The northern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia is a paved, two-lane, mountain drive along the ridgetops of the Southern Appalachians from near Charlottesville to Roanoke. The 121-mile drive winds up and down along the mountain crests from a low elevation of about 650 feet to almost 4,000 feet, with numerous scenic viewpoints and overlooks. This section is surrounded by the trees, shrubs, and flowers of George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
Special attractions: The forest and scenic mountain views are rightfully the main attractions of the drive. Some special areas to visit are the Otter Creek Recreation Area along the James River, and the Peaks of Otter in the shadow of Sharp Top Mountain. Near Roanoke is Virginia’s Explore Park, and the 4-mile Roanoke Mountain Loop Drive. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
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