Iv been planning a tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer. I had heard that it would be a great trip for the Touring car. I was talking to a gentleman over the weekend about my plans and he said that the trip would be a boring trip. He said there is nothing to see but trees. Has anyone ever drove the Blue Ridge Parkway?
I guess if the trip would be that bad I may have to re-think my idea and do my back up trip by putting the T on the Auto-Train in Va and driving it from Sanford, Florida to the Florida Keys on Rt A1A.
Which trip would you all recommend?
I guess it could be boring if you didn't like beautiful scenery. KGB
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1818&bih=8 49&q=Blue+Ridge+Parkway&oq=Blue+Ridge+Parkway&gs_l=img.3..0l10.2067.9778.0.12880 .188.8.131.52.184.108.40.2066.10j1.11.0....0...1ac.1.32.img..0.18.711.1M5-LVklS-w
Wow Steve, Ok,, New plan. I'm doing the Parkway this summer and the Florida Keys next year. Thanks for the link Steve.
Not too long ago, I participated in the BABE (Big Apple to Big Easy) road rally, which involved driving a vehicle having to cost less than $500 from New York to New Orleans. I specifically recall them warning us not to take the Blue Ridge Parkway because traveling it together as a group or if enough of our crappy cars were spotted, would require a permit. This was a well planned event so I'm sure there's some truth to it. Just a heads up.
And yea, it is beautiful.
Here's our old S10 that was sitting in a farm field when we got it. We had to remove the hood and blast the heat (on 100def days) to keep it from overheating. Fun.
This was us going through "Tail of the Dragon" at Deals Gap
I've driven on parts of it. I can assure you I was not bored. Beautiful scenery and many overlooks. I was in a modern vehicle and had to resist the urge to drive faster, because as I recall, the speed limit was 45 at the fastest. It's not the road to take if you are trying to make time. I would think it would be a lot of fun in a T or A, as the cars are better suited to the speed limit. You might want to make sure your cooling system is in proper order. Some of the hills get pretty steep.
I drove it with the VMCCA Tour a few years back.. lots of driving,lots of trees but where you can se the lay of the land its beautiful until you get fog! no services and if you break down on the parkway it doesn't allow commercial vehicles. They have to get permission and escorted by the Park Rangers and it could be hours.
Boy does your pictures look great. I have been wanting to do the Blue Ridge trip for a long time. I will have to show my wife the pictures.
About a dozen of us did the Nathez trace in 2006 and I really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting them.
I'd love to drive it in a T. Being well prepared is obvious but that said, I see no reason to avoid a parkway drive. The Natchez Trace is another beautiful route with no commercial traffic, limited speeds and an abundance of historic and interesting side stops. While there is only one gas station in almost 500 miles, there are many opportunities to leave the parkway for fuel, meals, and motels.
Properly prepared, with decent route planning, and with a few spares and tools, there is no reason not to drive a Model T.
I say do the parkway I've always wanted to drive an open car over it myself. Not sure where you plan to start your tour, I've heard it is beautiful the whole way, one thing to take into concideration I'm sure you are well aware of already but do careful planning on fuel. I'm guessing you won't pass very many convent stores with gas.
Beautiful drive. There is only one hotel on the parkway, couple places to camp. You have to get off the BRP if you do not stay at the hotel near Asheville. I reccomemnd you try to stay there, it has a beautiful resturant and each room has a back porch with rockers. Very nice. Call early for reservations.
I've been on the Blue Ridge Parkway (and the Skyline Drive, which leads into it and is pretty much indistinguishable from it) many times and the scenery is nothing short of majestic. In some sections, there are hills that can tax the abilities of a Model T, but you can always drop it into low gear and crawl up. Antique cars do this trip all the time.
The speed limit on the Blue Ridge Parkway is 45 mph in some places and 35 in others. A few short sections go as low as 25 mph. The speed limit on the Skyline Drive is a little more Model T friendly at no faster than a sedate 35 mph, throughout. For that reason, given a choice, I'd go with the Skyline Drive.
These two wonderful roads are all about the scenery and I guarantee YOU WILL NOT BE BORED!!! You do need to make certain your car is in reliable condition because this would be a lousy place to break down. Go when the weather is nice and warm, take the usual spare timer and coils with you, as well as a gallon of distilled water (because spilling anti-freeze there might be considered a big no-no).
I'd suggest you do a little research, and it coudn't hurt to check with the Parks Department to see what they have to say.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY LINKS:
SKYLINE DRIVE LINKS:
And for Pete's sake, take lots of snap-shots and videos for us!
