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|Colorful trees are a highlight along the Blue Ridge Parkway|
By Pamela O’MearaSometimes the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia meanders through a tunnel of trees and other times, it opens up for views of the distant mountain ridges, which often have a hazy
bluish tint. Occasionally just a few peaks are visible as the clouds roll
in. In the fall, the mountain ash, maples, dogwood, birches and tulip trees
turn red, orange and yellow and people come from all over for the view. In
the spring and summer, purple rhododendron and flame azalea bushes, and a
host of wildflowers including trillium, mountain laurel and pink lady¹s
slippers brighten the scenic drive and overlooks.
This 469-mile parkway follows the eastern crest of the southern Appalachian Mountains through Virginia, linking the Shenandoah National Park to the north and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the south.
Over 100 species of birds fly through during the spring migration, and
wildlife like deer, black bears and foxes might be seen along the road. Nine
campgrounds and many hiking trails and picnic areas are available in this
National Park, the longest and narrowest in the country. The famous
Appalachian Trail runs alongside part of the parkway, which roughly parallels Interstate 81.
|Roaring Run furnace used to produce pig iron.|
|Traveling along the parkway on a cloudy day.|