Postcards from Appalachia, Part I: Mabry Mill and the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an historic roadway that cuts through portions of the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to Tennessee. Visitors can take in a leisurely-paced drive along mountain ridges, any number of hikes suited to a variety of skill levels, stunning vistas, and unique native wildlife. It’s beautiful at any time of year, but it puts on an extra-special show in the autumn.

Fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway (photo credit: canuckrunningamuck)
Mabry Mill (photo credit: canuckrunningamuck)

The variety of colours, from vibrant, almost-neon red and yellow to muted maroon and orange, are on full display from the various lookout points located along the parkway. These are perfect for those Sunday drivers looking to take in the season from the comfort of their car, but for those seeking more adventure, the Blue Ridge is littered with trails for everyone from casual walkers to serious hikers.

Fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway (photo credit: canuckrunningamuck)
Dillon Chapel (photo credit: canuckrunningamuck)

Stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway hint at a pastoral, bygone era of vintage Appalachia. Mabry Mill, at mile marker 176, is one such place. With an historic mill, cultural demonstrations at certain times of the year, and a restaurant, it’s a popular place for tourists. In fact, it’s said to be one of the most photographed spots along the parkway. During peak foliage season, plan to get there early or otherwise wrangle for a parking spot- it gets very busy!

Mabry Mill (photo credit: canuckrunningamuck)
Mabry Mill (photo credit: canuckrunningamuck)

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn is a must for visitors to this corner of America. Stay tuned for the perfect long weekend itinerary for a visit here- there’s so much to see and do, it’s easy to fill three days in the Blue Ridge!

Mabry Mill (photo credit: canuckrunningamuck)
Mabry Mill (photo credit: canuckrunningamuck)

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