Agree, the trip is usually fantastic! Have been on it during heavy fog at night, too (late 1950's Easter break) - not a good time - glad my Dad was driving and little other traffic. There are a number of beautiful hiking trails so you can get out and stretch your legs every now and then. If you have time, some side trips either before (Front Royal, VA) or between the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway at Rockfish Gap (Waynesboro) into the Shenadoah Valley are great, too. The southern end connects to the Smokey Mountains.
If you are over 62, be sure to get the "National Parks and Recreational Lands Pass" for Seniors. Only $10.00. That should get you no extra cost travel on both pieces. Best part is when you visit Dave Huson in Colorado, it will get you into ROcky Mountain National Park free, too.
Park Rangers? Almost all of it is not in the national park. A few miles are in the Cherokee Reservation, and a short stretch is along the boundary of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Long parts of it do pass through a couple of national forests. While it may be a long way between gas stations in some areas, there are also places where the parkway passes within a mile or two of towns. I didn't count all the campgrounds shown on the maps, but there are several. If I were making the trip I'd do a lot of online research and also consult printed maps for things the online maps don't show. If you plan to include the national park as well as the parkway, you'll want to research that too.
Be sure to take some time to see the Luray Caverms when in that part of the country too..
If you do the Tail of The Dragon, be extremely carefully, two people killed in the last two weeks, usually on motorcycles but the steering on a T would be tricky, 308 ? switchbacks in about ten miles.
I live in Lynchburg, Va. and work 1 mile from the park way. I haven't had the T up there yet but have ridden the parkway numerous times on my motor cycle. The stretch from the Meadows of Dan to Amherst Va., is pretty steep and causes most car brakes to overheat if you don't take a break every 15 miles or so. I think the mountains would be a tough pull for a T with out some engine enhancement and going down the other side could get interesting with out rocky mountain breaks. The local model A club as well as other antique car clubs tour the parkway frequently. It's set up for tourists and has many scenic pull offs. The speed limit is 45 mph so that would be great for a T if you can manage the mountains. If you are planning to ride in the central Virginia section and would like a emergency contact, PM me for contact info.
There is a week long tour out of Boone, NC this July. It will all be planned out for you! I belong to several clubs and can't remember which is sponsoring it.
July 13-18, sponsored by the MTFCI.
Its called a parkway for a good reason!
Thanks for the links Steve and Bob. I'm going to sit back and bore myself for a while
Maybe even plan a trip myself!
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Read more at http://www.poetry-archive.com/k/trees.html#V1Empou78HEaKZgT.99
We visited the Great Smokey Mountain National Park a couple years ago. It is at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Smokey Mountain National Park is a drive and trip itself. We left there and drove the Blue Ridge Parkway (Its a National Parkway and has similar rules and laws as any National Park). We drove it north till we got off and went into Kentucky and the Cumberland Gap. It was a very beautiful drive and we are wanting to drive more of it later. I believe it would be a nice T trip if your car is dependable. Take parts, gas and water so you will have it if needed. Also pack food as it may be a ways between restaurants and a picnic is a nice addition to the trip. There are lots of scenic pullouts and also lots of areas to pull over and let traffic by. They designed the road for slow sightseeing traffic. Like others have stated I would research the area you want to travel before going as to mileage, towns, motels, sights, side trips, ect. Remember to take lots of photos to show us after you get home. Have fun and remember most of us will be jealous of your trip ....
Will. I forgot one thing. The most popular time to do the parkway is in the Fall. The colors are beautiful then , Early spring is nice also, Flowers and Trees are blooming then. In the Summer time it will be hotter and the sights will be a little different. Just something to think about ...
One of the prettiest drive's you will find in the USA!
well a commercial tag on a vehical is like a magnet to the law.They will make you leave the parkway.So if you need a vulture wagon, keep that in mind.
A fellow I know drove his pickup with his wife and kid to the mountains and got on the parkway for a while on a sunday. He was pulled over and told to get off at the next exit or go to jail.Period.No discussion.Didnt matter there was a kid in the car crying and no tools in the truck.That tag.
Mack is correct, they don't like commercial tags and will make you get off the parkway even on RV's and one ton trucks. I am glad NC finally recognized dually's as a pickup and now issues a plain tag for one. Except for that, it is one of the most beautiful and pleasant rides you will ever take in a T or A. I guess you can tell, I live about 5 miles from the BRP and travel it extensively.
