A 9-day bicycle tour along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville, NC to Charlottesville, VA. Tour includes options for 7 or 8 day trips.
Distance, Parcours, and Accommodation
36-77 miles daily, 9 days, mountainous terrain, paved surface. Tour includes options for 7 or 8 day trips; on those options some days will have longer riding.
- Full Itinerary
- Dozens of options for dining and accommodation
- Gear Checklist
- Logistics for travel and safe parking
- Over 100 things to do, places to eat, and things to see
- Ride with GPS downloadable route with waypoints, places of interest, elevation profile, and mile marks
The Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park, spanning 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. It connects Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro, VA (Milepost 0) to Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC (Milepost 469). Littered with gorgeous overlooks, breathtaking views, and winding scenic roads, the parkway is a highly sought-after destination for East Coast cyclists.
To make transportation to the start easier, this tour will begin in Asheville, NC. If you wish to complete the whole parkway, we highly encourage you to start in Cherokee and pick up the itinerary in Asheville!
What You’ll Love
The magic of the Blue Ridge Parkway is hard to put into words. Every morning there is a more beautiful sunrise and every evening there is a more stunning sunset. Evenings are best spent recounting the day around the campfire. If the clouds behave at night, you might even get to see the Milky Way. Embrace the ride, embrace the experience, and leave the parkway with memories that you’ll never forget!
The Tour (abbreviated itinerary below, full itinerary included with purchase)
Day 1 – The first half of the day is uphill toward the highest peak east of the Mississippi. No blue ridge bike trip would be complete without Mount Mitchell which sits at an elevation of 6,684 feet. The air is a bit thin and the climb is steep, but the view is more than worth it.
Day 2: The second day of the trip will be a bit shorter with less climbing to let your legs recover from our assault on Mount Mitchell. You will cross the Linville River, home of the beautiful Linville Falls. The falls are 45 feet tall! This day marks your departure from populated Asheville and our transition to the quieter and more remote parts of the parkway.
Day 3: With one of the gentler elevation profiles, Day 3 should be a more laid-back day. A series of ups and downs takes you past Meditation Mountain on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. This section of the parkway reveal some beautiful meadows and grazing pastures. The Northwest Trading Post is a must-see a few miles before the campground.
Day 4: After an easier third day of our trip, Day 4 will cover some solid mileage. As you enter Virginia, you pass the Blue Ridge Music Center; the center is dedicated to music of all types especially old time music.
Day 5: Day 5 takes you through Floyd, VA. This unique town of about 700 people will give a taste of civilization. You may stop for lunch at Mabry Mill. The mill was operated in the early 1900’s and has since been converted to a historic demonstration site.
Day 6: The sixth day of the tour takes you all the way to Roanoke, VA! It’s a shorter day, so riders will have the opportunity for a great afternoon excursion. Roanoake has a ton to offer and we provide some of our favorites for you to explore and experience the city
Day 7: Say goodbye to Roanoke! But don’t worry, this is one of the most beautiful days of the trip. All of the climbing will be well worth it when you see the marvelous Peaks of Otter. The three peaks have been a vacation destination since the time of Thomas Jefferson; we doubt he arrived by bicycle.
Day 8: The penultimate day of the tour won’t leave you disappointed. This might just be the toughest day of the trip. You climb to the highest point in Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway: the top of Apple Orchard Mountain. Enjoy the views at 3,900 feet, because you immediately descend to the lowest point of the parkway when we cross the James River, at only 650 feet above sea level. A real test of the legs and spirit is a must for a true parkway trip.
Day 9: Your final day begins with a pleasant morning ride across one last bit of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As you descend from the ridge you pass the cookie lady’s house. If you have never heard of her look it up. June Curry gave shelter (and cookies) to thousands of bicycle tourists as they passed by. The house still operates as a stop off for weary cyclists. You will spend the afternoon gently descending toward Charlottesville, VA.