a silent and live auction while helping ensure the estate's future. Tickets are $100 per person. Call (866) 308-2773, ext. 245, or click here for tickets.

Kids in Parks Citizen Science Trail
Children measure the temperature of the water at Front Lake.
They aren't wearing white lab coats, but young citizen scientists are collecting data at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, N.C. In April, the Kids in Parks program opened its first Citizen Science TRACK Trail at Front Lake.

Citizen Science is a new approach to data collection that enlists the public's help in making observations and taking readings for studies and research. With the new trail, children and families can get in on the action. Kids can follow a new brochure to locate marked stations, where they observe and perform experiments such as taking air and water temperature readings and using tools to measure the pH of the lake. In addition to helping researchers, the children learn new skills related to environmental science, connecting the dots between outdoor adventures and protecting natural resources. 

Wildlife Cameras Deer

For several years, the Foundation has supported the Parkway's efforts to study wildlife with remote cameras. Now, Parkway resource managers are planning to expand the camera study and are looking for volunteers to help install and monitor cameras in the Pisgah District between Linville Falls and Soco Gap. Love hiking and wildlife? Find out how to get involved

Doughton Park
Road to the past

All the campgrounds on the Parkway are officially open for the season! In this photograph from 1946, a couple from Florida sets up camp at Doughton Park. Click on the image to zoom in and find the dog they brought with them for their adventure.  See a list of campgrounds
Protect the Parkway.
Get the Plate.

Do you have a Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plate? For each North Carolina plate sold, $20 goes to protect the beautiful ribbon of road through the mountains. Get yours today to show your support for the Parkway everywhere you go. 
Apply today!

Kids can enjoy the instrument petting zoo from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21.
The Blue Ridge Music Center is welcoming visitors back to the venue with its first live event of the season, JAM & Family Day. On Saturday, May 21, members of the region-wide Junior Appalachian Musicians attend musical workshops and the public is invited to enjoy activities, including a guided hike on the Kids in Parks High Meadow TRACK Trail and Junior Ranger activities. This year, the fun kicks off from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with an instrument petting zoo, sponsored by the Blue Ridge Music Makers Guild, where children can try out musical instruments, including banjo, guitar, fiddle, dulcimer, mandolin, and more. The day closes with group performances by JAM participants from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free. Learn more

Steep Canyon Rangers 2015
The Steep Canyon Rangers play the Music Center on June 17. Photo by Mike Duncan

Don't miss a single show this year at the Blue Ridge Music Center, milepost 213. Here are a few to get you started. 

Mipso + Shadowgrass
Saturday, May 28, 7 p.m. / $15

Big Ron Hunter + Martha Bassett Band  
Saturday, June 4, 7 p.m. / $10

Steep Canyon Rangers + Dori Freeman  
Friday, June 17, 7 p.m. / $25
A concert of the 
Mountains of Music Homecoming
+ Ticketed preshow reception, $30

Plus, hear a preview of the season with our Blue Ridge Music Center playlist on Spotify. 

Photo by Karen Nelson

May is a fantastic time to see a wide variety of wildflowers on the Parkway and its trails. Visit our blog to learn more about what is in bloom now and this summer. The Parkway also offers a recorded wildflower report. Call (828) 298-0398.


Spring Events

June 2-5
Little Switzerland, North Carolina
Each summer, the Blue Ridge Boxster Summit brings together Porsche aficionados for three days of driving and adventures in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The event kicks off Thursday, June 2, with a meet-and-greet gathering at Switzerland Inn, followed by dinner. The next two days are filled with drives and other activities, including a ride on Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, winery and brewery visits, a tour of the Biltmore Estate, zipline adventures, and more. A portion of registration fees is given to the Foundation in memory of Chuck "Porsche Pete" Hammersmith. Find out more
Flat Top Manor Tours
Weekends starting June 4
Seasonal, Ranger-led tours of the second floor of Flat Top Manor at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park begin the weekend of June 4. Sign up early for the Saturday and Sunday tours at 10 and 11 a.m., and 2 and 3 p.m. because they fill up quickly. Reservations are required and are accepted beginning at 10 a.m. the Friday before the requested tour. Call (828) 295-3782 or sign up at the manor house.

June 9-12
Blowing Rock, N.C.
In its 93rd year, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is a time-honored tradition. Cheer on your favorite competitors in the Saddlebred classes and don't miss the fine harness division, where carriages and harnesses as expensive as homes are showcased. The show is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the L.M. Tate Horse Show Grounds, at the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Tickets are $10. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Learn more
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

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
717 S. Marshall St., Suite 105B
Winston-Salem, NC 27101-5865
(866) 308-2773