BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
Portions of Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke to close for repairs
If you like driving over the Roanoke River Bridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you might want to get in one last ride before it closes. According to the National Park Service, the bridge will be closed from mid-April through Spring 2022. AdCrews will also repair the road failure near milepost 128, starting in the spring of 2022. “We recognize these Roanoke area closures create short term impacts, however we are pleased to know that in the coming years, this section of the Parkway will be restored in ways that will allow for many more years of high-quality visitor experiences,” said Alexa Viets, acting superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Open sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are in blue .
Authorities investigating armed robbery along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville
Security footage photos from local retailers show person(s) in possession of the victim’s stolen credit cards making purchases. National Park Service officials are asking for help in identifying those responsible for an armed robbery along the Blue Ridge Parkway that happened last month. On Feb. 24 at about 7 p.m., law enforcement rangers responded to a reported armed robbery near Milepost 394.5, not far from Asheville, North Carolina. The following day, the victim’s stolen credit cards were used at a gas station, a home improvement store and a grocery store. “This crime is a reminder that the Parkway is not immune to the types of incidents one can experience anywhere else,” said Blue Ridge Parkway Chief Ranger Neal Labrie.
Daylight Saving Time marks unofficial start of Explore Park’s busy season
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Daylight Saving Time took effect Sunday morning, which means the sun has risen on Explore Park’s busiest time of year. The Roanoke County park along the Blue Ridge Parkway has already attracted visitors with its new Twin Creeks Brewpub, which opened last fall. The park expects even more visitors when its Treetop Quest attraction opens at the beginning of April. Explore Park program director Ben Crawley said Daylight Savings Time represents the unofficial start of spring and outdoor activities. “The weather is starting to change, it’s starting to get warmer, and it’s a little bit brighter for a little bit longer.
‘Tons of red flags popping up’ as family remains hopeful for missing Bedford County man
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Dive crews will be in the Roanoke River at the Blue Ridge Parkway Thursday morning as the search for a missing Bedford County man continues. While tempers flared it ended with a park ranger sharing embraces with two of Gibson’s family members. His truck and belongings were found at the Roanoke River Overlook parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway a few hours later. Bowyer said about a third of them are total strangers, with no connection to the Gibson family. Gibson’s family said they know suicide is a possibility, but their gut says that’s just not right.
Search for missing Bedford County man continues along the Blue Ridge Parkway
ROANOKE, Va. – UPDATE: March 6, 2021The search for a missing Bedford County man continued along the Blue Ridge Parkway Saturday afternoon. If you have any information about Gibson, contact Blue Ridge Parkway Dispatch. ORIGINAL STORYThe National Park Service is searching for a missing man whose vehicle was found along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke. Blue Ridge Parkway Law Enforcement rangers are asking anyone who may have seen or talked to Gibson to call Parkway Dispatch at 828-298-2491. The missing search for Gibson is ongoing.
Blue Ridge Parkway takes top spot with over 14 million visitors in 2020
ROANOKE, Va. – Nearly 14 million people took the opportunity to hop in their cars and take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2020. The National Park Services estimates that 14,099,485 visitors went to the park in 2020, making it one of only three National Park Service sites with more than 10 million visits in 2020. Rounding out the top three are the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with 12,400,045 visitors and Great Smokey Mountains National Park with 12,095,720 visitors. While the Parkway experienced an overall 6% decrease in visitors compared to 2019, there was a slight 2% increase when comparing visitation numbers from September to December 2020 to numbers that same four-month window in 2019. “The 2020 visitation reminds us that the Parkway’s 1930s design approach, to maximize scenic views and recreational access, continues to be relevant today for those looking for respite and renewal,” said Blue Ridge Parkway Acting Superintendent Alexa Viets.
Stay in! Winter storm creates messy travel, power outage threat Thursday
ROANOKE, Va. – Snow, sleet and freezing rain have begun making their presence felt in southwest and central Virginia. Weather update with Jeff HaniewichJeff's Thursday afternoon weather update (2/18/21) We're talking ice and sleet accumulations along with a warm up? FutureTracker - 9 a.m. ThursdayThe longer that snow or sleet holds on, the lesser your chance for power outages will be. This will be in the form of rain and/or freezing rain. Tips for freezing rain and power outagesFor those that do lose power, it may take some time for it to come back on.
