The following is paid content produced by Ingles Markets.
I’m Chris Bainbridge, and I love the Carolinas. This is an amazing place to find adventure in all shapes and sizes – even in our changing world. Ingles sent me on a mission to bring you the very best of what our beautiful home has to offer – food, fun, nature music, and more… all affordable, and all out of the ordinary. This is The Ingles Open Road.
Today, we’re on the road. It’s a National Parkway, a national treasure, and one of the most traveled stretches of roadway in the country. But despite that, she’s got a few secrets to share. Today, we’re traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I’m just gonna say it right now – I love the Blue Ridge Parkway. We’re here exploring as guests of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, whose mission is to support this 469 mile stretch of mountain majesty that got its start in the 1930’s and wasn’t completely finished until 1987. The Parkway meanders its way from the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. And although it’s one of the most visited roadways in America, we’re uncovering three lesser-known areas that will have you searching for more secrets to explore.
The Parkway can be packed in the summer – especially since it features so many amazing sights, like the highest peak in the Eastern US, the oldest river in North America, the deepest gorge east of the Grand Canyon, and the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. But if you know where to go, you can practically have the Parkway to yourself.
We’re starting off on the trail to Lane Pinnacle. By parking at the Craggy Gardens picnic area and heading South along the Mountains to Sea Trail, you experience a lightly trafficked hike that’s a really good workout with beautiful plant life and really interesting exploration.
Up next, we’re headed to Graybeard Mountain Overlook. Not only is the view from the overlook itself worth the drive, but the hiking here is spectacular. This high elevation hike runs along the ridgeline and surprises with open meadows along the way.
Finally, our trek takes us to Glassmine Falls Overlook. What’s cool here is if you’re going with friends you can actually hike from one overlook to the other and shuttle yourself back to your starting point.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing public treasure. It’s ours – yours and mine. And protecting and preserving it is our privilege. Consider supporting our Parkway by visiting BRPFoundation.org. And then prepare to take off for adventure. Your weekend is waiting on the Ingles Open Road!