Now that you have the backstory of the Blue Ridge Parkway- It’s time for “the facts, M’am, just the facts.”
1. It is 470.2 miles form the southern end of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Oconaluftee area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina.
2. 253.7 miles of the parkway are in North Carolina.
3. The turnpike goes though 27 counties. NC: 17 Virginia: 12
4. 81,689 miles of federal land. NC: 46,961 Virginia: 34,719
5. Highest point of the parkway: NC: Richland Balsam N. of Sylva, NC
6. Hiking Trails: 350 miles.
7. Tunnels: 26
8. Bridges: 151
9. Paved Overlooks for scenic viewing: 275
10. Vistors Centers: 14
11. Annual Visitation in 1941: 895,874
12. Annual Visitation in 2008: 16.3 Million
13. Dollars invested in local economy by visitors in 2007: 350 Million
14. Estimated cost of parkway construction in 1935: 16.6 Million
15. Actual Cost of parkway construction 1935-1987: 130 Million
16. Annual economic impact of parkway: 2.3 Billion
17. Completion time in Years: 52
These are facts but real live stories live behind them. Many people were instrumental in the routing, land procurement, lobbying for and construction of our Blue Ridge Parkway. The economic impact of the parkway is as evident as the beauty rising from it’s meandering roads. It a gift of monumental proportions.
Patti and Gary Wiles