Slick, drizzly Friday with more rain, freezing rain to come Saturday
While roads may improve a bit beyond the morning, we will still have to watch for slick spots throughout the day. TimingAs another storm system moves in from the south, this sets the stage for another round of freezing rain after 6 or 7 a.m. Saturday. AdFutureTracker - 10 a.m. SaturdayAs a southeast wind begins, we should start to see any freezing rain change to a chilly rain in parts of Grayson, Wythe, Carroll, Pulaski and Bland Counties by midday or early afternoon. Moving ForwardWe’ll start with slick/icy spots Valentine’s Day morning and temperatures near freezing. We’re once again looking at the chance for freezing rain and rain Tuesday morning.
Here’s what the new National Parks mask mandate means for Blue Ridge Parkway visitors
ROANOKE, Va. – Contrary to what you may have read from other media outlets, the new mask requirement at National Parks has very clear exceptions. So if you’re walking along a trail on National Park land and there’s no one around, would you be in violation of the mandate? Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes,” according to the new National Park Service guidance announced on Tuesday. This mandate extends to the NPS-opperated Blue Ridge Parkway, so if you’re walking around and able to maintain social distancing, then you don’t need to wear a mask, according to these guidelines. After seeing incorrect reporting regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway and this mandate, we wanted to make sure people were accurately informed about what it meant.
Winter returns! Cold air, gusty wind and scattered bursts of snow highlight weekend forecast
Around 11 a.m. or Noon, we’ll begin to see rain moving into parts of the New River Valley. This will mix with snow in parts of the New River Valley and Highlands during the afternoon. A trailing disturbance Saturday will reinforce the cold air and send snow to the west-facing slopes. The potential for anything more substantial will be on the west-facing slopes like Whitetop, Quinwood and Snowshoe. Snow accumulation for Friday (1/15/2021) and Saturday (1/16/2021)Aside from the limited snow potential, we’ll all feel the chill and the wind.
Road to Roanoke Mountain overlook remains closed indefinitely
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A piece of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke County has been closed for more than two years and there is no sign it will reopen any time soon. Roanoke Mountain Road has been off-limits since the remnants of Hurricane Michael hovered over the parkway in late 2018. Despite the barricades, some people have stepped around the roadblocks and used the abandoned road as a hiking path to the Roanoke Mountain Overlook. “My wife and I walk just about every morning,” said Blue Ridge Parkway visitor Bill Van Thiel. We walked up to the top and walked back down to the bottom.”Van Thiel believes the National Park Service should consider permanently closing Roanoke Mountain Road to cars.
Weather outside to turn frightful by Christmas Eve, Christmas Day
Let’s split this article up into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, diving into the details that you need to know. - Localized flooding possible along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with stronger storms east of U.S. 29 late in the afternoon Christmas Eve. - Wind gusts could cause scattered power outages Christmas Eve night into Christmas morning. - A flash freeze is possible by Christmas morning, thanks to residual moisture from our Christmas Eve rain. A very cold Christmas - 12/25/2020In fact, it could fall within the Top-10 coldest on record across much of the area.
Backpacking with Brooke: Roanoke Mountain
ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Mountain overlook is about a 2 mile round trip hike that is a great way to start the morning! You’ll park off the Blue Ridge Parkway right at the Roanoke Mountain Road intersection. With each turn up the road, the view through the trees got prettier and prettier. As we came upon the overlook, you can see the mountains start to pop up in front of you. The view was amazing, and the overlook had photos that showed what mountains were where- you could even see the tip of the Mill Mountain Star from the top.
Zeta likely to have more of an impact on us than previous storms
Hourly planner for Tuesday, 10/27/2020We’ll be warmer Wednesday, with Zeta making landfall along the Gulf Coast during the evening. Some pockets may be heavy, but we don’t expect any strong winds at this time. FutureTracker - early Thursday morningWhere Zeta differs from the six previous storms we’ve dealt with is that it will be moving quickly. This means high wind gusts will be a threat between Noon and 6 p.m. Thursday, in addition to tropical downpours. FutureTracker - early Thursday eveningOnce Zeta moves to the east, the wind will stay strong through Friday even though much of the day will be dry.
Woah there...cold front makes our weekend weather flip flop
After some patches of fog Friday morning, we make our way back into the 70s by the afternoon. High temperature forecast for Friday, 10/23/2020Even by Saturday, we’ll notice temperatures make their way into the 70s. FutureTracker - Saturday afternoonThis is all riding on a cold front that will completely flip the script this weekend. Saturday’s high temperatures will be in the 70s. We’ll warm back up by next week with rain chances increasing later in the week prior to Halloween.