Randall the post about the Parkway above reminded me of the discussion with you and your wife about the Parkway. We have not been out of state on a T tour lately. I think I would enjoy the Parkway as much as I did the Natchez Trace. What time in the fall would be best for the color? I assume that there is enough small towns along the Parkway that you would not have to worry much about gas, kind of like the Natchez Trace.
I just want to reiterate what Steve Jeff said. It can be a long way between service stations. To get fuel you usually must leave the parkway. That will entail steep downhills to where the services are, then the steep uphill to get back to the parkway. I've ridden the entire parkway and Skyline Drive on a motorcycle, and exiting the parkway for food and fuel was just about a necessity. Meadows of Dan in Virginia probably has the least elevation change to get to services. Do not even think of taking North Carolina 151 off or to the parkway. It is hard enough on a motorcycle, and strangely enough, some trucks try to take it and the road gets blocked for days until they can be cleared. They can't negotiate the turns without blocking the road of going off. The Pisgah Inn just north of US 276 is very nice. I'd recommend getting reservations for this place before you hit the road.
Randall, by the way I just remembered that you left your large rear view mirror in my shop. If I go out to the Blue Ridge shall I bring it to you?
John, I have lived on 151 all my life(60 years) till about 5 years ago and have never seen or heard of the situation you say. The road down is crooked but not steep anywhere. You boys from the flatlands just don't like mountains and fear them. I saw this last summer when the Texas A tour came through. Lots of cars lost due to not being accustom to the mountains. Around here, we go up and coast down just for fun and natives never have a problem.
Guys, Thank you for all the information. My T has a Ruckstell rear so navigating hills should not be a problem. As for going down, I will start the grade slow and keep it slow till I have reached the bottom.
Its a little hard to plan for stops as Iv never been there and I wont know how many time I might get side tracked. My wife and I talked about it last night and we are going to bring a tent just in case there's no room at any hotels.
We are going to change things up just a little. After looking the web sites Bob Coiro posted (Thanks Bob) we are going to do the Skyline drive first. It looks like a nice 2 or 3 day drive depending on how many times we get side tracked. My only worry is a breakdown and the availability of flatbed service. There must be an exception of some kind for that kind of service. I would find it hard to beileve that they would not allow that.
Thanks again guys
Dave 2nd week Oct most of time is prettiest for leaves,hope you and Marilyn can make!
John you must been dozing when you went past Fancy Gap and Orchard Gap LOL!
Another thing I noticed was that cell phone reception was spotty. They do not want any man made stuff visible from the parkway. It may be a little better now, not for sure how much better if any. You said you have a Ruxtell. I assume you have aux. brakes to go with it ... Getting in neutral in the mountains would be bad without them. What body style do you have. Different bodys will dictate what you can easily take with you. I live in the Ozarks of Arkansas. I have no trouble with the mountains, but our cousins from Oklahoma seem to burn there brakes up every time they come to visit .?? If you are a flatlander try to practice hill driving and ask a "mountain man" how to do it. I think you will enjoy the trip.... Someone asked when the fall colors are the best. It is useally in October. but it can vary as much as 2 to 3 weeks either way. If you Google it about that time they will be posting when the peak time is for certain stretches of the road. The Parkway is very long, so it verys a lot from he southern end to the northen end ...
I live about 20 miles from the Parkway and have been on it dozens of times since childhood. In the fifties and sixties on hot summer weekends, everybody went to the Parkway to cool off. There is not much level road on the Parkway and is mostly ups and downs. I don't particularily like that part even in a modern car you excercise the brakes. The view is breathtaking though, and the air if fresh and cool. The Parkway runs along mostly 3,000 ft. moutain tops. My T has a ruxtell and AC brakes and i haven't got the nerve to take it up there. All the roads down from the Parkway in this part of the country are really steep and really work the brakes on a modern car. Having a vehicle that can be geared down is a plus. Coming down in a T would have to be low pedal and no braking. Most of these steep grades in the areas that i am familiar with, are 3-5 miles long. Ascending would be another ball game. Service stations and restaurants are scattered very far apart, but there are usually lots of small towns off the parkway that one can get services.
I was on it once around October, and it was pretty foggy, so didn't see much. Darn it!
Will, take the trip. It is best if you can have someone or others with you as we have in our club. The NC Region of the HCCA has toured the parkway several times on our week long summer tours. There are interesting places to stop and see (small town, historic sites, etc). There are some hills that test your strength both up and down but for the most part it is a pleasure to drive "T" speeds and enjoy the country.
Is there any of the Civil War sites along the Blue Ridge. I found the Civil War sites very interesting on the Natchez Trace?
