Distance, Parcours, and Accommodation
35-65 miles daily, 9 days, mountainous terrain, paved surface.
3 Hotels, 1 Cabin, 6 campsites
Hotel day before and night after trip
Daily baggage transfer
Fully guided tour with two (2) guides
Free pre-tour consultation to make sure you are ready to go
All meals included for duration of trip
Sag support and water stops
Blaze Adventure Tours tri-blend T-shirt and water bottle
French Press Coffee every morning
Free photos and trip video
What’s not Included:
Bicycle – Recommended touring or road bike with 23mm-32mm tires. (Need help bringing your own bike? We will handle the logistics and can facilitate bike rentals)
Camping gear – Recommended gear list included. We also facilitate rentals and will pick up your gear for you.
Alcohol and souvenirs
The Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park, spanning 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. It connects Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro, VA (Milepost 0) to Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC (Milepost 469). Littered with gorgeous overlooks, breathtaking views, and winding scenic roads, the parkway is a highly sought-after destination for East Coast cyclists.
To make transportation to the start easier, this tour will begin in Asheville, NC. If you wish to complete the whole parkway, we highly encourage you to start a couple days early and meet us in Asheville!
What You’ll Love
The magic of the Blue Ridge Parkway is hard to put into words. Every morning there is a more beautiful sunrise and every evening there is a more stunning sunset. Evenings are best spent recounting the day around the campfire with your fellow riders. If the clouds behave at night, you might even get to see the Milky Way. Embrace the ride, embrace the experience, embrace your companions and leave the parkway with memories that you’ll never forget. Join us for a guided Blue Ridge Parkway bicycle tour!
The Night Before
Riders will settle in at the Marriott just a mile off of the parkway. Enjoy a day in Asheville and hit some of the highlights before setting off into the Mountains. Meet us at Highland Brewing Company for a get-to-know-us drink! These will be the people you’ll spend the next 9 days touring the Blue Ridge Parkway with, so the bonding starts now. We will have a beer (or whatever you prefer) and get excited about the epic trip awaiting us. Don’t stay up too late, because we will have an early start in the morning!
Day 1 – 43/53 miles – 7,335 feet of climbing: Day 1 starts with a bang! The group will assemble outside of our hotel to pack up and head out. The first half of the day is uphill toward the highest peak east of the Mississippi. No blue ridge bike trip would be complete without Mount Mitchell which sits at an elevation of 6,684 feet. The air is a bit thin and the climb is steep, but the view is more than worth it. Our route takes us directly to the mountain. Riders will have the option to tackle the 4.8-mile climb up to the summit. The rest of the day is mostly downhill to our campsite at Crabtree Falls. Once we get settled in, the group will hike about a mile to stretch our legs and check out the gorgeous waterfall.
Day 2 – 46 miles – 4,443 feet of climbing: The second day of our trip will be a bit shorter with less climbing to let our legs recover from our assault on Mount Mitchell. We will cross the Linville River, home of the beautiful Linville Falls. The falls are 45 feet tall! A short hike will lead us to a gorgeous view for lunch. At the campground we will go for an easy kayak! A gentle paddle on the tranquil lake marks our departure from populated Asheville and our transition to the quieter and more remote parts of the parkway.
Day 3 – 40 miles – 3,951 feet of climbing: With one of the gentler elevation profiles, Day 3 should be a more laid-back day. Our series of ups and downs takes us past Meditation Mountain on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. This section of the parkway reveal some beautiful meadows and grazing pastures. The Northwest Trading Post is a must-see a few miles before our campground. They carry crafts from North Carolina’s Northwestern counties, as well as some delicious snacks. We end at the lovely Raccoon Holler campground. Don’t worry, we haven’t yet had any run-ins with overly “friendly” critters!
Day 4 – 59 miles – 4,899 feet of climbing: After an easier third day of our trip, Day 4 will cover some solid mileage. As we enter Virginia, we pass the Blue Ridge Music Center; the center is dedicated to music of all types especially old time music. We’ll end the day at the Fancy Gap/Blue Ridge Parkway KOA Journey Campground. You’ll enjoy the cute cabins and very hot showers! Dinner tonight is hot pizza or barbeque that riders can order from the awesome campground kitchen. note we will all be sharing cabins to stay out of the weather tonight
Day 5 – 47 miles – 3,602 feet of climbing: Day 5 takes us through Floyd, VA. This unique town of about 700 people will give us a taste of civilization. We’ll enjoy lunch at the historic Mabry Mill. The mill was operated in the early 1900’s and has since been converted to a historic demonstration site. The restaurant serves pancakes until noon, so pedal fast! After lunch we stop at the Villa Appalachia winery and enjoy the incredible view from their Villa. A stop in Floyd to peruse the cute shops will end the days’ activities. Then, we will work our way down to the 200 acre Floyd Family Campground and enjoy the views from the sprawling hillside.
Day 6 – 36 miles – 2,521 feet of climbing: The sixth day of the tour takes us all the way to Roanoke, VA! It’s a shorter day, so riders will have the opportunity for a great afternoon excursion. The guides will lead a group trip to Tuco’s Tacos and Big Lick Brewing Company. Even better, you’ll get to rest your head on a real pillow tonight. We will be staying at the Springfield Suites!
Day 7 – 40 miles – 4,352 feet of climbing: Say goodbye to Roanoke! But don’t worry, this is one of the most beautiful days of the trip. All of the climbing will be well worth it when we roll into Peaks of Otter Campground. The three peaks have been a vacation destination since the time of Thomas Jefferson; we doubt he arrived by bicycle. Relax by the lake, grab dinner and a cocktail at the bar/restaurant, or take a hike in the hills. The breakfast and coffee in the morning is to die for.
Day 8 – 63 miles – 6,711 feet of climbing: The penultimate day of the tour won’t leave you disappointed. This might just be the toughest day of the trip. From Peaks of Otter, we climb to the highest point in Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway: the top of Apple Orchard Mountain. Enjoy the views at 3,900 feet, because we immediately descend to the lowest point of the parkway when we cross the James River, at only 650 feet above sea level. Rest your legs on that long descent because the next section takes us back up to ridge height. After your long day’s ride we will shuttle everyone to Devils Backbone Camp! Dinner (and drinks) at the world famous devil’s backbone brewpub will be a short walk from the campsite.
Day 9 – 35 miles – 4,500 feet of descending: After breakfast, riders will be shuttled back up to the parkway. Our final day begins with a pleasant morning ride across one last bit of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As we descend from the ridge we pass the cookie lady’s house. If you have never heard of her look it up. June Curry gave shelter (and cookies) to thousands of bicycle tourists as they passed by. The house still operates as a stop off for weary cyclists. We will spend the afternoon gently descending toward Charlottesville, VA. Our lunch stop at King Family Vineyard just outside of town will be the perfect way to cap off an epic trip! From there we will shuttle to our hotel in Charlottesville. We hope that the memories you made on this trip outweigh the sore butts and tired legs.
Congratulations, you just cycled the Blue Ridge Parkway!