48 perfect hours in Montgomery County: We’ll help you plan it -- all you have to do is pack a bag
Did you realize Montgomery County is home to two of the largest towns in Virginia, Blacksburg and Christiansburg? The Crooked Road; Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail is dotted with music venues along the route, all the way to Montgomery County. A farmBeliveau Farm Winery is just 9 miles from downtown Blacksburg, and it’s here you’ll taste award-winning wines and gluten-free beer. The Jefferson National Forest sits a few miles outside of downtown Blacksburg. And once you’re done with nature for the day, mosey on over to downtown Blacksburg, where you can find a plethora of boutiques and eateries.
Coolest air in five months set to arrive Friday, Saturday
Crisp, autumn air fades as sunshine goes to quick work throughout the rest of the day. Even as clouds develop near and east of the Blue Ridge Parkway, high temperatures will still rise into the 70s once again Thursday afternoon. Thursday's high temperature forecast - 10/15/2020This all changes once a cold front moves through the area Friday. Our high temperature will likely come early in the morning. Temperatures fall west of the Parkway and then level off in areas east of the Parkway throughout the day.
Nearly 6-mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke reopens
ROANOKE, Va. – Drivers can now enjoy a bit more beauty along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Crews completed repairs after a small slope failure and now, the stretch between the Explore Park entrance and the entrance at US 220 in Roanoke County is again open. Those wishing to drive on the Parkway south of the 220 entrance will have to wait quite a while longer. Heavy rain destroyed part of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 128, about 7 miles south of the US 220 entrance. This closure is due to the 150 feet of the road lost near milepost 128 due to flooding in May.
Carilion Clinic Ironman registration to open up Wednesday afternoon
ROANOKE, Va. – After the race was postponed by a year due to the pandemic, registration for the new date is set to open Wednesday afternoon. Registration will open up at noon for the 70.3-mile race, set to take place on June 6, 2021. The centerpiece for the route includes a bike course that will go along 56 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway from Roanoke County into Botetourt County. For the swimming portion, triathletes will be jumping into Carvins Cove for a 1.2-mile swim before transitioning to a run at River’s Edge Park and the Roanoke River Greenway. To register, click here.
Blue Ridge Parkway repairs begin in Roanoke area
ROANOKE, Va. – Work is starting this week to repair a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke in time for the busy fall season. Crews are working on a slope failure that caused the parkway to close from the Explore Park Entrance (milepost 115.5) to U.S. 220 (milepost 121.4). Officials with the National Park Service (NPS) said it will take about 10 days. Despite the challenges of finding funding and the COVID-19 pandemic, a Parkway spokesperson said the time it’s taken to get to this point is not uncommon, especially given the process involved in designing and contracting out the job. “We just hope people can stay patient with us as we work through all of those details," said Caitlin Worth, a National Park Service Spokesperson for the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Roanoke tourism leaders say Blue Ridge Parkway closure may actually be blessing in disguise
ROANOKE, VA. – Fall foliage is right on the horizon and each year thousands of people hit the Blue Ridge Parkway to see them. But this year, there’s one hitch — the Blue Ridge Parkway is still closed from Explore Park in the Vinton area to Bent Mountain from prior storm damage. Despite that, Roanoke Valley tourism leaders said this might actually be a good thing for the region’s hospitality industry, which is badly hurting from the COVID pandemic. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge President Landon Howard said that could be right in front of Pascal’s door. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge recognizes this plan welcomes people into the region during an ongoing pandemic, which is why it continues to push social distancing, face coverings and strict sanitation procedures.
11-year-old dies after motorcycle crash on Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. An 11-year-old is dead after a motorcycle crash on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, according to the National Park Service. Authorities say the crash happened on Sunday around 11:45 a.m. near milepost 297. According to police, Jason Kruk, the driver of the motorcycle, made a correction while driving after the car in front of him stopped suddenly before going into the northbound lane where he hit a pickup truck. Kruk was taken to to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries, and his 11-year-old son was airlifted to a local hospital where he later died, according to police. Authorities say both were wearing helmets.
