Blue Ridge Parkway Challenge

Blowing Rock, North Carolina 28605

Blue Ridge Parkway Challenge

Blue Ridge Parkway Challenge Professional Review and Guide

"The Blue Ridge Parkway Challenge, suited for advanced and in-shape riders, is an out-and-back ride with spectacular views on this parkway built along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina. The ride starts at the Moses Cone Manor House and Craft Center at Milepost 294 with a quick downhill before a 7-mile climb.

Following the uppermost contours of these ancient mountains, the route has several climbs that are rewarded with speedy descents. Cyclists are advised to carry snacks and extra water because there are no vendors on this section of the parkway, although two restaurants are located in Pineola just off the parkway."

Blue Ridge Parkway Challenge Reviews

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Highly recommended; of course, any ride that climbs to Grandfather Mountain has to be good (and more difficult). Basically, the ride is a shorter, steeper climb to GM, followed by a longer, gradual descent to Linville Falls. Note: That initial "breezy downhill", is actually a quite-steep 2.5 miles; so on the return, at mile 46.5 of the trip, that unrelenting 2.5 mile climb is a real punch in the gut. As an alternative, you might start and end at the Julian Price picnic area, rather than Moses Cone. The 7 mile climb (my computer measured 6) is not too bad, since you are tackling it first thing. If the weather is clear and you can pack a camera, the view from the East in the morning light, of the GM boulder field and volcanic outcroppings, is one of the best shots on the Parkway. You'll want to at least stop to drink it in! Thanks to Judi Wallace for her Trail Guide!

Blue Ridge Parkway Challenge Photos

Trail Information

Blowing Rock
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
Year-round; best spring through fall
3,800 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,400 feet
Top Elevation
DeLorme North Carolina Atlas & Gazetteer
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018