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Guide to Blue Ridge Parkway in Haywood County, NC

The Views Stretch For Miles

The Blue Ridge Parkway in Haywood County, NC, is a must-see destination for visitors and locals alike. As part of America’s longest linear park, this scenic road stretches for 469 miles through 29 counties in North Carolina and Virginia. Named after the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian Mountain range, the Parkway offers a remarkable experience with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Haywood County is particularly proud to boast 46 scenic miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, showcasing some of the most beautiful and highest sections of the road. This area is a haven for nature enthusiasts, providing a gateway to explore the stunning beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, valleys, and countryside.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a popular destination throughout the year, but it truly shines in the fall when the foliage bursts into vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. This spectacle attracts countless visitors who cannot resist the opportunity to witness the amazing colors of the changing leaves.

Whether you’re interested in a leisurely drive, camping, or embarking on a memorable road trip, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers something for everyone. Along the way, you’ll find visitor centers where you can gather information and maps to plan your journey. Additionally, numerous overlooks are strategically located, providing ample opportunities to pause, capture the perfect photo, and soak in the magnificent scenery.

Located in Western North Carolina, near the city of Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway is also conveniently situated near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and various national forests. Visitors can explore the rich biodiversity of these protected areas, making the Blue Ridge Parkway an ideal starting point for further adventures.

So, whether you’re a local looking for a scenic drive or a visitor seeking an unforgettable experience, the Blue Ridge Parkway in Haywood County promises to delight with its natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and endless opportunities for exploration.

The Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed from four locations in Haywood County:

  • US 276 at Wagon Gap Road
  • NC 215 at Mount Hardy Gap
  • US 23/74 at Balsam Gap
  • US 19 at Soco Gap

Blue Ridge Parkway Closures

Check the U.S. National Park Services Blue Ridge Parkway Road Closure Map before traveling the Parkway for real-time road closure and condition information. Portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway are sometimes closed due to inclement weather, construction, or rock slides, especially in the winter months.

A list of planned milepost closures for maintenance is available here.

Blue Ridge Parkway Points of Interest

Black Balsam Knob

This section of trails includes some of the most spectacular mountains and balds, including Black Balsam Knob, Sam Knob, and Tennant Mountain. 


Devil’s Courthouse

According to Cherokee folklore, the devil holds court in a cave on the mountain. A walk to the bare summit is worth every step.

Richland Balsam Overlook

The highest point on the entire parkway at 6,053 feet, Richland Balsam Overlook offers a beautiful 1.5-mile, self-guided loop trail.


Waterrock Knob

Waterrock Knob sits at nearly 6,000 feet. A 1.2-mile, roundtrip trail leads to the summit of Waterrock Knob for an almost 360-degree view of the Smoky Mountains.