Now, this is what a stimulus project is supposed to be. Authorized by Congress during the Great Depression, much of the early work on the Blue Ridge Parkway was completed by New Deal Agencies. The Works Progress Administration, the Emergency Relief Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps all took part in construction and landscaping.
Although the work began in 1935, the full 469 miles weren’t completed for 52 years. The last stretch to be finished was near Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina. Now the Parkway takes you from the southern end of the Skyline Drive through Virginia and North Carolina to Cherokee in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Or at least, you can drive the full route in warmer months. Because of the altitude and frequent ice and snow, much of the Parkway is closed for extended periods during the winter.
Dogwoods and wildflowers bring the roadside to life in spring, but the most popular time of year, of course, is fall. One of the most beautiful and inspiring outings a family can enjoy is a drive along the Parkway to view the breathtaking fall colors. From late September through early November, this National Park Service property is more than a Great American Thing; it’s a national treasure.