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North Carolina Scenic Byways



Blue Ridge Parkway- The Blue Ridge Parkway extends 469 miles through the southern Appalachians of Virginia and North Carolina. It links Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Forest Heritage Scenic Byway- The Forest Heritage Scenic Byway makes a large loop around the Pisgah National Forest area traveling US 276 and State Highway 215. Along the southern end, it overlaps with US 64. This is a very beautiful and poplar route especially during the fall colors.
Mountain Waters Scenic Byway- The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway is a windy 61 mile drive through much of the Nantahala National Forest. Mountains surpassing 5,000 feet, cascading waterfalls, towering hardwood forests and whitewater foaming over the backs of boulders are the sights awaiting you.

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General Information

Description - North Carolina offers beautiful mountain scenic drives offering ample opportunities to sight see from the car. There are numerous overlooks that provide parking and often times picnicking. The Blue Ridge Parkway travels from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia down into the Appalachians of North Carolina weaving along at 45 mph. Many mountain bikers are known to travel along this route that provides visitor centers, hiking and overnight accommodations. The Forest Heritage Scenic Byway makes a large loop around the Pisgah National Forest offering countless mountain vistas, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking and cold water fishing opportunities and even a natural water slide. The Mountain Waters Scenic Byway offers mountains surpassing 5,000 feet, cascading waterfalls and towering hardwood forests.

Recreation - The scenic byways offered in North Carolina accommodates those individuals looking for more than a beautiful drive. The byways offer access to hundreds of hiking trails, mountain biking trails, horse trails, picnicking, fishing and even a natural water slide. You are bound to enjoy a drive through North Carolina with its breath taking views, cool mountain forests and outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.

Climate - The climate of the North Carolina mountains is temperate with moderately cold winters and warm, humid summers. Precipitation is fairly well distributed throughout the year; there are no wet or dry seasons. October has the least rainfall, July the most. Snowfall is quite variable from year to year, and some winters have relatively little. Thunderstorms occur most frequently in spring and summer but can occur in any month.

Location - The Blue Ridge Parkway travels from Virginia's Shenandoah Mountain Range down into North Carolina to terminate at The Great Smoky Mountains. The Forest Heritage Scenic Byway makes a large loop around the Pisgah National Forest while the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway travels from Highlands to Almond through Nantahala National Forest.


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Additional Information:
North Carolina - The terrain of this southern state varies from east to west. Travelers can explore barrier islands in the Atlantic Ocean and 6,000 foot mountains in the Appalachians without leaving the North Carolina State boundaries.

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