NORTH CAROLINA – BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY – mm (mile marker) 411.8 to mm 469.1
Photo Experience: The section of this national scenic byway between Wagon Road Gap and the Southern Terminus is, I believe, one of the most beautiful drives in the eastern United States. The haze that is usually present this time of year makes photographing views from the many overlooks, some of which are overgrown, frustratingly unworthwhile. However, because a large portion of this road is above 4,000 feet, wildflowers and butterflies abound here during the middle of the summer. Bee balm, wild bergamot, Turk’s cap, black-eyed susan, green-headed coneflower, red clover, fire pink, yarrow, Indian pipe, and yellow-fringed orchid are among the species that can be seen and photographed here.
Other Info: Restroom facilities along the Parkway are few and far between. A couple of miles to the north of Wagon Road Gap, regular restrooms can be found at mm 408.6 at the Pisgah Inn Restaurant. Pit toilets are at the Graveyard Fields Overlook (mm 418.8) and Waterrock Knob (mm 451.2). A short distance from the Southern Terminus, Sassy Sunflowers Bakery and Café in Cherokee, North Carolina, is a good place for lunch.