Blue Ridge Parkway

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My wife and I went on vacation on Oct27 and just got back. We were supposed to leave on Oct 29 but we hadnothing scheduled so we decided to do something I had on my bucket list. We drove the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway from milepost 0 at the end of Skyline Drive in Virginia to Asheville NC with a few side trips.
We got on the BRP at milepost 0 and headed south. I've been to NC but never really saw what Virginia had. The Shenandoah mountains and the Blue Ridge in Virginia were jaw dropping. I always pictured Virginia as pastoral, rolling farmland kind of like the Delmarva peninsula on the eastern shore. Those Shenandoah mountains are rugged and look like they have a lot of game, judging from the woods and the habitat.
We stopped the first night in Buchanan, Va. A real nice friendly town. We had dinner at a restaurant where all the locals ate. I knew I was in the right spot when I saw all kinds of pickups with NRA bumper stickers. We walked in and all I saw was camo. I started asking about hunting opportunities in the area and all the men were giving me tips when they saw the magnetic door sign for my guide service on my Escape. My wife knew I was in my element.
The next morning we had a big breakfast at the same diner, I picked up some real estate stuff and off we went. We got back on the BRP and went all the way to the NC border. We took a side trip to Mt.Airy, NC which is the town that Mayberry is based on. I even got a haircut at "Floyd's Barbre Shop" After that we got back on the Parkway and headed south until we got to Sparta NC.
Sparta looks like a hunting and fishing paradise. We stayed overnight then had breakfast at a diner just outside of town where all the locals ate. I knew we were in the right spot when we saw all the log trucks and pickups with rifles in the back window. Even our waitress wore full camo. I got talking with some loggers and said we were scouting out possible retirement areas but there had to be good hunting and fishing in the area. They told me that if I liked to hunt and fish I came to the right place. We left there with more real estate literature and 2pounds of the best homemade sausage I ever ate. The south has some of the friendliest and down to earth people I ever met.
From there we got back on the BRP and made our way to Boone and Blowing rock, NC where our timeshare condo was. The next day we went on the Parkway all the way to Asheville. We even stopped at Mt. Mitchell state park and went to the top. Its supposed to be the highest point east of the Missippi (6698')
We had a great time. My wife is from NC and retiring to the south is just in the talking stage right now. I would urge everyone to put touring the Blue Ridge Parkway on their bucket list also. I've been on lots of roads in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Vermont, NH and Maine but that Blue Ridge Parkway is the most beautiful road in the eastern USwith good hunting and fishing to boot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D:buck:
 
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VTwoodchuck

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I worked in Gardner NC a few weeks ago and hunted in Catawba VA with my daughter on the way home. She lives in Roanoke. I am falling in love with the area and its on the retirement short list. (Smith Mountain Lake area) You didn?t mention the $1.84 gas. Glad you had a nice trip.
 

ahmoore

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Nice trip report!! I was stationed in D.C. last and hunted the Shenandoah's. It's tricky though, because much of the BRP is not open to hunting, but good brook trout fishing. You can hunt adjacent state WMAs that border the BRP, but it's somewhat limited based on access roads and most of them you have to be mindful of the WMA boundaries. Also, most of the hunters we encountered were after bears w/ dogs, so after deer muzzleloader, it seems like most of the locals switch. That area is known for being prime black bear country. There are some really big bucks back there as well, but as you mentioned, the woods are mostly straight up and down, very steep ridges. No thick cover, except for what these crazy laurel thickets, and it's mostly open hardwoods. I found it to be more challenging than I expected and quite the workout! I'd like to hunt that area again and even the W. VA mtns. The rolling farmland mixed w/ woods that adjoins the Blue Ridge is also excellent deer hunting.
 
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