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The Picnic Guide of Virginia
Blue Ridge Parkway National Park
Map 4


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Blue Ridge Parkway National Park - Map 4 copyright map by Alan Eastep

Roanoke, Virginia, is the largest city adjacent to the Parkway, and one whose popularity and growth has certainly paralleled that of the park. 

It grew rapidly from its origins as Big Lick when, in 1882 the railroad became the town's major industry. Roanoke offers many motels, bed-and-breakfast inns, and a downtown farmers' market surrounded by restaurants and museums.

The Roanoke Mountain campground offers access to trails and Sunday evening music programs during the summer. Virginia's Explore Park, a living history and outdoor recreation area, is nearby. A four-mile drive around the summit of Roanoke Mountain offers great views of the valley.

Table of Contents

Detail Maps and Information

Milepost 115.1: Virginia's Explore Park.

1.25 mi. Visitor Center, living history demonstrations, special events, historical restaurant and recreational venues, such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing and canoeing/kayaking. 

Milepost 120.4: Roanoke Mountain Campground

Phone: (540) 767 2492

You will find it with easy access to Virginia's Explore Park and the largest city along the Parkway corridor.

The History Of Roanoke

Known as the "Capital of the Blue Ridge," and a crossroads for commerce, the city of Roanoke�s history began in the 1740s. Mark Evans and Tasker Tosh came from Pennsylvania and took up land near the salt licks where Indian and animal trails crossed in the center of the valley.

For generations, those salt marshes, or licks as they were called, had been a gathering place for buffalo, elk and deer, as well as for the Indians who hunted them. The salt marshes were to lend their name to the first village in the Roanoke Valley which started on the east-west path as Gainsborough in 1834; the town soon came to be known as Big Lick.

Milepost 144.8: Pine Spur Parking Overlook.

Named for the white pine which is the tree depicted on Parkway emblem. Alt. 2,703

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