Will,be sure to stop at Luray when on the Sky Line Drive. Be glad to show you around if we are here when you come through. Visit the Luray Caverns, Car & Carriage Museum and Valley Heritage Museum.
Dave, We have the Civil War New Market battle field just 15 mile from Luray also
If Dennis says he will show you some T parts, WATCH your fingers!!!
Dennis: What is the story on your swap meet we were talking about at Hershey??
Are you going to Chickasha???
I got permission from the President of the Luray Caverns to hold a prewar swap meat on the Cavern grounds. This would go great except it would be entirely an open air meet for now. I was thinking about the spring but have not had time to plan for this year. I am going to propose a plan to the Caverns in the near future and see what we can work out. Regardless of what Dan says my parts are not dangerous
There are lots of T's in that area and you have the benefit of advanced planning. Possibly try and put together a mini tour for the dates you'll be travelling the BRP. Safety in numbers!
The area is beautiful and should not be missed. From 2008 to 2012 I Organized a 3 day drivers event that included the Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway and toured extensively in the area.
Dennis that would be great a swap meet and tour. I can't thing of any thing better combination.
Dennis that would be great a swap meet and tour. I can't thing of any thing better combination.
Would the Parkway consider a vulture wagon (pickup truck and flatbed trailer) a "commercial" vehicle?
Ted - The Tennessee club held 10 Natchez Trace tours, they had one (or two?) trouble trucks with trailers that followed along. I do not know if they had to request special permission but they had them in any case.
A pickup with a trailer would be fine as long as the vehicle was 1 ton or less and a plain flatbed trailer.
There is already one planned and organized by the MTFCI in Jul out of Boone, which will include some of the BRP.
I'm familiar with mountains, grew up in New England. When I was staying up in Cruso last August 151 was blocked for several days due to trucks blocking the road. Apparently there are new truck drivers in the area that go by GPS and don't know the road is too tight for them. The owner of the campground in Cruso said the truck problem is happening quite a bit these days. It bummed me out as I enjoy that road on a motorcycle (last time I was on 151 was a bit scary when I came up on a black bear on the road) but I'd be reluctant to take it in a T.
Here is a picture on the Cherola in October, that is not snow it is freezing fog, it was sticking to the grass and trees but not on the road.
Spelled that wrong it should be Cherhola .
The VMCCA is presently organizing an antique car tour of this area for May 18 - 22. Further info is here:
Steve Jelf is right.The Skyline Drive and the Blue
ridge parkway is beautiful. We have driven the whole thing in our 1911 T. We did not do the whole thing at one time. We saw Grandfather's mountain,
and drove up MT. Mitchel. Mount Mitchel is the highest point in the east. There is some breath tacking scenery all the way through.
Dennis is also right. You should also go to Luray.
The caverns are breathtaking. Also the car museum
is well worth your time.
The tour in July put on by MTFCI is going to be fun. You should try to come.
Some might call it boring in the summer, but notice they didn't say anything about Fall. If you don't enjoy it in the Fall; you're color blind.
The Linn Cove Viaduct portion (the "S" bridge that circumnavigates Grandfather Mountain), was begun in 1979 and finished in 1987.
The very first automobiles to complete a drive across it from one side to the other was a group of Stanley Steamers.
Randall Strickland or anyone:
Are the motels pretty full in the later part of October? Some of the mountain town motels are pretty full in late September and October because of hunting season and leaf peeper time.
Make sure your coils are tuned properly.
I had a little trouble with some hills and the old gal heated up when I attempted Mt. Mitchell (NC). I bought a Strobospark and set my coils correctly (well worth the money) (a lot more power)I'll return to Mt Mitchell this summer and post photos from the top.
There are few motels on both parkways.
The skyline drive starts at Front Royal Va.
The Blue Ridge parkway starts around Roanoke Va.
Interstate 81 and Local Route 11 goes the same way.
What you do is find a motel down off the the parkway. There are a lot of little towns along the way. Do the trip. You will love it.
That's what I meant (motels close to the parkway) Do all or at least most of the smaller towns near the parkway have motels and are they crowded during Leaf Peeper Time? Some of the small towns in the mountains here are impossible during Leaf Peeper Time and hunting. In fact I think at least one tourist town is worse than summer.
Dave,like peter said you want have any problem finding motel,you are use to climbing hill's LOL
walton's mtn is not to far off parkway,earl hammers home and museum you would enjoy!
I rode up to Boone, NC today and talked to the folks in the Visitor's Center about the traffic. They said fall leaf viewing season is the busiest time. The campground only had 2 RV spots left for the July MTFCI tour week! Lots of smaller motels around though.