One dead, one hospitalized after Blue Ridge Parkway crash in Floyd County
FLOYD COUNTY, Va. – A 65-year-old Patrick County man is dead and another person is in the hospital after a two-vehicle crash near the Rocky Knob Visitor Center on Thursday afternoon. At about 2:30 p.m., authorities responded to the crash near milepost 168 on Blue Ridge Parkway, according to the parkway officials. Danny Shelton, of Meadows of Dan, was driving south when authorities say he crossed the center line and crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle. Shelton died at the scene while the driver of the other vehicle was flown to a local hospital. Below is a map of the approximate location of the crash:
Backpacking with Brooke: Fallingwater Cascades
BEDFORD, Va. Fallingwater Cascades is a 1.7 mile loop hike that features a waterfall nestled in a mountain. Youll begin your descent down to the falls to the right. After about ten minutes, youll begin to hear the trickle of the water through the mountain. Finally, youll arrive at the Fallingwater Cascades. This hike took us about an hour and was a good way to get out and stretch our legs.
Two dead after crash on Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke
ROANOKE, Va. Two people are dead after a crash on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke, according to the National Park Service. Authorities say the crash happened near mile post 105 around 7 p.m. on Saturday. Authorities say one passenger, Jiuver Espinoza-Regalado, 19 from Honduras, died at the scene and the two other passengers were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. According to officials, Christhian Sapil-Canales, 22 from Honduras, was a passenger and later died in the hospital. Authorities say the third passenger is stable but in critical condition, and the driver was wearing his seatbelt and had minor injuries.
Isaas contributes to localized flood threat the next two days
ROANOKE, Va. The worst of the weather with Tropical Storm Isaas will stay to our east, but well still feel some outer effects from the storm. Flash Flood Watch in effect for half of the regionMoisture from Isaas will team up with a front nearby to give us rounds of heavy rain. While we dont expect this to be a repeat of what happened this past May, localized flash flooding is a concern. Localized flash flooding will be the main thing to watch out for, with possible river flooding along the Dan and/or Roanoke basins. FutureTracker - Tuesday afternoonThe front that guides Isaas northeast of here will linger Wednesday and Thursday, giving us the daily shot for showers and storms.
Blue Ridge Parkway supporters hoping for influx of cash from Great American Outdoors Act
People in Southwest Virginia said the Blue Ridge Parkway needs a big chunk of it. The Blue Ridge Parkway has accumulated over five hundred and eight million dollars in deferred maintenance issues, thats over one million dollars per mile of the parkway, Warner said. Who gets what hasnt been determined yet, but Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward said the parkway needs it. Scott Ramsburg with Roanoke County said the parkway was originally closed to Route 24 in Vinton, cutting Explore Parks parkway entrance off following the washout. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the lifeblood of Explore Park, Ramsburg said.
Steamy start to the week; stormy at times afterward
ROANOKE, Va. We pick up right where we left off after a scorcher of a weekend. The added humidity that weve felt since Sunday will make it feel even hotter at times (see graphic above). The better chance for any spotty storms will be in areas west of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Expect temperatures to pick back up into the upper 80s and lower 90s Thursday and Friday. What We're Tracking - SaturdayThis gives us a good shot at rain and storms Saturday.
Backpacking with Brooke: Rocky Knob Trail
FLOYD, Va. – Rocky Knob Trail is a 2.3 out and back located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We parked at the Rocky Knob campground area, which is closed, so we pulled onto the grass. You’ll head through the fat man squeeze and lock the gate back behind you. The sign will direct you right to the Rocky Knob Overlook, and we started on our way. he first fork in the trail you’ll head right, and a few meters later, there’s another one where you’ll go left.
Dozens of car enthusiasts take vintage vehicles for a cruise
ROANOKE, Va. The sun finally shined on Roanoke Saturday morning after days of rain, and car enthusiasts took advantage of the clear skies with a drive. Star City Motor Madness organized a car cruise from Roanoke to Botetourt County. Dozens of vintage vehicles filled the Valley View Grand Home Furnishings parking lot before their journey to the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Buchanan. Some, including Gunther Hoyt, said they could not wait to get out of the house to reunite with their friends. We found out last week, and everybody shined up the cars, got them gassed up, and got ready to go.The car enthusiasts also used the cruise to raise money for the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
Heavy rain destroys part of Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke
ROANOKE, Va. – Part of the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed near Roanoke after heavy rains destroyed part of the road. The parkway is now closed from Milepost 112.4 to Milepost 135.9, U.S. Route 24 to Adney Gap. Within that larger closure, a full road closure is in place from Milepost 121.4 at U.S. Route 220 to Milepost 135.9 at Adney Gap. In addition to that, there are two smaller slope failures that resulted in debris on the motor road at both Milepost 119 and 124. Geotechnical and roadway design experts will assess the roadway failures and make recommendations for repairs and restoration of access.