The Blue Ridge Parkway is an American landmark brimming with history and breathtaking scenery at every turn. With over 120 of its 469 miles located in the High Country, it’s no surprise that some of the parkway’s best sights can be found right here among the mountains. From Cumberland Knob to downtown Boone and Blowing Rock, every milepost has something new to discover – but our personal favorite, Linn Cove Viaduct, might just be the most beautiful highlight of the entire parkway.
Beginning at Milepost 304, Linn Cove Viaduct wraps around Grandfather Mountain and was the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be completed, opening in 1987 twenty years after the rest of the parkway was finished. Designed with the surrounding nature in mind, the viaduct molds to the shape of the mountain in order to minimize its environmental impact while remaining safe for travelers. While this accomplishment didn’t come cheap – the 1,243-foot-long bridge cost $10 million to build – the viaduct quickly gained recognition for its innovative and sustainable engineering, even winning eleven awards for its complex design.
Linn Cove Viaduct isn’t only known for its construction. It’s also one of the most photographed sections of the parkway, renowned for its panoramic views and unique twisting road. As you drive down the seven-mile stretch you’ll be greeted with mountains as far as the eye can see, and with Grandfather Mountain so close by it’ll almost feel like you’re driving into the mountain itself. Make sure to stop at the Linn Cove Visitor Center in Asheville for a quick break, perfect for learning more about the viaduct or hiking to a nearby photo spot.
In addition to being a destination itself, Linn Cove Viaduct is also right in the heart of the High Country, making it an ideal pit stop for any journey. Simply exploring Grandfather Mountain could fill your day, but a different adventure is only a quick drive away. Whether you want to ski at Sugar Mountain, wander the town of Banner Elk, or enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Linville Falls, the viaduct could be the perfect addition to your next trip.
Here in the High Country, we’re no strangers to abundant nature or scenic drives. That’s why the Linn Cove Viaduct holds such a special place in our hearts – not only does it connect us to the beautiful High Country mountainside, but it also blends effortlessly into the scenery while protecting the land that we love most.