Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Updated: Sep 12, 2022
Driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of my favorite ways to spend a day, half day, or full weekend. If you've ever been, let's take a moment of silence to appreciate how beautiful it is. *pause* Ahh, that was nice. If you've never been to the Parkway, I do hope you get the chance some day. It's awesome! On my latest excursion, I took a trip to Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rough Ridge is a popular pull off that's just north of the Linn Cove Viaduct. While climbing in elevation and into the lofty, wintry clouds, it was apparent that there was an added bonus to this trip I had not prepared for: snow. Indeed, y'all, flurries of soft snow coated the sides of the road and it felt like driving through a Winter Wonderland. It. Was. Awesome!
The Rough Ridge trail is about 1.3 miles one way, and shall admit, I did not do the whole thing. Why, you might ask? Well, fellow wanderer, that's a good question. I'll tell you why... it's because there were freakin' wind gusts up on the mountain that were 50+ miles per hour! Pro tip, if your weather app says that it will be windy up in North Carolina high country, take it seriously. A flannel will not cut it, and those wind gusts will slice their icy fingers into your soul. Not to be dramatic or anything.
One of the coolest (har har, puns) things about the trip were how quickly the clouds passed overhead in wispy swirls of white. They looked like they were in a hurry to be somewhere important and nobody was about to stop them.
Rough Ridge provides some pretty spectacular long-range views of the Appalachian Mountains. You can see the Linn Cove Viaduct from a distance and the ever-majestic Grandfather Mountain.
Enjoy this picture of icicles to prove that it was in fact very cold. Thanks for reading, y'all! Remember when you explore to practice Leave No Trace principles. Take only pictures and leave only footprints. Happy wandering!
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