The Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches some 500 miles along the mountaintops and valleys of two states – North Carolina and Virginia. It is part of The U.S. National Park Service.
The Blue Ridge Parkway began as a public works project of the WPA during the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration as America fell to the economic downturn of the Great Depression. The building of the Blue Ridge Parkway helped bolster the economic impact in Appalachia and the more rural areas of both states by providing jobs and ultimately tourism dollars in the decades to come.
It serves as the eastern border of much of Botetourt County with Bedford County and is some 35 miles long and meanders mostly across the top of Botetourt County.
Public access can be made on US 460 East near Blue Ridge and at Route 43 at the top of the mountain near Buchanan. Turn left from Botetourt and travel to the Peaks of Otter, and turn right the trip goes back to the Blue Ridge access or on into the Roanoke Valley.
Some of the most notable overlooks in the Botetourt section of the Parkway are Harvey’s Knob where in spring and fall watch the migration of raptor birds like hawks and eagles. The Great Valley Overlook about midway along the Botetourt stretch is an awe-inspiring look at beautiful Botetourt! Every stop, however, at an overlook provides a scenic vista of Botetourt County or Bedford County.
The road is open through Botetourt County; though further south, it is closed due to a road collapse in June.