The Blue Ridge Parkway is a uniquely motorized experience, so there’s no surprise that the classic Parkway visit is a day trip that includes a roadside picnic. Here in the High Country there's many nice picnic areas that have been established for the public's enjoyment.
Parkway picnic areas can have restrooms, grills or fireplaces, water fountains, picnic shelters, and refuse disposal/recycling facilities. Larger sites accommodate groups (many mountain families, churches, and civic groups target the nearby Parkway for gatherings). Nevertheless, the picnic areas often have single tables situated off alone. Overlooks, parking areas, and some trailheads also feature tables, so be on the lookout. And some folks just pull off the road onto a grassy shoulder and throw a blanket by the car in the shade (this is permitted, just don't park where you'll damage the roadside).
Cumberland Knob Picnic Area (Milepost 217.5)
There are 33 sites and restrooms in the picnic area. Additional tables line the contact station parking lot beside a path to Cumberland Knob’s gentle summit where there’s a picnic trail shelter.
Doughton Park Picnic Area (Milepost 241.1)
Fifty-six picnic sites sprawl east of the Parkway overlooking Bluffs Lodge. From the end loop, a short meadow walk and left on the Bluff Ridge Trail leads to a log cabin picnic shelter with fine views.
Jeffress Park (Milepost 272)
Great valley views, restrooms, and thirty picnic tables flank the Cascades Parking Overlook, the start of a wonderful, 1.2-mile waterfall walk.
Price Picnic Area (Milepost 296.4)
Located between Price Lake and Price Campground, 100 picnic sites and restrooms line a meandering stream at the start of the strenuous 4.9-mile Boone Fork Trail loop.
Linville Falls Picnic Area (Milepost 316.5)
This picnic spot’s 100 sites and restrooms lie along the banks of the Linville River as it courses toward Linville Falls.
Crabtree Meadows Picnic Area (Milepost 340.2)
South of Crabtree Meadows Campground, the picnic area’s 82 sites overlook an airy vista east of the Parkway. Restrooms.
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