Along the Parkway
Bicycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway is
a popular activity that provides 469 miles of picturesque vistas through
Virginia and North Carolina. Ranging in elevation from 600 to 6,000
feet, the road encompasses a variety of ever-changing weather
conditions, regardless of the season.
The Parkway was designed as a
scenic leisure road for motorists. Bicyclists should be prepared for
significant distances between developed areas and services that vary by
Whether you are a beginning
or expert cyclist, the following information is provided to make your
experience a memorable and safe journey.
- Bicycle riders must comply with all
applicable state and federal motor vehicle regulations.
- Bicycles may be ridden only on
paved road surfaces and parking areas. Bicycles, including mountain
bikes, may not be ridden on trails or walkways.
- The bicycle operator must
exhibit a while light or reflector visible at least 500 feet to the
front and a red light or reflector visible at least 200 feet to the
rear during periods of low visibility, between the hours of sunset
and sunrise, or while traveling through a tunnel.
- Bicycles must be ridden single
file except when passing or turning left and well to the right-hand
side of the road.
- Bicycle speed must be reasonable for
control with regard to traffic, weather, road and light conditions.
Bicycling Tips for Safety
To ensure safe
and enjoyable bicycling on day or overnight trips, planning is
important. We suggest you carry: (1) plenty of water and high energy
foods; (2) clothing for safety and protection from adverse weather
conditions; and (3) some form of identification.
Be sure your bicycle is equipped with reflectors. Helmets and
high-visibility clothing are recommended.
Be sure to ride single file, well to the right-hand side of the road and
obey the same traffic rules that apply to motor vehicles.
Bicycles are not permitted on trails or walkways.
Plan ahead, and be sure to take into consideration elevation changes
that will require more time and, of course, more exertion.
Wear a bicycle helmet.
Be sure your bicycle is in good operating condition. Carry a spare tube
and tools for minor repairs.
Wear high visibility clothing. It sets you apart from the scenery and
makes you more visible to motorists.
Avoid the Parkway during periods of low visibility. Fog and rain may
Reschedule your trip for better weather or follow lower elevation routes
until weather conditions improve.
Exercise caution when riding through tunnels. Please be sure your
bicycle is equipped with the proper lights or reflectors. There are 26
tunnels in North Carolina and one tunnel in Virginia.
Temperatures vary greatly along the Parkway due to different elevations.
Wear your clothing in layers, if possible.
Safe drinking water is available at all picnic areas, campgrounds,
concession operations, and visitor centers. Water from streams and
springs is unsafe for drinking unless you purify it.
Make an honest evaluation of your abilities before beginning a bicycle
trip on the Parkway. In some sections, you will climb as much as 1,100
feet in 3.4 miles.
When cycling in a group, adjust your spacing to allow motor vehicles to
We encourage you to become
familiar with Parkway resources and services before beginning your
cycling trip. Parkway maps and additional information are available by
writing Superintendent, Blue Ridge Parkway, 199 Hemphill Knob Road,
Asheville, N.C. 28803 or calling (828)298-0398.
Some Parkway campgrounds and
services are located too far apart for convenient cycling.
Camping is permitted only at established campground. In some areas, U.S.
Forest Service, State Park, and private campgrounds are within easy
distance of the Parkway. However, many operate on a seasonal basis.
Food and lodging services are also available along and adjacent to the
Parkway. Most operate seasonally.
To assist in planning your trip, consult the Parkway Directory.
Carry a simple first aid kit when possible.
Please contact a Ranger before leaving a motor vehicle parked overnight
on the Parkway.